The United Auto Workers has been trying for the past 30 years to unionize plants operated by foreign automakers in the South, but to date, there has been absolutely zero success. There are many reasons the UAW has consistently failed over time, including allegations of intimidation and fear tactics from transplant management. Some foreign automakers won't even hire former union employees for fear that the new hire could help organize the facility. And then there is the fact that unions aren't nearly as prevalent in the South as they are north of the Mason Dixon line.
UAW boss Bob King has said that he'd like to renew efforts to unionize, and USA Today reports that Volkswagen's new Chattanooga plant could be a prime candidate. There are many reasons the UAW could have more success with VW. For starters, VW actually had a unionized plant in Pennsylvania before it closed in 1988, and the German automaker has a rich history of working with unions around the world. Further, VW spokesman Guenther Scherelis said in a statement that the choice to unionize belongs with the workers, adding "one of Volkswagen's core values is the basic right of employees to have a voice in the company."
But while VW may be more open to the UAW, Tennessee Senator Bob Corker has been less than flattering in his description of the labor organization. Back in November, Corker called a unionized Chattanooga plant "highly detrimental" to the facility, adding that he can't imagine that a company could voluntarily bring the UAW into the mix.