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.


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  • 121 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      MAX
      • 3 Years Ago
      Without unions and the threat of unions, workers are powwerless serfs. It's no accident America's glory days were when it had higher unionization. We should go to the German system where unions have half the seats on the board of directors. The real problem in American manufacturing is piss poor management like all these armchair CEO's on these boards who couldn't run a hot dog stand. When Americans went from being workers to consumers, they became the living embodiment of the meme of someone who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. 90% of America's management class is absolutely worthless morally and intellectually. It was worth the auto bailout just to see a great manager like Marchionne at work.
        zackwatt
        • 3 Years Ago
        @MAX
        Part of the reason "America's glory days" are gone is because of unionization... Paying unskilled labor exorbitant wages and benefits forced companies under and elsewhere.
        Todd Dunning
        • 3 Years Ago
        @MAX
        Wow Max. "90% of America's management class is absolutely worthless morally and intellectually". I thought the same thing in High School.
        Mike K
        • 3 Years Ago
        @MAX
        You know nothing.
        Mondrell
        • 3 Years Ago
        @MAX
        Some ridiculous points here, but also some good ones - the Big 3 was washed up in huge part by awful management. I have no love for the UAW; they breed waste and inefficiency among other things, but who signed off on the scores of cars sales had often had to pay people to buy? Who failed to diversify product so that income wouldn't stall when gas prices, the rise of which we all knew was an inevitability, chased consumers out of trucks and SUVs? These are two failures that led them to their near-demise. . .failures the UAW had no immediate control over.
      darkness
      • 3 Years Ago
      For being a automotive site you losers sure hate the people who make them, you people are pathetic, take your worthless educations and fill out a form for food stamps. Even the pro union comments that made total sense you vote down....totally retarded thinking from people who've never stepped foot in a plant or been part of a union, unions cost the company nothing the members pay the dues. Unions can be good or a burden but ill take my chances being union than non, companies don't hand out benefits because they want to but you guys are so smart you knew that already.
        MAX
        • 3 Years Ago
        @darkness
        KKKarl Rove said he liked voters who were sort of college educated but not too much, those who went further than 4 years of college tended to vote liberal, that's what you see on these internet automotive sites, the poorly educated. The idiots who think the Bush tax cuts created jobs, Japan is a bastion of free enterprise, rich people are benevolent, want government to keep it's hands off their Medicare, argue with you that Civil War was about states rights and not slavery and actually think Toyota is more American than Ford.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @MAX
          [blocked]
          EZEE
          • 3 Years Ago
          @MAX
          Night - with our system, people under the new plan will die. We are going to add 30 million people (and 46 once the illegals are added) and not a single new nurse or doctor. Where will people get treated? Will you pull new doctors and nurses out of your behinds? Ask why the British have bad teeth. It is because there is only one game in town, and that game doesn't pay for cosmetic dentistry. As far as the unions go, it isn't so much pay and benefits (although that is huge)' many of the non union plants either match, or come close to matching what the unions get. It is also work rules, where a person cannot screw in a light bulb because that is not their job description. It is where hard working members are threatened because it makes their brothers look bad (I have spoken to members so I know this to be true). Where quality is intentionally sacrificed so the people fixing mistakes have work. And this is in the cars we are supposed to buy. The legacy costs mean gm has a $3000 penalty compared with toyotas. Unions have given up some, but watch new plant construction come to a screeching halt if the foreign plants start to unionize.
        Josh
        • 3 Years Ago
        @darkness
        " Unions can be good or a burden but ill take my chances being union than non, companies don't hand out benefits because they want " Precisely! Who WOULDN'T rather be in a union - at least something that stands in between you and complete feudalism. That's the whole point - but of course, 'labor' is always the problem.
      zackwatt
      • 3 Years Ago
      Did we time warp back to the early 1900s??? Unions are on their way out, they are antiquated and unnecessary. Plus, they don't help the average worker when their company goes under or outsources the jobs...
        • 3 Years Ago
        @zackwatt
        [blocked]
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        kevsflanagan
        • 3 Years Ago
        Oh your logic is somewhat amusing. You do realize that the TOYOTA Camry is the most "American Made" car in America right now right? You do realize that both GM and Ford have plants outside the US correct? You do realize that those plants are there due to the UAW unwillingness to have GM/Ford pay less into say retirement, health insurance and whatnot? Keep in mind that all this happened when both GM and Ford where barely making a profit. That and you must admit that the UAW unto itself is now a corporation? But whatever you won't listen to a word I say and if anything your just a low self esteem troll that lives in his mom's basement living off cheese puffs.
          DB
          • 3 Years Ago
          @kevsflanagan
          Prop Oganda: You might want to check you facts. There are many GM, Ford and Chrysler cars built in Canada and Mexico. In fact GM estimates that only 60-70% of its cars are built in the US. It is estimated that Hyundai will soon be the most American-built car company: http://www.autoblog.com/2010/10/22/hyundai-to-be-most-american-automaker-by-next-year/ Before you say that transplant cars are just made from inport parts, an "American" car has to be 75% US/Canadian parts to could AND if you look the most America-made index, it is usually the Camry, Odyssey, and Sienna at the top of the list. There are more Japanese cars in the top ten most American list than American cars. Cars like the Ford Fusion and Chevy Volt are only made with 40% US/Canadian parts. Also Toyota and Honda do much of the Camry/Accord development in the US, where as the Malibu (Epsilon) was developed in Germany and the Fusion was developed in Germany off of a Japanese platform (Mazda 6). http://www.cars.com/go/advice/Story.jsp?section=top&subject=ami&story=amMade0709 As to the the profits going back to Japan/Korea or where-ever, yes $1,500 out of a $30,000 car goes to Japan/Korea (where is is sent to shareholders, many of which are US pension funds), while the majority of $28,500 stays in the US. An "American" car like the Ford Fusion, only has about $12,000 stay in the US/Canada, while $18,000 goes to Mexico, Japan (engine) and China. Don't forget that GM is now has a larger operation in China than it does in the US. GM's International HQ was moved to Shanghi, China. Most of the profits GM makes actually stay in China, because the Chinese governement won't let companies move cash out of the country, just parts. GM's CEO recently espoused his admiration for the Communist Party's "Culture Revolution".
          • 3 Years Ago
          @kevsflanagan
          [blocked]
          Sportbike
          • 3 Years Ago
          @kevsflanagan
          LOL, Honda builds more vehicles in the USA than Chrysler does. And for the UAW thugs reading from their "talking points" list given to them at the union meeting. Profits go to the stock holders! The UAW is now the stock holder of GM, so of course you preach to us to buy GM! Billy Ford and his family get the profits from Ford, FIAT gets the profits from Chrysler....
          DB
          • 3 Years Ago
          @kevsflanagan
          Let me rephrase a statement I made in the first paragraph: In fact GM estimates that of the cars it sells in the US only 60-70% of its cars are built in the US.
          DB
          • 3 Years Ago
          @kevsflanagan
          sixpackdan: Do you even read my post? Yes if you buy a transplant car about 5% of you money goes to Japan where it is send to shareholders around the world, However if you buy a car that claims to be American, but is only 40% US/Candian parts, 60% of you money goes around the world. If you are looking at a Toyota Camry vs. a Ford Fusion, buying the Camry will keep much more of your money in the US than buying the Fusion. Also buying a Ford means a good deal of the profits are going to upper management, including a CEO that makes 500 times the average worker. Buying the Camry means most of you money goes to American workers, while most of the profits go to shareholders (including US pension funds) not executives. Toyota's CEO makes only 6 times the average worker at Toyota.
      Joseph
      • 3 Years Ago
      But what is the point of the workers unionizing if they are paid and treated well? Unions had their place in the early to mid 20th centrury, but today they are mostly unecessary.
        SloopJohnB
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Joseph
        I'm no fan of the UAW, but consider the radical profits and salaries the bosses are making...the workers should have the opportunity to negotiate some skin in the game as well. With top executives making as much as 400 times the lowest wage worker, one can understand the call for pitchforks and torches. A patriarchal 'treat them well and pay them well' is so 20th century....WHO gets to decide what is well paid and well treated?
          Steve
          • 3 Years Ago
          @SloopJohnB
          most wont agree with me but what is keeping you from being a boss and making a gracious living?? I feel we live in a society where all we do is complain about what everyone else is making..nothing is keeping anyone from bettering them selves and making a better living for themselves and their families..the only difference is most people aren't willing to put in the time and effort to be successful.
          dukeisduke
          • 3 Years Ago
          @SloopJohnB
          It's the company management's job to make the stockholders (like teachers' retirement funds, and individual investors) richer. Period.
      Chilipepper
      • 3 Years Ago
      Do not let the cancer in.
      darthjayson
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why do they need a union?? Are the workers being abused already? Are there pay issues? Does VW not give them healthcare benefits? Are there 8 year-olds installing A/C units? Keep the factory in business. Keep the unions out!!!
        Joe
        • 3 Years Ago
        @darthjayson
        I agree. I actually know someone starting at this plant and the pay and benefits are incredible. What advantage could a union possibly give the workers?
        Joseph
        • 3 Years Ago
        @darthjayson
        A-freaking-MEN!
      Master Austin
      • 3 Years Ago
      I dont blame them for building down in Mexico if the UAW is going to ruin another plant... the UAW is out of touch and tone deaf as to the reality of wages in Americans and the citizens aren't feeling sorry for them at all with the benefits the UAW seek, and the ones which normal citizens are losing.
        jaydc1388
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Master Austin
        What's great is people aren't sympathetic to the UAW because they don't know or understand what unions provide. These would be good wages and benefits. They also don't realize that the pay they are making isn't what it should be. What unions have is what most employees should have, and used to have. Look at the pay of CEO's from 10-15 years ago, compared to what they make now, and compare that to an average employee in the same company. These aren't CEO's bravely struggling to keep their operations afloat and their employees, they keep most of the profits for themselves. They don't care about their employees or country, their best achievement is getting the average citizen to think they should be grateful for whatever crumbs they get. and to somehow convince people that one of the few non government groups who could help protect the American employee are a horrible greedy enemy, and supporting Unions mean you must be a dirty Communist.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Master Austin
        [blocked]
          WillieD
          • 3 Years Ago
          Unions are the main reason that Ford, GM, and Chrysler all have assembly plants outside the U.S.
      stclair5211
      • 3 Years Ago
      The union is outdated. Workers are smarter now. You did it to yourself UAW. You don't even look out for members and just screwed over all the old GM retirees. VW keep them out and you'll be on my short list of cars to buy for life.
      Rambo
      • 3 Years Ago
      I really hope they don't.... UAW is one of the reasons why car companies don't even bother building plants in states like Michigan anymore...... they just suck...
      NightFlight
      • 3 Years Ago
      Bob King, you are an absolutely worthless individual. Keep the f-ing UAW out of that plant.
        MAX
        • 3 Years Ago
        @NightFlight
        Bob King is giant among men compared to Bob Corker.
          dukeisduke
          • 3 Years Ago
          @MAX
          More like a giant among pricks. The only thing he'll succeed at is speeding up the decline of the union.
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