Did Bob Corker serve his VW constituents or ideology at all cost?
It is no joke when one is coerced to vote against one’s own interest. Yet that is exactly what seemed to have happened in Tennessee. When it seemed that Volkswagen voters would vote to unionize, leaders in their state along with outside groups misled them.
Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) told Tennesseans that Volkswagen officials assured him that a mid-size SUV would be built in Chattanooga if VW employees voted against the union. Tennessee State Senate Speaker Pro Tem Bo Watson told the media that additional incentives would have a hard time passing the Tennessee Senate if they voted to unionize.
Well, here is the result of politicians misleading their constituents. Here is the result when one is clouded by ideology. Reuters reports the following.
Chattanooga is VW’s only factory in the U.S. and one of the company’s few in the world without a works council.
“I can imagine fairly well that another VW factory in the United States, provided that one more should still be set up there, does not necessarily have to be assigned to the south again,” said Bernd Osterloh, head of VW’s works council.
“If co-determination isn’t guaranteed in the first place, we as workers will hardly be able to vote in favor” of potentially building another plant in the U.S. south, Osterloh, who is also on VW’s supervisory board, said.
The 20-member panel – evenly split between labor and management – has to approve any decision on closing plants or building new ones.
Osterloh’s comments were published on Wednesday in German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung. A spokesman at the Wolfsburg-based works council confirmed the remarks.
“The conservatives stirred up massive, anti-union sentiments,” Osterloh said. “It’s possible that the conclusion will be drawn that this interference amounted to unfair labor praxis.”
Will these politicians pay the price for putting potential jobs at risk? Will the traditional media pick up this story and frame it the way it should be framed? This is government encroaching on free enterprise for ideological reasons. It is our duty to ensure stories like these are made aware to all to inoculate us from reoccurrence.
(h/t Huffington Post)
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This is precisely what these new teaparty/republicans want. To force all the good paying jobs out of the United States so that all that is left are menial jobs that the citizens will be happy to get no matter how low paying the job is. It will allow them and their true constituents, (the ultra rich and corporate bigwigs) to make a ton of money by producing their goods in third world countries while selling them here to a population that is willing to mortgage their souls to get goods and products they do not really need. At the same time they will use taxes and other means to increase the cost of food so that everyone has to work umpteen hours just to get enough money scraped together for dinner. Don’t believe me? look at history, look at how businesses and corporations have acted before there was someone to hold them accountable for their actions. Look at how they operate in countries where labor laws are for the most part non existent. Then tell me again how the Unions are not needed. The problem is that no one will, because if they do their entire mindset will be changed. You people who are so against unions need to stop drinking the corporate kool aid and start thinking for your selves. Are unions perfect? No. But they offer, at the least, a stop gap for corporate greed. They give the working class a voice they would not otherwise have. You need to ask yourselves why would multi- billion dollar businesses be spending so much money to keep their workers from unionizing if there were not a profit to be made by this. It is not because they have big hearts and do not want their employees paying unnecessary dues, its because every dollar they save on their payroll, every dollar they save b making the worker pay for insurance, every dollar they save by not having to contribute money to a pension, is money that goes to the bottom line. The corporate machine has convinced the average american that he is independent and needs nothing but his own hard work and sweat to get by. What they don’t tell you, and what you don’t pay attention to because you have worked yourself into exhaustion, is that the price for that independence is that you will have to work up until the day you drop dead at your workstation. Which is exactly what corporate leaders want. If you are too busy working to think for yourself then you will not question anything anyone says. I am not asking that everyone join a union, I am asking that you spend some quiet time alone, let everything you have heard from outside sources float away and think abut your situation, about your children’s situation if you have any. And ask yourself if you are truly in a good situation, ask yourself if the corporate machine is really looking out for your best interests. Look at the prices of groceries, and gas, and then at the size of your check. Ask yourself, has my earnings gone up because of my bosses generosity, or is it because I am working twice as many hours just to get the same things? You may be surprised at the answer you get.
Very well said Mel.
I actually wrote a letter to VW a week or two ago when I first heard that the VW plant was most likely going to turn down unionization. I asked them simply to consider New England for their next plant. I know that in my area, the jobs would be more than welcomed and the workers would love to be in a union.
What’s stopping VW from implementing “worker councils” here, just… not calling them “unions”? I think it would be amazing if VW implemented informal workforce partnerships both outside traditional Union structures, and against the wishes of the Economic Devastators.
I’m sure there are, in fact, laws stopping them from doing so; that’s the American way. But I’d like to know more about those laws.
Sign the petition to investigate US Senator Bob Corker on charges of violating U.S. Code § 12203 – Prohibition against coercion in Tennessee.