In a big upset for big labor, auto workers at a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee voted against joining the United Auto Workers Union.
On Friday, plant workers in Chattanooga voted 712 to 626 against joining the union. The Volkswagen plant opened in 2007 and is the only one in the United States.
Fox News’ Bryan Llenas reported that UAW has yet to organize workers in the South and expand outside Detroit’s Big Three.
This was a big win for Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), who was critical in bringing Volkswagen to Chattanooga. He believes labor unions would push away auto manufacturers.
Before the vote, politicians threatened to cut off state incentives for the plant to expand if the union was approved. That created fear that Volkswagen would choose a Mexican plant over Chattanooga for a new mid-sized SUV it’s planning on building for the U.S. market.
UAW President Bob King said in a statement: “While we certainly would have liked a victory for workers here, we deeply respect the Volkswagen Global Group Works Council, Volkswagen management and IG Metall for doing their best to create a free and open atmosphere for workers to exercise their basic human right to form a union.”
Llenas reported that UAW will focus on Mercedes, BMW and Hyundai plants in the future.