Mar 21 2013
11:19 am

Yesterday, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported that VW wanted to set up a "a European-style works council to represent employees." To comply with U.S. labor laws, VW reached out to the UAW to involve them in organizing the council. Repeat, VW reached out to the UAW and invited them in for talks.

Today, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reports that Gov. Haslam says VW doesn't need a union and workers there are happy with the situation the way it is. He also said "Volkswagen continues to be incredibly successful with the current structure."

I imagine executives at the VW world headquarters in Wolfsburg Germany were surprised to learn that Haslam has taken over executive management of their Chattanooga facility.

bizgrrl's picture

Haslam's words should be

Haslam's words should be emphasized. I can not believe he is speaking out on this issue in this manner. I had much stronger words when I read this article. I cannot believe he said this.

R. Neal's picture

So, to summarize, WTF?

So, to summarize, WTF?

WhitesCreek's picture

Apparently he has his orders

Apparently he has his orders and is being a good German Conservative.

(I hope folks younger than me get this and aren't offended)

fischbobber's picture


Governor Haslam has been a failure at virtually everything he's attempted in the private sector, yet he sees fit to tell one the the most successful organizations in the world how to operate.

cafkia's picture

Governor Haslam has been a

Governor Haslam has been a failure at virtually everything he's attempted in the private sector, yet he sees fit to tell one the the most successful organizations in the world how to operate.

QFT (although I freely acknowledge that he was not the worst mayor we have had)

Actually, imagine you are a big mucky muck at VW and that dumbassed guns in trunks law has been forced on you. What might you do to assert your corporate independence and gain a small measure of revenge. Well, you could seek to establish a UAW presence in a state with a bass ackwards, snake handler for a governor (and the majority of the rest of the state level politicians too).

This might just be an intentional implementation of the Law of Unintended Consequences.

Greg H's picture

Works Council required & Union "Normal" in Germany

VW management is doubtless very comfortable working with unions and has lots of experience in Germany (where this is completely normal - and a works council is a legal requirement). Haslam just wants to keep the UAW from gaining any new members in TN, since that will likely mean contributions for more labor-friendly Democrats.

Sandy Lusk 's picture

Inviting UAW into Volkswagen

was the best news I heard yesterday. Haslam should stay out of it.

Sarge's picture

Well, he did sign the HCP

Well, he did sign the HCP guns in parking lots to VW's dismay, my guess is now he is feeling full of himself.

redmondkr's picture

How did Volkswagen manage to

How did Volkswagen manage to built a vehicle before they had the advice of Opie and Shorty Corker?

Average Guy's picture

Note to Gov Haslam:

We are in a global economy. Be a good host.

That, and Smyrna would be automotively dead if not for a Democratic President.

This State's auto producers don't need your help.

Stick to what you know. Like Slim Jim's, gas and irresponsible legislation.

AnonymousOne's picture

"Like Slim Jim's, gas"

"Like Slim Jim's, gas"


More like beer, cigs, and lottery tickets.

R. Neal's picture

Not sure if Big Jim ever

Not sure if Big Jim ever trusted him to even run that. Which is probably why the family decided the best place for him was politics.

AnonymousOne's picture

What I find infuriating, even

What I find infuriating, even as, or especially as a semi-libertarian/ economic common sense conservative is that I don't think he is even thinking about what is best for the Tennesseans working at VW, or VW itself. He is only thinking what will play well in the primaries. If VW wants to talk with a union, a monk, or a witch doctor, let them. Haslam couldn't be sending any worse of a message to any more potential companies looking at Tennessee.

Mary Wilson's picture

Yeah, ole Corker tried to sell our 'right to work' mess

When VW first opened down there, Corker worked hard to tell them that their employees did not need a union and he was quickly informed by VW that their policy was to let their employees decide.

And there is bound to be a list of all the international companies that decided they would NOT locate in our hate-filled, guns everywhere, anti-workers policies. VW really appreciates their quality, well-trained, experienced workers. They provide excellent pay and benefits; this is how they keep their workers.

I wonder what Pilot Oil/Flying J employment policies are...somebody ought to check 'em out...especially since Haslam promoted the latest workers' comp law we are getting out of the Legislature.

F-Stop's picture


Diane's picture


Actually I wrote a comment to KNS about this when VW opened the plant stating that Bob Corker didn't think anyone in Tennessee was deserving of such high wages that the UAW helps to provide, not to mention pension plans which I am proud to say I am a part of one ! Bob maybe you and Haslam need to get down and dirty and do some of the work you pay poorly for others doing !

fischbobber's picture

Good for you! Good for us!

I wish more people would recognize their civic duty and stand up for what's right. Maybe if we all stood together as one, we could see some results in this state.

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