| April 1
April 1 The United Auto Workers (UAW) on Tuesday
asked a U.S. agency to stay an April 21 hearing related to a
mid-February union vote it lost at a Tennessee Volkswagen plant,
citing what it called new evidence of collusion between
Republican lawmakers and anti-union groups.
The union was referring to a report aired on Nashville's
NewsChannel5 late on Monday that cited email exchanges between
anti-union groups, members of the staffs of Tennessee Gov. Bill
Haslam and U.S. Senator Bob Corker and other public officials.
According to the broadcast, the correspondence showed that
Haslam's administration offered $300 million in economic
incentives to help VW expand its operations in Chattanooga so
long as the plant did not unionize.
The parties also discussed anti-UAW messaging strategies in
the days leading up to the union vote, according to the report.
The UAW told the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in
its filing on Tuesday that the news report was further evidence
that outside groups were working on behalf of politicians who
oppose organized labor.
Tennessee Democrats called for a full investigation of the
Volkswagen financial incentives initiative, called "Project
Trinity", and questioned why the documents in the broadcast had
not been produced when legislators filed a request last
September for public documents related to the election.
Clint Brewer, assistant commissioner of the Tennessee
Department of Economic and Community Development, said in a
statement on Tuesday, "The offer did not preclude the creation
of a works council or union representation as a condition for
He said the incentive offer had been withdrawn in January
before the UAW filed for an election at the plant.
Last September, Rep. Mike Turner, head of the Democratic
Caucus in the Tennessee House, requested that Haslam release
documents of communication between the governor's office and VW
officials regarding incentives. At the time, the governor's
office said it would work to fulfill Turner's
On Tuesday, Turner asked the leader of the
Republican-controlled Tennessee house for an investigation into
the incentives issue.
Large auto plants in the United States generally receive
large tax breaks and other incentives from states where they are
(Reporting By Amanda Becker and Bernie Woodall; Editing by Toni