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President Barack Obama today waded into a high-stakes union vote at Volkswagen AG’s plant in Tennessee, accusing Republican politicians who oppose unionization of being more concerned about German shareholders than U.S. workers, according to Reuters.
Obama’s comments, made at a closed-door meeting of Democratic lawmakers in Maryland, came as the vote to allow union representation at the Chattanooga plant draws to a close at 8:30 p.m. today.
Obama’s interjection in the war of words today, albeit behind closed doors, underscored how much is at stake in the three-day vote by VW’s 1,550 hourly workers. The vote is due to end at 8:30 p.m. and the results could be announced soon after that.
Obama said everyone was in favor of the UAW representing Volkswagen except for local politicians who “are more concerned about German shareholders than American workers,” said a Democratic aide who attended the meeting with Democratic lawmakers in the House of Representatives, according to Reuters.
Over the past week, several Republican politicians from Tennessee have added their voices to the growing anti-union chorus, implying that further subsidies to attract additional VW investment in Chattanooga could be threatened by a UAW victory.
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