FRANKFURT Oct 6 U.S. Senator Bob Corker, a
Tennessee Republican, has warned it would be one of Volkswagen
AG's "biggest mistakes" to allow the United Auto
Workers to represent workers at its Chattanooga, Tennessee,
In its Monday edition, German business newspaper
Handelsblatt quoted Corker as saying that while VW may be
working successfully with other unions across the globe, the UAW
would be the wrong partner.
"I think they are being very naïve to think that they can
bring the German model, embrace the UAW and think it's going to
be productive," Corker told the paper.
The senator has come out against any UAW influence over car
plants in the South because he gives the union part of the blame
for the demise of Detroit as the heart of U.S. auto production.
The UAW would like Volkswagen to voluntarily recognize the
U.S. union as the best choice to represent the German
automaker's workers at its Tennessee plant as it would give it
toehold in organizing foreign-owned automakers in the U.S.
Volkswagen labor leaders and workers at the Tennessee plant
are to meet this moth to discuss the possibility of the UAW
union representing them.
A win at VW would mark the UAW's first success at a major
foreign automaker's plant in the conservative South.
That could alter the landscape in the U.S. auto sector,
opening door to similar efforts at plants owned by Germany's
Mercedes in Alabama and BMW in South Carolina, and
possibly those owned by Japanese and South Korean automakers,
analysts have said.
VW executives have said they were in talks with the UAW
about the union's bid to represent workers.
In VW's home country of Germany, the IG Metall union has
seats on the company's supervisory board.