Volkswagen's Chattanooga Assembly Plant is scheduled to vote on whether to unionize in the coming days, but Tennessee state lawmakers are threatening to deny future tax subsidies to the factory, if the vote is successful. The factory is currently the only Volkswagen plant worldwide that is not unionized.

The states's Republican lawmakers have been particularly vocal against the union vote. Tennessee state senator Bo Watson said during a press conference that VW would have a "very tough time" with future incentives if the vote were successful, according to Automotive News. Tennessee House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick said the "heavy hand" of the UAW is not welcome there. VW has drawn criticism from both sides because it has allowed both pro- and anti-union groups to speak to workers and hand out leaflets.

Roughly 1,500 factory employees will vote on whether to unionize from February 12-14. If successful, the Chattanooga factory would be the first in the US organized under a German-style works council system where white- and blue-collar workers directly negotiate factory issues with the company's management.

VW has also been rumored to expand the Chattanooga plant to build the seven passenger CrossBlue SUV, which could add thousands of jobs to the area. However, if the union vote is successful, politicians may not subsidize the upgrade and force Volkswagen to build it in Mexico.


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  • 205 Comments
      icemilkcoffee
      • 10 Months Ago
      Wow. Republicans really hate to see regular people make a living wage.
        Mike Pulsifer
        • 10 Months Ago
        @icemilkcoffee
        The current employees already make a living wage and they didn't need a union to get it.
        brandon
        • 10 Months Ago
        @icemilkcoffee
        LMAO. Yeah, 19/hr + benefits isn't a living wage. :rollseyes: Heck, they shouldn't have been giving them subsidies to begin with, but more power to them if this is what it takes to get them to end the subs.
      Polly Prissy Pants
      • 10 Months Ago
      Funny how the Republicans always argue that the government needs to stop meddling and leave businesses alone, then are the first to offer corporate welfare and meddle in the affairs of businesses when it goes counter to their political agenda. It's no wonder the Republican party has become a punchline even to normal mainstream conservatives.
        Joe Liebig
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Polly Prissy Pants
        They are indeed the super hypocrites. I'd call their view Stalinist. So you can choose among Stalinists (GOP) and Socialists (DEM). Great perspective!
          A M
          • 10 Months Ago
          @Joe Liebig
          Here's a link to a definition of socialism, just in case you're curious. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialism "Socialism is an economic system characterised by social ownership of the means of production and co-operative management of the economy." We don't have socialism in this country. Stop listening to sound bites and start thinking for yourself.
          A M
          • 10 Months Ago
          @Joe Liebig
          Nice spin Brandon, but it won't fly. We're not a planned economy, and even if you want to stretch it to such, you'd have to included all presidents in the 20th century, not just Obama. Anyhow, it doesn't matter, the term "socialist" doesn't apply to anyone in our political spectrum. Feel free to split hairs.
          brandon
          • 10 Months Ago
          @Joe Liebig
          We have public/private partnerships, and quite a lot of public ownership in this country. So maybe you don't understand the definition. Also, the(local) government owns many of the utilities (water/sewer, some power, etc, not to mention public lands, roads....) So maybe you need a refresher on what it takes for the government to own something. Although, I prefer the term statist alittle more. Since it seems to encompass both parties a little better. Anything else you want to add?
          brandon
          • 10 Months Ago
          @Joe Liebig
          I don't have a "horse" in this race, so next time you think I am targeting a specific crowd, back up and punt.
          brandon
          • 10 Months Ago
          @Joe Liebig
          Jesus, I'm an anarchists, not a pubtard. So guess what, I DO include every president in the 20th century (or at least since probably Wilson, or T. Roosevelt). Although, you could probably count all the way back to Lincoln if you really wanted to based on the reconstruction. Also, the term socialist does loosely apply. I get you have a side, and you don't like it because the "faux" news of the worlds have made it is "buzzword", but it is true. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planned_economy#Relationship_with_socialist_economics
          brandon
          • 10 Months Ago
          @Joe Liebig
          Socialism is an economic system characterised by social ownership of the means of production and co-operative management of the economy.[1][2] "Social ownership" may refer to cooperative enterprises, common ownership, state ownership, citizen ownership of equity, *or any combination of these.* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialism
      Rob8
      • 10 Months Ago
      In today's Obama economy, they should be glad to just have a good job. It's not like they needed a college degree to get it.
        knightrider_6
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Rob8
        Yeah, bringing down unemployment from 10% to 6.6% is a bad thing. #ConservativeLogic
          Level4
          • 10 Months Ago
          @knightrider_6
          taking credit for 6.6% while unemployment goes down due to people continue to leave the workforce #LiberaltiveLogic
          brandon
          • 10 Months Ago
          @knightrider_6
          Dude, you are ignorant. A) that 6.6 figure is BS. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/65-unemployment-rate-doesnt-mean-a-thing-to-yellen-2014-02-11 That number is just a fictitious number created by the government to say "hey, see we are creating jobs". Even though the labor participation rates are at the lowest they have been in like 50 years. But keep believing the hype. Also, did you miss the part where we only "added" 100k jobs in Q4? Or how about the fact it took this idiot and the republitard congress 6 years to even come up with those make believe numbers. But yeah, you're right, 6.6% is awesome.......
          brandon
          • 10 Months Ago
          @knightrider_6
          The real numbers aren't hard to find, and they are touched on in the article I posted. So even though I'm not CAH, I can tell you that the numbers are complete BS to anyone that cares to find out. When labor participation is been steadily dropping for the last 8 years and unemployment with it, it's not hard to call BS.
          car-a-holic
          • 10 Months Ago
          @knightrider_6
          @graham Just look, do a search. BLS adjusted rates are rubbish statistical nonsense. They drop underemployed, those who gave up, and no longer qualify for unemployment. The BLS are fluffy number manipulators; for political benefit; WH loves em. http://usawatchdog.com/9-unemployment-rate-is-a-statistical-lie/ http://m.washingtonexaminer.com/wall-street-adviser-actual-unemployment-is-37.2-misery-index-worst-in-40-years/article/2542604 Forbes and other decent resources have articles too. You can't tell me several years ago when enemlloyment was at record lows (remember those 3-5% numbers they tossed around?) that now at 6% theres something not off??? Looking around I'd say somebody's lying.....
          Graham
          • 10 Months Ago
          @knightrider_6
          @car-a-holic You got better numbers? Please do share.
        Joe Liebig
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Rob8
        What are you trying to tell us? Getting rid of this stupid 'every dummy has to get a college degree' stupidity is actually a republican position. And a good one.
          Bradley Stevenson
          • 10 Months Ago
          @Joe Liebig
          As much as everyone would want to, I don't see this happening because everyone is already trained to get one
      tiguan2.0
      • 10 Months Ago
      So the line workers are voting for the right to get drunk on the job and have protection from being fired.
        Thunderbuck
        • 10 Months Ago
        @tiguan2.0
        1975 called. They want your outlook back. The UAW has actually been a big part of the SOLUTION for the last several years, taking over health care responsibilities from the manufacturers, (reluctantly) negotiating two-tier wage systems so that new workers start lower, and generally trying to be helpful. Believe it or not, the unions know that without a factory, there's no workers to represent.
        knightrider_6
        • 10 Months Ago
        @tiguan2.0
        No, the workers are voting for their right to get a living wage, health benefits, two weeks paid time off. Conservatives like to live a miserable life, but they shouldn't drag others down with them.
      Rob8
      • 10 Months Ago
      Unions are antiquated. There is already so much federal protection for workers that never existed before. All unions do is drive up the cost of the end product to the consumers. And people wonder why so many jobs are being lost to foreign markets...
        Blow Sarah Blow
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Rob8
        thats why walmart pays so well eh?
          Rob8
          • 10 Months Ago
          @Blow Sarah Blow
          What do you want them to pay? Most of those employees barely have a HS degree.
          mycommentemail
          • 10 Months Ago
          @Blow Sarah Blow
          I'd like for them to pay a living wage. That way my tax dollars aren't subsidizing the walton's billion dollar lifestyle while their workers are having to rely on public assistance just to eat after working a 40 hr week.
          brandon
          • 10 Months Ago
          @Blow Sarah Blow
          Rob, it doesn't help to reason with people like this. They are too stupid to realize what most of the rest of the world does. If you can't get a college degree, or work at a skilled trade, then why would you deserve 45/hr? It's the ignorants like this that are shipping their own jobs overseas, then they wonder what happened.
          brandon
          • 10 Months Ago
          @Blow Sarah Blow
          They do pay a living wage if you don't buy a big screen TV, 3 smartphones and have 3 children you can't support. Personally, I think walmart caters to the scum of the earth, which is why I don't shop there. But don't say they don't pay a "living wage". You can't rent a roof over your head, and put food on the table for the ~1200-1500 a month they pay. Not to mention, if that isn't enough, GET ANOTHER JOB. Or get an education. Quite frankly, the problem isn't walmart, it is the government continuing to give these lowlifes support they don't deserve. Learn to close your d@mn legs and stop wasting money on cable, internet, smartphones, big screen tv's etc. A "living wage" should pay for the necessities, and that amount of money does. Barely, but it does in most areas of the country.
        icemilkcoffee
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Rob8
        "All unions do is drive up the cost of the end product to the consumers." What about the CEOs who make 300X what the average worker makes? How come you conservatives never complain about CEO salaries driving up the cost of goods?
      knightrider_6
      • 10 Months Ago
      GOP should be banned from US. They have done nothing but divide the country, spread misinformation, infringe on human rights and ruin the economy.
        Level4
        • 10 Months Ago
        @knightrider_6
        You should move to greece I hear it's the liberals wet dream utopia
          knightrider_6
          • 10 Months Ago
          @Level4
          You should move to Sudan. I hear it's conservative's wet dream utopia.
        PTC DAWG
        • 10 Months Ago
        @knightrider_6
        Spoken like a true fan of The Republic.
          knightrider_6
          • 10 Months Ago
          @PTC DAWG
          I'm a fan of democracy which apparently doesn't suit GOP. That's why they are always trying to cheat in elections.
        tiguan2.0
        • 10 Months Ago
        @knightrider_6
        Knightrider_6, The democrats have made it possible to buy a house in Detroit for a buck. Have fun with your cheap housing.
          knightrider_6
          • 10 Months Ago
          @tiguan2.0
          Detroit looks like all the southern states. You know why? Michigan has GOP governor just like those southern states. Electing Republicans is a sure way to make your state look like Somalia.
          brandon
          • 10 Months Ago
          @tiguan2.0
          Nice strawman 3untwhistle. Serious question, is your IQ greater than your pant size? I have a hard time believing you if you say it is.
        brandon
        • 10 Months Ago
        @knightrider_6
        How about politicians be banned. That includes your precious democrats. If you are too stupid to realize that BOTH parties have sought to divide us then you don't deserve to vote. Quick question, are we a democracy?
      Blow Sarah Blow
      • 10 Months Ago
      to bad the republikkkans can't stand anyone to prosper but the 1%.
        MTU 5.0
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Blow Sarah Blow
        Considering the top 1% give more to Democrats, I guess they are doing it wrong. But keep thinking your little class warfare garbage is all the Republicans fault, and not the rich Democrats playing you like a fiddle.
      knightrider_6
      • 10 Months Ago
      The stupidity of GOP strikes again. Why did they give the incentives in the first place? $400 million to create mere 2000 jobs?
        tiguan2.0
        • 10 Months Ago
        @knightrider_6
        Agreed, pull back every cent. The City of Detroit should not be allowed to milk the workers in Tennessee PERIOD. Democrats strike again, trying to take money from the working people and give it to people sitting on their asses in a broken down Democrat city.
      Mike J
      • 10 Months Ago
      So TN politicians are saying if the UAW gets approval we will make VW take the jobs to Mexico, and then blame the UAW for the outsourcing. Only in America
      Car Guy
      • 10 Months Ago
      Bob King has publically stated it's the UAW's job to defeat Republicans in the upcoming election. The UAW has pitched themselves as a political organization, therefore, I see no problem with the tactics being used here.
        Car Guy
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Car Guy
        They are not going to move. It's political posturing all the way.
        Cayman
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Car Guy
        To me, if they are stating it's for purely political alliance reasons, that would actually make it worse. To say you are going to withdraw funding because that company or organization is against your own political party rather than because it's what's best for the people and economy of your state would be a gross misuse of power.
      Alfonso T. Alvarez
      • 10 Months Ago
      So, Tennessee is working to become the laughingstock of the world - last I looked we had a country where the politicians are supposed to represent those who elected them. Threatening their livelihood is simply ludicrous for an elected official - hopefully the voters of Tennessee will realize this and bounce these political thugs out of office. We have no room in the US for this type of political horse manure!!
      Diz
      • 10 Months Ago
      TN taxpayers rightly refuse to divert their hard-earned taxes to anything that resembles the UAW. Good for them.
        A M
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Diz
        Right, because a successful factory is bad for the economy.
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