Southern Automakers Unions

Certainly, nobody wants to be known as a "laughingstock in the business world." But that's just what Volkswagen would be if it entered into an agreement with the United Auto Workers union, allowing its workers in Chattanooga, TN to organize a German-style works council that would represent both white- and blue-collar workers... at least according to US Senator Bob Corker (R-TN). That's Sen. Corker above left, for those wondering.

Not so, counters the UAW, which said through Regional Director Gary Casteel that Corker's views are "spoken from a position of ignorance." Casteel, who is based in Tennessee and who can be seen above right, further suggested that the UAW was more than happy to meet with Corker to discuss his anti-UAW stance. The UAW also notes that Volkswagen employees at every single plant it operates, except the one in Tennessee, belong to a union.

Volkswagen officials have sent a letter to employees in Chattanooga explaining that a vote may take place on whether or not to accept inclusion into the UAW – a letter that Corker claims top brass at the US plant were coerced into signing – and the automaker says the final decision on whether to unionize the plant will be made by the workers. No date for a vote has yet been set.