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Tennessee Governor Opposes Unionization at Volkswagen Plant in Chattanooga

"Governor opposes union protest"

Tennessee Governor Assesses Union at Chattanooga’s Volkswagen Plant as ‘Big Mistake’

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Governor Bill Lee of Tennessee has stated his second opposition against a proposed union at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga. At the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) office, he declared that it would be a “big mistake” for the Volkswagen plant to be unionized, indicating this would be detrimental for the workers there.

Workers Set to Vote for Unionization

The Tennessee Governor’s remarks arrive at the threshold of a significant vote scheduled for later in April where workers shall decide on whether to allow the United Auto Workers (UAW) Union to establish itself at Volkswagen. The Union’s proponents argue that Volkswagen does not sufficiently provide safety measures, adequate salaries, and benefits to its workers.

Governor’s Perspective on Unionization

Governor Lee firmly believes that it would be an error for the workers to relinquish their autonomy over their future to a negotiator. The Governor pointed to a trend of declining union representation across the country. “We’ve seen union decline in in many places all across this country for the last decades. And we’ve seen plants close that made the decision to go union,” Governor Lee warned. He emphasized that wages, work environment, and safety are certainly in the interest of every worker and encouraged them to retain control over these crucial matters.

Local Opposition to Unionization

This sentiment has been echoed by other local politicians, predominantly Republicans. A group led by Hamilton County Mayor, Weston Wamp, assembled last week near the Volkswagen plant to express their anti-unionization stance, resulting in raised ethical questions from pro-union Hamilton County Commissioners.

Unionization Vote and Response

The UAW plans to conduct the unionization votes across the 17th, 18th, and 19th April. Chattanooga’s Volkswagen plant remains the sole factory of Volkswagen globally where the workers are not yet unionized. Volkswagen stated previously, that it would support any decision by the workers.

In response to Governor’s comments, Isaac Meadows, an assembly worker at Volkswagen and volunteer organizing committee member, issued a statement insisting upon the self-determination of Volkswagen workers. “We’re working to form our union to build a more sustainable future for VW workers and our families. […] This is our decision, not a decision for people who do not work in the plant, and politicians are not going to tell us what to do.”

Updates on the Matter

As the crucial vote nears, HERE News Network will continually provide you with the most recent developments in this matter.

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