published Thursday, August 14th, 2014

Sen. Bob Corker: VW union talks clouded by misunderstandings

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., speaks to the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce in Lawrenceburg, Tenn., on Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014.
U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., speaks to the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce in Lawrenceburg, Tenn., on Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

LAWRENCEBURG, Tenn. — Republican Sen. Bob Corker says Tennessee's discussions about the role of organized labor at Volkswagen's plant in Chattanooga were clouded by misunderstandings.

But the Republican insisted in a chamber of commerce speech in Lawrenceburg on Wednesday that there was "no way" the German automaker would have made last month's $600 million expansion announcement had the United Auto Workers prevailed in a union vote at the plant in February.

Corker, a former Chattanooga mayor, acknowledged that he created some "hard feelings" over his strong opposition to the UAW, but he stressed that the company had never given the impression it would accept a unionized work force when it decided to locate the plant in Tennessee.

The UAW hopes to get Volkswagen to recognize the union without a new vote.

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