Obama weighs in on contentious union vote at Volkswagen plant

Comments (99)
wickedjones wrote:

I bet Volkwagen in Gemany is union. Can you tell the Republican Senator that Slavery was outlawed years ago. How bout let the prisoners build cars for 10 cents an hour.

Feb 14, 2014 12:57pm EST  --  Report as abuse
TheRightThing wrote:

@USAPragmatist2 – The workers at this plant are very well paid and have substantial benefits, safe workplaces and all without unions. Bringing the UAW in would not be beneficial to the workers, to VW or to the State of Tennessee. It would benefit only the UAW. This is a reason why the UAW hasn’t made headway into the southern auto factories.

While private sector unions are an arrangement between the workers and the corporations that employ them, which is ok, there is also the public sector union, which is one of the most corrupt arrangements in the history of the US. They have outlived their usefulness and are obsolete.

Anyone interested in how bad public unions are should read the book “Shadowbosses.”

Feb 14, 2014 1:06pm EST  --  Report as abuse
groomer wrote:

Whatever the outcome it is important that the employees are being allowed to decide for themselves. Of course they have to make that decision while ignoring the pro and con noise directed at them. We will soon know the result.

Feb 14, 2014 1:14pm EST  --  Report as abuse
spj3k54 wrote:

Republican Senators vowing to remove subsidies. While VW is allowing a vote which is a right in this country. Who are the thugs?

Feb 14, 2014 1:14pm EST  --  Report as abuse
BioStudies wrote:

If the UAW becomes part of VW then I will have to reconsider buying another VW when mine dies in 10 years. The UAW is synonymous with crappy, overpriced cars.

This will be the death of VW unless they get a government bail out.

Feb 14, 2014 1:21pm EST  --  Report as abuse
groomer wrote:

TheRightThing states that the workers at the plant are very well paid and etc all without without a union. Well it sort depends upon what your definition of well paid might be. A year os so back Aerotek, Volkswagen’s labor contractor was hiring new production workers at$12.00 per hour. These were temporary contractor production workers, not be confused with full time company employees.

When the plant opened the made headlines as the first US auto assemply plant to pay its entire production workforce the lowest startng wage for a new US autoworkers–$14.50 per hour. I understand since that published it has risen to just over $15.00 per hour. It would be informative if a member of that auto plants working force could pitch in with some inside information.

Feb 14, 2014 1:28pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Overcast451 wrote:

Anymore.. a Union is just one corporation that leeches off the back of another corporation.

Perhaps at one time they were good for the working people, but not now. Now they are just good for Union leaders and politicians.

Feb 14, 2014 1:36pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Ciao wrote:

So when the foreign car makers see union involvement dramatically increase the costs of producing a car, no one will complain when they then choose to move their manufacturing facilities overseas, right?

Feb 14, 2014 1:57pm EST  --  Report as abuse
sabrefencer wrote:

hey mr obama…do your own job..let democracy, in the business world work, without your interference…or do you think, you need to show unions, some results, for all the monies they paid into your campaigns……..wink!

Feb 14, 2014 2:43pm EST  --  Report as abuse
JamVee wrote:

I truly wish some enterprising journalist would research and publish a piece that compares the Unions in Germany to the unions in the US. I would be very interested in knowing how they compare or differ.

Feb 14, 2014 2:47pm EST  --  Report as abuse
REUT-ON wrote:

Great railroads had union names like Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, Pacific, Oregon, Maryland, Massachusetts and two from Tenesessee, Memphis and Chattanooga.

The Chattanooga Choo Choo by Glenn Miller was the first gold record. So what’s the big deal if Chattanooga gets a union name on an auto plant as another first?

Feb 14, 2014 2:59pm EST  --  Report as abuse
JCM-51A wrote:

Obama determined to push more American jobs to Mexico.

Feb 14, 2014 3:07pm EST  --  Report as abuse
diluded0000 wrote:

I would be surprised if this vote passes. Southerner’s are smarter than their currently unemployed Flint Michigan yankee brethren. Chuck2 can mouth off about how socially backward Tennessee is, but given a choice of where to live, Tennessee would be in the top five. It is a nice place full of good people, which is more than I can say about the more union-centric states. And given that if you list a union plant on your work history, your application goes to the bottom of the pile, I just don’t see this vote panning out for the UAW.

Feb 14, 2014 3:15pm EST  --  Report as abuse
cirrus7 wrote:

No Obama is completely wrong. The German shareholders WANT the UAW vote to succeed, because VW management wants it. Volkswagen plants have Work Councils of management and workers. That requires the workers be represented by a union.

Once again, the UAW wants the union, VW of America wants the union, German shareholders want the union, all to work on quality issues.
CAn anyone imagine the new union asking for much. Maybe benefits kicking in for new hires, that would attract people.

Feb 14, 2014 3:22pm EST  --  Report as abuse
343434 wrote:

Obama’s opinion goes on deaf ears now.

Feb 14, 2014 3:25pm EST  --  Report as abuse
343434 wrote:

Obama’s opinion goes on deaf ears now.

Feb 14, 2014 3:25pm EST  --  Report as abuse
southsider1 wrote:

VW should move their plant to another state that is Union friendly. Really stick it to those Red politicians.

Feb 14, 2014 3:35pm EST  --  Report as abuse
smithrl5 wrote:

Southern Politicians, same old slave owners they always were. But now it is all laborer’s they want to own.

Feb 14, 2014 3:38pm EST  --  Report as abuse
mjayp1 wrote:

Correct me if I am wrong, according to you the UAW is not responsible for negotiating the pension that single handedly destroyed GM and caused the financial crisis in Detroit. Is that the price of doing business in the US?

Feb 14, 2014 3:39pm EST  --  Report as abuse
andyoo wrote:

I am sorry to burst your bubble, but at this day and age,
union worksers in auto industry and postal office and airline are mostly over paid compare to everyone else, dragging the industry going down the toilet.
How much are these auto workers made for assembling car parts?
really? more than a college grad I would say.

Feb 14, 2014 3:41pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Art16 wrote:

What is little Junior High Obama doing messing with local union voting on things that are really none of his business in the first place? If this man is not a political wordsmith terrorist, it is impossible to explain or understand his misuse of the office to which he was elected. Using the color of his office to influence a local union voting process is dragging the Office of the President of the United States down into disrespectful mud puddles.

Feb 14, 2014 3:42pm EST  --  Report as abuse

Obama is on the team opposing the U.S.

Feb 14, 2014 3:42pm EST  --  Report as abuse
TheRightThing wrote:

It is far more complicated than that Mr. President, thought you would have learned that lesson by now, remember the ACA? Since you have a very narrow view of an important issue and your desired result would be bad for the country, please just keep it zipped.

Feb 14, 2014 3:44pm EST  --  Report as abuse

I am a retired union worker and I can tell you what will happen IF the workers at VW vote in the UAW.
The International UAW will set up a group of people from the plant (who have been working for this change) to run the local union. There will have to be a President/Chairman of the Bargaining Committee, union stewards, alternate union stewards, health and safety reps, training reps, skilled trades reps and alternates, a local union hall complete with secretaries, maintenance staff etc. This will ALL be paid for via union dues from the employees who will now be charged directly out of their paychecks and VW during contract negotiations, (with a threat to strike if they don’t comply) to support all of this. The local union will be governed by the International Union who will get a big chunk of those dues dollars.
The workers will then have a “voice” in their daily work or as they will discover, they will be able to find “legal” ways via their union contracts to get out of work, attendance at work, etc. With their new union “lawyers” representing them there will be a culture shift in the workers attitudes. The words “I don’t have to, call my union man!” will ring daily through the plants.
VW will eventually, if they haven’t already- and I suspect they have, start to invest in plants elsewhere and eventually move the work and shutter the plants and in time they will look like Generous Motors, Ford and Chrysler. They will be a fraction of what they were in the decades before in this country. All Mr. King cares about is keeping the dues money flowing into his Big Business. Are unions a bad thing today? Well from my experience they remind me of an obese person who continues to stuff theirselves with food and can’t figure out what the problem is. Hey TN VW workers….your ONLY real job security is your ability to get up and go to work each day!
Good luck.

Feb 14, 2014 3:45pm EST  --  Report as abuse
WildIndian wrote:

See how they lie so bad, and no accountability. As someone told me today, there Hack’s.

Feb 14, 2014 3:49pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Ph8drus wrote:

Unions can be good, but often are not. My union, for example, spends a lot of resources lobbying for specific candidates – only democrat candidates. They claim to speak for me in lobbying efforts in DC, but never actually poll membership to determine how to lobby. Generally, unions are as oblivious as politicians. Unions will bankrupt an industry to make a point – leaving members jobless. Ask the folks at Hostess how the baker’s union worked out. Or in the airline industry, “The airline lost a billion dollars last year…..hmmmm….lets demand higher wages, better retirement and benefits.” Same with the auto industry – people never stopped buying cars, the pensions break them. They have a good thing going in TN, now bring in a union to help screw it up.

Feb 14, 2014 3:51pm EST  --  Report as abuse
raptor666 wrote:

so… the liar-in-chief… is telling us everyone…except the local Tennessee politicians …supports a union… well…who was it that said…if you like your plan…you keep your plan… yep…same thing on this subject…

Feb 14, 2014 3:58pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Mylena wrote:

With all my respect for the Union and authorities. This is a construction car company, that is not new, they do not need rules here to survive!!!!!!

Feb 14, 2014 4:21pm EST  --  Report as abuse
rwflournoy wrote:

Unions are about power, and power always, ALWAYS, corrupts. The choice at hand is whether or not Chattanooga begins the long slow decline into the heart break that is Detroit, or remain the strong, vibrant, clean, safe city that fiscally responsible conservative leadership has given it. Fat cat union bosses in their worker paid for yachts on the Tennessee River is a nauseating vision.

Feb 14, 2014 4:22pm EST  --  Report as abuse
John2244 wrote:

Nothing wrong with unions – whats wrong is politics, mafia, kickbacks and corruption. The UAW has many positive roles but it has crony leadership. Many American unions have the same problem – they just don’t seem to work here. And organized workers didn’t work in the USSR.

But I was lucky enough to do an internship in Germany and experienced IG Metal. This was a union that represented the workers. Made sure they were paid well but thought long term and worked with companies to downsize over a decade versus a quarter. It all seems to work there. Southern Germany is almost 100% unionized and the cars produced there are high quality and high profit. So obviously unions can work – in theory.

Feb 14, 2014 4:42pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Sensibility wrote:

Looking forward to the day when all unions are gone, and the workers are able to practice the rights guaranteed to them by the US Constitution. Mr. Obama, as with so many things, you are on the wrong side of history. Today, the workers will speak for themselves. Tomorrow, the UAW will be gone.

Feb 14, 2014 4:56pm EST  --  Report as abuse
puchurro wrote:

UNIONS ARE FOR FAT LAZY people who cannot keep their job by competing. The rest of us don’t have unions and we’re fine. Unions are for liberals who want someone to guarantee their job and over pay them, and give benefits that no one else has.

Feb 14, 2014 4:56pm EST  --  Report as abuse
willich6 wrote:

guys just to be clear, let’s not forget – The UAW bankrupted GM and Chrysler..
Throughout early american history unions were good to the working man providing them bargaining power and protective work rules for safety. But then they began to pervert their power of representation;
- into work rules and demands that had nothing to do with safety and everything to do with ‘featherbedding’ and control;
- to stiffle development and new cost efficiencies if it cost union jobs;
- to wage increases even though the companies were losing money and market share;
- to political payoffs and deals with organized crime;
Today the UAW is unconcerned about the working man and more concerned about their own power… This is just a power grab – and the VW employees know it and will reject them…

Feb 14, 2014 4:56pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Randy549 wrote:

The lefty/Obama lovers like USAPragmatist2 are entertaining, period.

Seriously, “VW” has not said that the two issues are unrelated. A local manager at the VW plant in Chattanooga has said they are. Big difference. It is, maybe, just possible that Corker has talked with some of the people at VW corporate back in Germany, no?

Feb 14, 2014 4:58pm EST  --  Report as abuse
TheNewWorld wrote:

Personally I am not pro union. I can bargain for my pay and benefits by myself. I do not need representation. With that said the Republicans and the President should keep their mouth shut. This is for the workers in the plant to decide, not anyone else.

Feb 14, 2014 4:59pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Dan56 wrote:

So being union and deciding where to put your assembly line have nothing to do with each other?? So I guess VW thinks its cost structure will just be the same with the UAW as without?? The cost structure of the plant labor and benefits are about half what Detroit has. So does the UAW want to bring costs at GM down or costs at VW UP so their is parity??

Feb 14, 2014 5:05pm EST  --  Report as abuse
SanPa wrote:

@USAPragmatist – The right opposes unions for a single and simple reason … donations to their opposition.

In some cases e.e.g teacher unions, the organization less focussed on employee representation, and work more like campaign centers for Democrats.

I write this as an observation, and not in judgement of union
backed actions. But, it is precisely because unions usually throw 100% backing toward Democrats that Republicans and their shock job minions have painted big red bullseyes on unions and their members.

Feb 14, 2014 5:13pm EST  --  Report as abuse
ronMc wrote:

Not to ruin the UAW love-fest by people who don’t know what they are talking about, but let me shed a little light on the matter. I worked for Chrysler in the mid-60s, as had my Dad for two decades. UAW members routinely sabotaged car parts, proudly stating that they were ‘sticking it to the man.’ I once got in trouble for producing well over the ‘production limit’ set by the UAW for the machine I’d just been assigned to operate. Not being familiar with the ‘limit’ (upposedly more than anyone could ever produce in eight hours), I’d exceeded it in less than two hours of steady unrushed, effort. When I complained to my Dad about the sabotage and gross underproduction, he’d reply that it was the UAW agaisnt the bosses, and UAW members had to stick together; he assured me that it didn’t matter that UAW practices grossly decreased car quality while increasing prices, “because the UAW did the same thing at GM and Ford”. I replied that the UAW better hope that foreign car manufacturers never started competing in the US, or all ‘Big Three’ members would go bankrupt.

A few decades later, that nearly happened. The near-demise of the ‘big Three’ US auto manufacturers had nothing to do with unfair foreign competition, and everything to do with the UAW’s stupid practices. Now we see the UAW’s new strategy: unionize the foreign manufacturers so that, once again, American consumers have no choice but to buy cars with far too many defects and far too high a cost. The UAW doesn’t seek to fairly represent workers; it is a plague that nearly ruined the US auto industry, and now it is demanding to chance to do so agian. Wake up, people, and erase your romantic notions about the UAW; the truth is far uglier and far more dangerous.

Feb 14, 2014 5:15pm EST  --  Report as abuse
actnow wrote:

I live in Illinois and can tell you what will happen if the UAW begins to take hold in the South. Millions more jobs going to Mexico or elsewhere. This is the reality. If this President cared about jobs, he wouldn’t be pushing the anything goes Senate amnesty bill (S744) that adds 30 million new people to our population and keeps Americans on unemployment or underemployed. He is a complete fraud.

Feb 14, 2014 5:22pm EST  --  Report as abuse
actnow wrote:

BTW…Corker supported S744…..the destruction of the American worker immigration bill too. Politicians on both sides of the isle seem to think they can gain benefit from the destruction of American workers. Hopefully, they will be the next ones in the unemployment line. If you want to help stop this nightmare, check out the largest grass roots opposition movement in the nation at numbersusa.com. Talk is cheap, but action matters.

Feb 14, 2014 5:26pm EST  --  Report as abuse
ExDemocrat wrote:

President Obama can’t ever get anything right on the economy. Why would anyone wish the deadly embrace of the UAW on any auto maker? The president is being extremely irresponsible by promoting such an organization, in that UAW victories raise costs for private companies, and thus hurt investment and employment. Instead of once again discouraging private investment in the U.S., he should be promoting it. Helping the UAW is the opposite of furthering a pro-growth, pro- private investment, and pro-employment agenda for the U.S.

Feb 14, 2014 5:40pm EST  --  Report as abuse
WhyMeLord wrote:

Our infamous GOP/NRA/TEA party goons are deep n the pockets of VW.
They will do just about anything to keep the cash and bribes flowing.
What business is it of theirs how the rank and file vote anyway?
They can’t manage their own lives, let alone those of auto workers.

Feb 14, 2014 6:04pm EST  --  Report as abuse
crod526 wrote:

Follow the money on who is funding the anti union campaign here and you will find the super rich Koch brothers. Sadly many Americans are willing to vote against their best interest just to follow party lines.

Feb 14, 2014 6:13pm EST  --  Report as abuse
tomkat111149 wrote:

How soon we Americans forget.Forty hour work weeks,health insurance, overtime, retirement, ban on child labor sweatshops etc. were all fought for and obtained by union men and women on the picket line. Companies did not voluntarily give these to employees.

Feb 14, 2014 6:32pm EST  --  Report as abuse
SunnyDaySam wrote:

So, evidently to Corker, ‘true and factual’ = Outright Lie
Who votes for a guy like this??

Feb 14, 2014 6:33pm EST  --  Report as abuse
SunnyDaySam wrote:

You nailed it, crod526

Feb 14, 2014 6:35pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Capataz wrote:

to your question in comparison. It’s a lot different. Mainly all bigger companys 100 workers plus are part of a union or form one. Anyone can join it thought if you desire. That’s why the IG Metal is the biggest union in the world. It has normaly a fee IG Metal for example 8.99€ or so. But for that you benefit for example free lawyer assistance and so on you choose the lawyer thought.
But it starts with companys of 100 people, from there on they choose “Betriebsrats” member. These kind of represent you and can’t be layed off for 5 years no matter what. They don’t get extra pay nor stop there normal work they just get a extra task. From that point on the “Betriebsrat” can and must be informed reguarding layoffs or hiring, as well if someone does overtime. If overtime gets to extensive the company finds itself infront court due to you are not a work slave. In the big companys like VW unions are standard in that case as well IG Metal and they have positions up to Management. They make sure working standards are always up top notch and if the company makes nice profits every worker will get a cut. (has to do with german law, since a company has the responsiblity first twoarts workers and country and last shareholders). As example every worker from cleaner to what ever recieved the last years at VW in Germany a bonus payment of around 15.000$.(http://www.focus.de/finanzen/news/autoboom-7500-euro-rekordbonus-fuer-vw-mitarbeiter_aid_721895.html) Same does Daimler, BMW and so on they payed out between 8.000$ to 12.000$ to each worker as bonus due to good profit years. Martin Winterkorn (CEO of VW) said by himself he wont get a payraise due to the german public sees his pay now already to high (30m euro).
Unions don’t destroy companys, they don’t even get profit cuts in germany they just represent workers, in reguard of safety at work places to payraises. And it’ not always a payraise during the ression the pay didnt went up at all. But it gives the workers as well some voice and power. Take for example when GM first time wanted to close Opel in Bochum Germany, IG Metal called for strike so the workers did, it made its round and without being asked all workers from Daimler, BMW, VW to steel mills put there work down the country was standing still. That’s the power they have in Germany compared you can stop the hole country if they want to, but they do it in a balance not for profits, they do it for company and worker as well country. Thats as well why ceo’s in avarage only earn 25x what his lowest worker will earn, every worker has 24d minimum payed vecation, 6 monthes full sick pay, vecation bonus and xmas bonus and specific layoff protection, but thats given by country law’s already not just union. It goes hand in hand in these parts. Same as if work demand goes down, but in near future is upturn to be seen the company will go into so called “kurzarbeit” (shortwork) workers will have by far less then 40h per week but will recieve full pay, backed by govenment payments, so you dont pull money away from the economy that profits from these workers spending and saves the company the rehiring of self educated workers since 99% of these workers in any company will get schooled by them for that job between 2,5 to 3 years before they are even allowed to call themself worker with titel xyz. You can’t compare it really 1-1 due to there are a lot more law’s in place that help the worker, but as well the company. Take for example Microsoft, comcast, google and so on in germany these companys would long be splitt up due to they have build a monopoly. German Telekom did so, so the govenment forced them to sell there kabel TV branch to 5 different companys to start competition and so it did, i consider 50Mbit internet for more then $30 as rip off, before it was done you had a lot less speed for a lot more money and 50Mbit is often the slowest connection you can pick.

Feb 14, 2014 6:37pm EST  --  Report as abuse
diluded0000 wrote:

USAprag, what am I deluded about again? Go google “map of union membership”, and you can see all the fine states in the southeast showing sub 5%, and all those nasty yankee states, and the west coast, upwards of 15%. I call triple the rate union-centric. I’ve visited every one of those states, and based on my anecdotal observations, the rate of union membership seems to track the rate of rude people and nasty places to live.

Jobs at VW aren’t the ones that need fixed, and giving a bunch of money to a some yankee thugs isn’t how to go about doing it. It is retail and food service that are dragging down our consumer spending. Bump the minimum wage to around what VW is already paying, and let the thugs in DC do what we are paying them for.

Feb 14, 2014 6:54pm EST  --  Report as abuse
automan wrote:

I have spent 30 years in OEM manufacturing; two for a supplier (UAW and now out of business). I worked eight years for Mazda in Detroit. Mazda (UAW) thought “we have unions in Japan and that worked out OK”. I think if they had known what they were getting into, they would have so far south it would hardly ever snow! Mazda no longer produces in the USA. The last 18 years for the Germans in the South. I believe the VW team members would be out of their minds to vote for a union. As far as the President weighing in, do you know anyone who believes a word he says? Might not mean too much!!

Feb 14, 2014 6:58pm EST  --  Report as abuse

Clearly, POTUS Obozo and USA Unions are connected at the hip. Unions had a place and purpose in the 1930s through the 1960s, but since then Unions are just another big business concern. They’re not for the working employee in industry. Unions are for bigger UNIONS and more $$$$$ in their pension and welfare coffers. I negotiated labor and benefit agreements for more then 30 years with every majore industrial union in the USA. It’s ALL ABOUT THE $$$$$$ not the worker.

Feb 14, 2014 7:42pm EST  --  Report as abuse
jackal0011 wrote:

Yeah unions are so great obama. They did such a great job bankrupting Detroit why not give them the reins over the whole nation.

Feb 14, 2014 7:49pm EST  --  Report as abuse

Obama is an ignorat sob and needs to stay out of the sth, unions also.

Feb 14, 2014 7:54pm EST  --  Report as abuse
joe1cr wrote:

Obama and the United Auto Workers union, are looking for a new Detroit south to sack and pillage . When will both of these Socialist identities listen to what the rest of the world all ready knew over 70 years ago.

“Socialism is a philosophy of failure,
the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy,
its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery..”
– Winston Churchill

Feb 14, 2014 7:58pm EST  --  Report as abuse
343434 wrote:

Obama’s opinion doesn’t matter anymore.

Feb 14, 2014 8:06pm EST  --  Report as abuse
stillfree wrote:

I find it amusing…The South proclaims to be the most free citizens of the US. In fact, they are the most dependent in whole of the US welfare system, the least educated, and at least in my experience with people from the South, the most untrustworthy people I have ever met. That region should call themselves “The Hypocrite States of the US”. The South will rise again? It didn’t work the first time, and won’t again.

Feb 14, 2014 8:09pm EST  --  Report as abuse
gitmojo wrote:

Mixing union reps and auto companies…. no bad history there.
Add some Obama sponsored smoke breaks, what could go wrong?

Feb 14, 2014 8:47pm EST  --  Report as abuse
YDoIBother wrote:

So, let’s examine the birth of this non-employee agitated vote. VW Germany caved to it’s State supported unions and forced the TN subsidiary to promote “workers councils”, against local management’s advice. VW Germany further denied TN management any opportunity to educate/inform workers of what the vote meant while the UAW was allowed to propogandize and threaten workers.
Just another Dem./Obama payback for millions of $$’s and hours unions have spent to protect their corruption.

Feb 14, 2014 9:19pm EST  --  Report as abuse
TheNewWorld wrote:

To those who complain about companies that do not like unions, why would they possibly want a union, especially the UAW. The UAW banrkupted 2 of the 3 American car companies, and put a sever hurt on the 3rd. If you had a business that had 50 employees how good would you feel if they unionized and then demanded to be paid 3-5 times what you and your competition is currently paying? Then on top of that, they lower their work standards, quotas, and take a position that they are going to stick it to the company?

I work for a company that has what is called profit sharing. If the company does good, I get good bonuses. If it doesn’t, my bonuses suffer. I am properly motivated and invested in the company I work for. Many Union workers are not. The most over paid jobs in the US are by far union jobs. Who pays for it? The consumers that buy the products, the company that has to overpay for the labor, and eventually the worker who finds himself without a job and has to adjust to $10 an hour job from $30 hour with full benefits because they priced their employer out of the market.

Feb 14, 2014 9:24pm EST  --  Report as abuse
jcdchawk wrote:

I would not agree that the President “waded into a high-stakes union vote at Volkswagen AG’s plant in Tennessee” when his comments were made in a private closed meeting and there was clearly no attempt to shape the election results. Not comparable to the public statement of Senator Coker and the state Senator, both of whom may have violated the Taft-Hartley Act with their public attempt to shave the results of the election.

Feb 14, 2014 9:37pm EST  --  Report as abuse
jrains wrote:

Should UAW be recognized by the workers, it will be their sole representative to plant management. What will be the effect of a victory on right-to-work laws? Will the non-unionized workers be allowed to reach separate deals with management?

Feb 14, 2014 9:51pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Art16 wrote:

I am talking to you, pragmatist. Your typical way to use the racist hate mantra is typical of people who have nothing of consequence to add. Of this I am certain, the framers of the Constitution were far more intellectual than this lower case president. He has earned no respect by his antics, and shows he does not know how to do things otherwise. He does not care what he does, as long as it does some damage. Therefore, I would not be concerned with my education. At least I have learned to use it wisely. Just for the record, I am an independent, and this man in the White House is a flop as a real President. He could not lead anyone, much less himself, out of a paper bag.

“USAPragmatist2 wrote:

The rightie/Obama haters are entertaining for their hypocrisy, for all those saying Obama should stay out of this, where were you when Sen. Corker was lying, saying VW would not build a 2nd vehicle there when they said it had no bearing, and threatening to remove tax breaks given to VW if the WORKERS, not the company mind you that is getting the tax breaks, decided to go for a union.

I am talking to you raptor666m TheRightThing, hatecyberspace, art16( btw I would bet my years salary that ‘little Junior High Obama’ has more and better quality education then you, plus is just plain smarter, hate and bigotry are normally the reaction of the uneducated/stupid so it a good bet), sabrefencer, etc…
Feb 14, 2014 4:19pm EST — Report as abuse”

Feb 14, 2014 10:15pm EST  --  Report as abuse
notfooled2 wrote:

There was a time when unions did a lot of good, at one time foremen  wanted a kick backs from the workers to get a job. The unions fixed that and that was a good thing. now the unions want a kick backs every week, seems the only difference is, who gets the money. The other problem is the unions ask for more and more in order to justify there existence, and are not willing to give back in the form of increased productivity. Then they blame the companies for moving the jobs offshore after they have priced themselves out of the market.
The UAW priced 13,000 GM workers out of the market in Anderson Indiana.

Feb 14, 2014 10:18pm EST  --  Report as abuse
bigdukesix wrote:

Just what they need – 7 people to move a forklift 5 feet

Feb 14, 2014 10:48pm EST  --  Report as abuse
MacvTm18 wrote:

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Workers at a Volkswagen factory in Tennessee have voted against union representation, a devastating loss that derails the United Auto Workers union’s effort to organize Southern factories.

The 712-626 vote released late Friday stunned many labor experts who expected a UAW win because Volkswagen tacitly endorsed the union and even allowed organizers into the Chattanooga factory to make sales pitches.

Feb 14, 2014 11:10pm EST  --  Report as abuse
tomahawk903 wrote:

The labor movement was the principal force that transformed misery and despair into hope and progress. Out of its bold struggles, economic and social reform gave birth to unemployment insurance, old-age pensions, government relief for the destitute and, above all, new wage levels that meant not mere survival but a tolerable life. The captains of industry did not lead this transformation; they resisted it until they were overcome. When in the thirties the wave of union organization crested over the nation, it carried to secure shores not only itself but the whole society.” Martin Luther King —Speech to the state convention of the Illinois AFL-CIO, Oct. 7, 1965

Feb 14, 2014 11:52pm EST  --  Report as abuse
vcbtn7 wrote:

“VW executives also have said that the bulk of the $7 billion that the company is investing in North America over the next four years is targeted for Mexico, including a new $1.3 billion Audi assembly plant.”

Mexico is part of “North America” now?, no longer: “Central America”?

Feb 15, 2014 12:09am EST  --  Report as abuse

Art, you maybe an ‘independent’(doubtful from the lack of reality in your post), but you sure are an Obama hater.

You say, ‘he does not care what he does, as long as he does damage’, so in other words Obama’s goal is to destroy the country, not that you just disagree with what he wants to do to help the country. These is one of two things, pure delusion or you hate the man so man you distort what he does. I’ll give you credit that you are not insane so delusion is out. So why do you hate the man so much? It is for sure not rational hate.

For example I hate what the GOP has become, purposely making government as dysfunctional as possible in an attempt to make the man that ran on bipartisanship look bad, but that is rational hate because based on reality.

Feb 15, 2014 12:57am EST  --  Report as abuse
JonW57 wrote:

Do I sense another Obama edict, an order telling VW to unionize by Presidential decree? If that happens I won’t be surprised, this lawless President has no qualms about being a dictator.

Feb 15, 2014 3:07am EST  --  Report as abuse
TheNewWorld wrote:


I agree with you about the people who are only criticizing Obama. The Republican politicians in Tennessee should have never said a single word about this publicly. Obama shouldn’t have said anything either, but I understand his interjections when other prominent politicians brought this to the public’s eye through the media. The decision to unionize should be a decision by the employees, and the employees only.

A few years ago in my building where a bit over a thousand people work, it was discovered people were passing around documents about unionizing. There are unionized workers in my company, plenty of them, but none in South Carolina that I am aware of. I am pretty sure this was discovered by someone using either one of the printers/copiers to produce the documents. Every employee in the building had a team meeting with their immediate supervisor. I work in a huge company with a huge legal department. Our supervisors told us basically what the consequences of unionizing would be without encouraging or discouraging the process. Basically they gave us documents showing the average pay and benefits of our peers with our nearest competitor that has a much higher percentage of union workers. Are pay and benefits was better on paper, and it was pretty legit as we could see from job postings and knowing people that work for the competition. It was explained that once it is unionized, we can no longer to management to bargain for our own pay/benefits/etc. We would have to go to a union representative. We would also have to pay union dues for them to do what we were already doing. It never came to a vote, and honestly I don’t know a single person in the company that wanted it.

That is the correct way this should be dealt with. Certainly, if our pay and/or benefits or work conditions was worse than our competitors we would have wanted it. But it isn’t. It is far from it. We get the best pay/benefits package in our industry (pay can be lower, but when you add the benefits/profit sharing/bonuses/health insurance/401k match/tuition assitance/STD/LTD/Life Insurance/Dental etc, it is enough to keep people in jobs for decades until retirement in a job setting that has a normal turnover rate of 6-18 months.

It should be a decision of the workers, and the workers only. The business can lay out the facts of what happens when you unionize and how it affects your bargaining rights. The union that you are joining (if you are joining an established union) should also be able to come in and tell you the benefits of joining their union (job security, safety, protection from overbearing demands/quotas, pay, benefits, tenure, etc). At that point there should be a silent vote with no strong arming from anyone. That covers the Employer, management, the employees wanting to unionize, those opposed to it, and especially outside influences and interests. Whether they be the President, the Governor, Senator, Representatives, Super Pacs, Unions, or whatever else.

These posts show the hypocrisy of both sides. Some don’t want the Koch brothers to influence these things, but they have no problem with the various unions doing all they can to influence them. Some criticize Obama only, and have nothing to say about the GOP politicians making statement after statement on the issue.

I am originally from West Virginia. Unions have served a great purpose, and some unions still do. Some unions are pretty much ran as organized crime, and it is well known that in the past the relations between union leaders and organized crime was extremely close. Along with that comes the strong arm tactics you would expect from those thugs, along with the leaders living lavish life styles on the backs of the workers who have no choice but to join the union. I am speaking only about private sector unions. Public sector unions serve absolutely no purpose other than to trade votes for pay/benefit increase by the politicians they support and the people footing the bill never have a say in the whole process. Even the great progressive President FDR was against public service unions.

Feb 15, 2014 5:15am EST  --  Report as abuse
eatingdogfood wrote:

Sorry UAW; It Looks Like Your Criminal Organizing Activities Are NOT Welcome Down South !!! Gee, I guess the Union Bosses Will Have To Tell The DemoRAT Party, that there will be a slight decrease in Fund Transfers !!! And there will probably be a cut back on free Green Fees at the UAW Country Club for Union Vice Presidents. And all those free Union Junkets to Miami Beach, will have to be curtailed, somewhat. Better Luck Next Time, Union Bosses !!! Hey, you still all have those Sucker UAW members in Michigan who still believe in your BS. —– UAW = Detroit = BANKRUPTCY !!!

Feb 15, 2014 8:23am EST  --  Report as abuse
hubdog21 wrote:

Labor Union- an entity that neither produces a product nor provides a service. They are notorious for causing division and animosity in the workplace. Labor unions impede productivity. They make false promises. They artificially drive up salaries (see Major League Baseball). They cost American jobs. They suck money from the pockets of the very people they “swear” to protect. They’re hostile. They lie. Want to know why the UAW membership is now near or slightly below 400,000 members? Look no further than the UAW itself. Want to know why the US has lost millions of manufacturing jobs over the past few decades? Labor unions. All of you union loonies need to do your homework and look at the commonalities in the companies that have shipped jobs overseas and you’ll find a common thread…union representation. The people of VW Chattanooga have spoken and they said “NO” to union representation. Good job. You’ve secured your own futures!

Feb 15, 2014 8:30am EST  --  Report as abuse
busseja wrote:

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,” according to a Democratic aide who attended the meeting with Democratic lawmakers in the House of Representatives.

Then CBS/NBC and ABC taking their talking points from Obama as usual said headlined a Republicans statement that VW might move to mexico if the union vote goes down. What a jerk. He is bringing Mexicans here. No need to move to mexico.

And Obama got it wrong anyway 53% voted the union out. Last election didn’t Obama claim 53% to be an overwhelming mandate!

Not having to deal with a union lowers the cost because the company doesn’t have to employ people to deal with the union. A fair company will put that savings into the employees anyway. Northrup always paid about 10% more to keep the union out and it worked. Win win for the workers and the company the only people who lost were union bosses who support illegal immigration.

Feb 15, 2014 10:56am EST  --  Report as abuse
Art16 wrote:

@USAPragmatist2 wrote:

Art, you maybe an ‘independent’(doubtful from the lack of reality in your post), but you sure are an Obama hater.

Now there is a leap of propagandist nonsense. You should listen to yourself making a proclamation that I am an “Obama Hater” with nothing to substantiate your remarks!

Feb 15, 2014 11:06am EST  --  Report as abuse

The reason the workers are well paid and well treated is because they don’t have Republicans for owners or bosses. They have Europeans who long ago outstripped the USA in quality of life issues. If you want to know what kind of workers the Republicans would like just google George Carlin’s monologue “They Own You!”. It is on youtube and he describes the kind of worker that Corker and his other cronies would like: “Obedient Workers!”

Feb 15, 2014 11:22am EST  --  Report as abuse
mulwillie wrote:

The NLRB should invalidate the due to undo and possible illegal action by Republican politicians. Republicans put outside pressure on not only the company but the workers also by threatening future relationship with government and therefore threatening the jobs of these workers.

One thing that was exposed by all of this is the Republican call for keeping government from interfering in the market. So much for the lie of small government.

Feb 15, 2014 11:40am EST  --  Report as abuse
carpediemblt wrote:

Another Obama fail! Apparently, everybody wants the UAW except local Republicans and local workers. At the very least, our president gets consistent results.

Feb 15, 2014 11:51am EST  --  Report as abuse
CaptDMO wrote:

So, the folks who actualy work there dumped Organized Labor.
The Democrat in chief implies “Well EVERYBODY wanted it, but…but…republicans RUINED it.
Logic. Ministry of Truth.
I’m not convinced that “Well EVERYONE KNOWS that….” would stand up in the SCOTUS either.
Does he share a teleprompter writer with Mr. Biden, Ms. Pelosi, et al.?

Feb 15, 2014 12:36pm EST  --  Report as abuse
bxdr56a wrote:

Best thing that could happen to sway the election is Obama’s endorsement of the union. I fully support his pro activism in TN for this cause (tongue in cheek).

Feb 15, 2014 1:08pm EST  --  Report as abuse
notmyrealname wrote:

The tide is turning on spoiled overpaid American workers. Business has spent a fortune lobbying for anti union measures, the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement, more work visas, and immigration reform. They will get the tools they need to drive down wages and total labor costs in America. Americans idea of the worth of their skills and work ethic is way over inflated. Those that vilify immigrants in a free market open labor pool without government or union interference know they can not compete in the real world.Most of the jobs in the USA are worth about two bucks an hour without interference, and decided on by supply and demand for those skills alone without Unemployment, minimum wage, or restrictions on who you can hire.

Feb 15, 2014 1:15pm EST  --  Report as abuse
YankeeGrl wrote:

I voted in the election and NO…we don’t want the Union Thugs here! I moved from Michigan to get away from the mafia Unions! They will never get in!

Feb 15, 2014 1:48pm EST  --  Report as abuse
marywnm1 wrote:

As usual, Obama takes sides-possibly Chattanooga does not want to become another. Detroit

Feb 15, 2014 4:09pm EST  --  Report as abuse
StuCozza wrote:

BHO needs to just shut up, go away, and take his family & friends with him.

Feb 15, 2014 5:11pm EST  --  Report as abuse
truthseeker53 wrote:

Has Barry ever had a real job? Or provided one? Or ran a business?

Feb 15, 2014 9:09pm EST  --  Report as abuse
onewire wrote:

I am a semi retired anti union electrician. Years ago I worked at
a gold mine in Nevada. We voted against unionization because we
were already making good pay, 401k, insurance, and vacations. If
we were unionized, we would have to pay dues, and if we wanted to
seek another job, could only do so through the union. If we found
a job on our own, would have to pay a fine to the union.
Trade unions have outlived their usefulness.

Feb 15, 2014 9:50pm EST  --  Report as abuse
onewire wrote:

To add to my comment, Obama needs to keep his Democratic self
out of this discussion. He knows nothing about the working people.

Feb 15, 2014 9:53pm EST  --  Report as abuse
kbill wrote:

Obama needs to limit his involvement in Union affairs to making illegal nominations to the NLRB during Senate recesses. He just doesn’t seem to be able to rise above his old ‘community organizer’ role. The Peter Principle in D.C.

Feb 15, 2014 9:58pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Art16 wrote:

The people voted. They have spoken on what they want for themselves, and not what the political pundits wanted for them for one selfish reason or another. Junior High Obama continues to disgrace the office of the President by his antics, this being one such pathetic example and performance. This lower case president needs to stay out of things that are none of his business and to stop pushing on people who vote for their destiny. Do you think these people really know what they wanted? Of course they did, a death knell for politician propagandists.

Feb 15, 2014 11:12pm EST  --  Report as abuse
hankee wrote:

dont i recall the unions previous demands resulting in the firing/layoffs shutdowns, paycuts, loss of pension/benefits of the auto industry?
but it will be good for democraps and nobamacare

Feb 15, 2014 11:55pm EST  --  Report as abuse
lag46 wrote:

Spoken like a true “leftie” community organizer. Prtesidents should be presidential.

Feb 16, 2014 8:57am EST  --  Report as abuse
Steward1 wrote:

I was a dedicated union steward.
The CWA and the IBEW are liberal hacks.
They support Dumbacraps no matter what.
I made more money under Republican Presidents than Liberals.
Liberals have one agenda. Make us all extreme socialists.
They protect the lazy and terrorize business.


Cartoon in the NYT said terrorists could not shut down New York, but the Unions did and will.

Stay away from Unions they are worse than Lev Bronstein ( TROTSKY )

Feb 16, 2014 11:17am EST  --  Report as abuse
libertas wrote:

‘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,”‘

Once again a misleading statement from Obama aimed at political benefit by vilifying Republicans. Then he wonders why there is so much animosity in Washington.

Feb 16, 2014 12:09pm EST  --  Report as abuse
d.carns wrote:

Unions offer no real benefits to employees. The company and employee pay for the benefits.NOT the UNIONS. They protect the lazy ones and pad their pockets of the administration. Just like the Government. I was in a Union they take their monthly dues and the only benefit they acutally financial supply is a death benefit which you have to die to get anything. That Pretty much sums up a Union mentality.

Feb 16, 2014 3:49pm EST  --  Report as abuse
stevetutt wrote:

Get over it. A perfectly flat income tax with no loophole, including welfare recipients is coming to a neighborhood near you.

Feb 17, 2014 3:13pm EST  --  Report as abuse
stevetutt wrote:

Get over it. A perfectly flat income tax with no loopholes, including welfare recipients is coming to a neighborhood near you.

Feb 17, 2014 3:13pm EST  --  Report as abuse
stevetutt wrote:

Get over it. A perfectly flat income tax with no loopholes, including welfare recipients is coming to a neighborhood near you.

Feb 17, 2014 3:13pm EST  --  Report as abuse
stevetutt wrote:

Get over it. A perfectly flat income tax with no loopholes, including welfare recipients is coming to a neighborhood near you.

Feb 17, 2014 3:13pm EST  --  Report as abuse
stevetutt wrote:

Get over it. A perfectly flat income tax with no loopholes, including welfare recipients is coming to a neighborhood near you.

Feb 17, 2014 3:13pm EST  --  Report as abuse
stevetutt wrote:

Unions are nothing more than another big business funneling money to organized crime.

Feb 17, 2014 3:14pm EST  --  Report as abuse
nbk4real wrote:

I applaud those who voted for the union, to the rest of the employees who voted against it I say your the perfect example of why the south has the lowest wages, worst benefits, worst education systems, worst health care systems and need the most federal assistance vs taxes paid just like every southern red state know this, I would have considered a Volkswagen but now, no way and I will continue to spread the word to NOT purchase a Volkswagen because of it. In my eyes your clearly cowards, afraid of the very politicians you vote in and submit yourselves to.

Feb 18, 2014 3:07am EST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.