The ongoing scrutiny over employees at Volkswagen's Chattanooga plant voting on whether to join the United Auto Workers isn't over yet, despite the fact that the organization drive was turned back by workers weeks ago. In the latest development, WTVF-TV in Nashville has received leaked documents alleging that the government of Tennessee offered the German automaker financial incentives partially linked to denying unionization at the plant. The government reportedly later retracted the proposed money.
The alleged document, titled Project Trinity, is dated August 23, 2013, and it offers Volkswagen $300 million in exchange for "creating 1,350 new full-time jobs and bringing a new full-size SUV line to Chattanooga before the end of 2016." Presumably, this would be the production version of the CrossBlue concept. However, it also says: "The incentives described below are subject to works council discussions between the State of Tennessee and VW being concluded to the satisfaction of the State of Tennessee." In January 2014, the state rescinded the incentive deal to the automaker.
The government isn't denying that the deal was proposed. A spokesperson from the Department of Economic and Community Development told NewsChannel 5, "The offer did not preclude the creation of a works council or union representation as a condition of the incentives."
The new documents also may implicate US Senator Bob Corker from Tennessee (pictured above). NewsChannel 5 has emails allegedly from Senator Corker's chief of staff to anti-union groups that were shared with the members of Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam's administration who were in charge of the VW incentives. Corker was among the most vocal opponents to unionization, and he even claimed that he had received assurances from VW that if workers voted down the UAW, then the plant would receive the new crossover.
The news channel has published all of the leaked documents it on its website. Scroll down to watch the station's report on the paperwork and interview with Corker.