published Friday, September 6th, 2013

Gov. Haslam: UAW's Chattanooga efforts hurt business recruitment (with video)

Gov. Haslam worried about UAW's effect on future state recruitment efforts
During a Times Free Press editorial board meeting, Gov. Bill Haslam, R-Tenn., spoke about his concern over United Auto Workers unionization efforts at Chattanooga's Volkswagen plant and the potential adverse effects that could have on Tennessee's efforts to recruit industry.
  • photo
    Gov. Bill Haslam speaks at Volkswagen Chattanooga in this file photo.
    Photo by Doug Strickland /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said today that business recruitment to the state is being hindered by the United Auto Workers' organizing efforts at Chattanooga's Volkswagen plant.

"I've had several folks recently say that if the UAW comes, that would dampen our enthusiasm for Tennessee," the governor said in remarks to Times Free Press reporters and editors. "They feel like 'We're looking at Tennessee because it's a right to work state.'"

Haslam said he also has talked with VW officials in Chattanooga and in Germany, who tell him that the works council labor board under consideration at the local assembly plant should not be "an ultimate concern."

But, he said, state officials have been clear with VW that its works councils and Tennessee's history with the UAW "we feel like are two very different things."

VW and UAW said this week they're continuing to talk about a collaborative German-style works council set up. Each have said that it will be up to the workers to decide if they want the labor board and for the UAW to represent them.

See more in Saturday's Times Free Press.

about Mike Pare...

Mike Pare, the deputy Business editor at the Chattanooga Times Free Press, has worked at the paper for 27 years. In addition to editing, Mike also writes Business stories and covers Volkswagen, economic development and manufacturing in Chattanooga and the surrounding area. In the past he also has covered higher education. Mike, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., received a bachelor’s degree in communications from Florida Atlantic University. he worked at the Rome News-Tribune before ...

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