VW workers may block southern U.S. deals if no unions: labor chief

Comments (193)
SR37212 wrote:

Right now Chattanooga is a very vibrant city with a lot of positive feelings. They are in working towards being the high tech center of the South. Having VW there is nice but I get the impression that if VW left they believe they’d soon have another company arrive to replace them.

I was not a fan of our Governor but he seems to be making all the right moves to turn Tennessee into a place companies will want to relocate. He’s planning on offering high school graduates 2 free years of regular college or tech school education. That alone ought to up the stakes.

Feb 19, 2014 7:43am EST  --  Report as abuse

There’s too much information trying to equate the German work councils to the traditional American labor unions. The work councils are more like the site based decision councils at public schools. Everyone realizes the shared interests and works together. VW employees didn’t vote down the work council representation, they voted down the UAW. Had the NLRB changed the regulations to allow the works council, instead of saying it had to be tied to a labor union, it most likely would have passed.

Feb 19, 2014 8:01am EST  --  Report as abuse
Doc00001 wrote:

Anathema! Wow, what a cool term to define our government. Vehemently disliking the working class for their desire to participate in the American economy beyond being draft animals.

Feb 19, 2014 8:58am EST  --  Report as abuse
sabrefencer wrote:

now the Unions show, who and how they really work, to the public…Threats, bully tactics..see what they are doing , right now, before your very eyes…the workers have spoken..no unions in VW… union get lost….

Feb 19, 2014 9:25am EST  --  Report as abuse
Art16 wrote:

Someone needs to remind these clowns that this is not Germany, and a vote of the people here means something. The manner in which people involved themselves in this vote, including Junior High Obama, was unparalleled and disgusting, and it seems they are nothing but runny nosed poor losers as well as bozos in love with themselves at the expense of everyone else.

Feb 19, 2014 9:34am EST  --  Report as abuse
sgarvey wrote:

The reporting on this story is biased. The reporter failed to include the most basic facts.

Just a thought, but besides the popular bogyman narrative of right-wing pressure that the left is pushing, perhaps it might have been constructive for the reporter to talk to actual voting employees to understand their rational for rejecting the UAW. Could it be that the UAW has a long history of corruption? That it has a long history of damaging the industry and workers it is supposed to represent?

Feb 19, 2014 9:43am EST  --  Report as abuse
sgarvey wrote:

The reporting on this story is biased. The reporter failed to include the most basic facts.

Just a thought, but besides the popular bogyman narrative of right-wing pressure that the left is pushing, perhaps it might have been constructive for the reporter to talk to actual voting employees to understand their rational for rejecting the UAW. Could it be that the UAW has a long history of corruption? That it has a long history of damaging the industry and workers it is supposed to represent?

Feb 19, 2014 9:43am EST  --  Report as abuse
Shary wrote:

So, block it!

Feb 19, 2014 9:56am EST  --  Report as abuse
PKFA wrote:

There was a time in U.S. history when trade unions played a vital role in ensuring worker safety and fair wage and benefit treatment. Today, the power of federal regulations regarding workplace practices, wages and benefits have rendered today’s trade unions irrelevant.

Feb 19, 2014 10:24am EST  --  Report as abuse
repp4 wrote:

sounds like they are really interested in their “members”. union’s are an anachronism, like socialism, no longer necessary but clinging to the deck while the ship goes down.

Feb 19, 2014 10:27am EST  --  Report as abuse

One should avoid the U.A.W. Just look at what they did to Detroit. It looks like a place to dump a body.

Feb 19, 2014 10:28am EST  --  Report as abuse
AZ1811 wrote:

Talk about union thuggery. This is an outright threat to the rights of all workers. VW’s work “council” (read UNION) want to keep the gravytrain coming for the union bosses. They are the worst of the worst and the Tennessee VW workers saw through the smokescreen.

Union says “pay us dues and we’ll work for you”. Tennessee workers say “how about I keep my money, get paid a fair wage, work in nice factories and use the money I would have spent on dues to do things for myself and my family”

The union idea has gone away. So should the unions.

Feb 19, 2014 10:35am EST  --  Report as abuse
CDRSchafer wrote:

Gee, I wonder why workers would reject a union – saw this in Pittsburgh growing up, the unions ultimately destroy industries and jobs. Workers pay excessive “dues” to support rich union bosses and overhead, negating any wage gains they receive, and when you couple it with the strikes, workers actually make less under union “leadership” than when they don’t collectively bargain.

Feb 19, 2014 10:35am EST  --  Report as abuse
Bakhtin wrote:

Isn’t this the exact opposite of what Republicans said would happen? Didn’t that idiot Bob Corker tell everybody that VW would only stay if there *wasn’t* a union?

Feb 19, 2014 10:36am EST  --  Report as abuse
krakora wrote:

The german unions don’t want to compete with a non-union workforce because they will always be less eficient. What does that say about the efficiency of their “workers’ councils”? Their cntribution to company management is self-serving decisions like this one.

Feb 19, 2014 10:37am EST  --  Report as abuse
Tallaman87 wrote:

Unions = control, greed, unfair practices, power-hungry, bullies
Non-unionized labor = innovation, competition, freedom

Nobody in their right mind would join a union these days. They are unnecessary and cost more than they are worth. Southerners are smart to reject them and VW would be idiotic to submit to its own labor organizations and avoid expansions into the south.

Feb 19, 2014 10:40am EST  --  Report as abuse
Tye15 wrote:

Let me get this straight— the Senator for Tenn, instead of representing the interests of his citizens, represents the profits of a foreign company. And the german workers on the VW board are representing the interests of american workers. Maybe Germany should adopt our republican philosophy of profits over people, rather than their socialistic model. After all, it’s Germany, such a failed economy.

Feb 19, 2014 10:52am EST  --  Report as abuse
opusday wrote:

I cannot begin to understand the anti-union sentiment. Unions have secured so many of the workplace rights we hold for granted, yet they are admonished as bad for the economy. If unions are what forced the fall of manufacturing automobiles and encouraged outsourcing then why did the same trends happen in non union industry. The simple fact is that companies acted in their best interests to secure a higher profit from lower wages. Do not disparage a union for trying to do what is best for their rank and file. I hope that people would realize that collective bargaining is a process, and that the continued viability of the company is one of the most important factors to both sides. Obviously one wants to maximize wages and one profits, but neither would like to see the company enter insolvency.

Feb 19, 2014 10:53am EST  --  Report as abuse
opusday wrote:

There was a time in U.S. history when trade unions played a vital role in ensuring worker safety and fair wage and benefit treatment. Today, the power of federal regulations regarding workplace practices, wages and benefits have rendered today’s trade unions irrelevant.

-Who was the driving force behind this legislation, and if you believe all workplace rights have been litigated I fear you are extremely wrong.

Feb 19, 2014 10:55am EST  --  Report as abuse
opusday wrote:

Everyone has this image of a corrupt union boss ingrained into them as much as the image of St. Nick. There was corruption, there was even some murder (Jablonski), but this was not limited to unions. Do we still see GM this day as some shadow organization trailing Ralph Nader and trying to plant salacious stories, no, in fact most probably don’t even know/remember that happened. Yet you ask anyone about unions and corrupt comes up even though they cant name one bit of corruption without a google search. Before you say Hoffa, tell me what he did,

Feb 19, 2014 11:02am EST  --  Report as abuse
BobJan wrote:

Unionism smacks of socialism. Socialism smacks of what’s available to the masses. Capitalism smacks of what’s good for the few at the top. German people enjoy a healthier, longer, more fulfilled and less angry life. Republicans would be a party of yesteryear if not for redistricting in the States. Detroit is Detroit not because of unions but because of tax laws. If any of us here had tax laws in our favor to lower or not pay them at all we’d take advantage of them and that’s what corporations did. The factories in Detroit were there since the early years of the 1920′s and they were updated many times over and the buildings were no loner needed to perform with the modern technology today. Looking at tax laws the company decided it was cheaper to close them down and build them somewhere else since the tax laws are outdated themselves. We have only our State legislatures and Congress to blame for these terrible tax laws. If you don’t want to work in a union environment then go find another job, it’s that simple. Republican politicians are being found out for who they really are, “The lapdogs of the ultra-wealthy” and if you haven’t figured that out by now you’re dumber than you look.

Feb 19, 2014 11:12am EST  --  Report as abuse
indymind wrote:

It is amazing that one poster said that Obama rescued the auto industry in order to save a Republican Depression. Sir, he saved us from a Democrat Depression, the democrats being in charge of the White House and both Houses of Congress. Think!

Feb 19, 2014 11:14am EST  --  Report as abuse
johnZe wrote:

Now if we can only get rid of that pesky minimum wage, and while we’re at it, let’s loosen up those child labor laws.

Feb 19, 2014 11:15am EST  --  Report as abuse
dragon88 wrote:

Union just can handle losing the vote!! German Union is bringing down the German industries the same way the US Unions did to US Industries, except they are about twenty years behind. Want to dispute that? Check on how many of German Multi-national Industries are moving their factories out of Germany…….

Feb 19, 2014 11:16am EST  --  Report as abuse
Bolzenmuffin wrote:

It would have been nice to say, “I bought a car made in America by UAW workers,” but I certainly respect the vote of the workers above all else. In my area, you get beaten down for buying anything other than Ford, GM, or Chrysler. I doubt that will ever change regardless of where it’s made or if it’s Union or not. They’re delusional in thinking that Ford, GM, and Chrysler don’t build things in Mexico by non-Union workers. I have to give VW and other automakers credit for putting so much effort into being American and changing perceptions out there. Maybe someday we can buy what we want without being put in the back of the parking lot?

Feb 19, 2014 11:17am EST  --  Report as abuse
siaripop wrote:

Although the UAW has its faults; it was not the reason for the decline of Detroit or the US Automotive industry, nor for the steel industry which also was in Detroit. Factually speaking, most operations of the Big Three are outside of Detroit. That aside; union employees did not create Ford’s that would rust out in two years, blow up when rear-ended (Pinto), leak carbon monoxide into the vehicle (Corvair), get 7 MPG and weigh 5000 pounds when fuel prices rose in the mid 70′s, etc. Union pay is why southerners went north to work, but many in the south think $12-$17 at Nissan is great pay now; but it wouldn’t be possible without unions setting the bar higher.

Feb 19, 2014 11:20am EST  --  Report as abuse
ArribaJuarez wrote:

“U.S. President Barack Obama attempted to intervene, accusing Republicans of trying to block the Chattanooga workforce’s efforts.” Is this the pot calling the kettle black? Is it alright for the northern unionists to intervene, with the local Right to Work supporters being blocked from voicing their say? No way. For once, Justice has been achieved. Good luck to the Tennessee auto workers.

Feb 19, 2014 11:21am EST  --  Report as abuse
opusday wrote:

If I start a union tomorrow with complete transparency that only serves to collectively bargain both congress and the employer is that acceptable? Do we have a problem with corrupt unions or just unions in general?

Feb 19, 2014 11:22am EST  --  Report as abuse
Kwaku1331 wrote:

Flash1022 you should really become educated before sharing your OPINION vs FACT. Unions DID kill the auto industry. Unions forced the auto industry into unsustainable wages and benefits. The immense obligation in the form of pensions and wages are what killed the industry and resulted in the decimation of Detroit.

This is also what lead to a majority of so called “US AUTOMOBILES” (i.e. Chevy and Ford) being produced in Mexico and Canada. Did you know that just this year Honda EXPORTED MORE vehicles FROM the US than were imported. Did you also know that Honda was rated the most reliable vehicle in the US by POLK? (http://honda.us/1g8yuZB). Look at Honda’s and Hyundai’s business models for their plants in the US before you try to bash non union facilities (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-06-22/hyundai-teaches-uaw-best-factory-job-doesn-t-need-a-union-cars.html) they pay their employees well and more money goes to supporting their employees rather than the corruption of a Union.

The time for Unions in most work places has passed. This is not the time of Rockefeller and slave like work conditions. The only thing that Unions do is drive up the cost of a product or service which results in higher prices for products and services which hit the middle and lower classes. Look at the majority of Government contracts that are issued for road work, school and government facilities…these contracts go to Unions which consistently underbid their contracts tacking on costs at the end and deadlines are rarely met. This just results in increases in taxes for the people living in those areas…why so you can make extra money to not complete on time and to feed the corruption within? I know I have personally seen that it is the NON UNION employee that out perform the Union employee…this is because outside of the Union if your company does not meet a deadline or underbids they lose money. If an employee is not doing their job their is no Union to fall back on to protect their lazy behind because they have seniority. I had to laugh at how ridiculous a Union work environment is…heaven forbid something need to be done and the person whose job it is to do it is on a “break”…you have to stop the whole operation until that person returns or else they would file a grievance because someone else did a task that falls under their responsibility.

Bottom line is that Unions are only still around because they put people in office and therefore they are protected by those people. There is nothing but corruption in the Government and in the Unions…both just good ole boys clubs whose current way of operating borderlines on criminal if is not criminal and has destroyed this once great country.

If this country is to ever get back on track they need to enact term limits, make local government more of a priority than federal and get rid of the greedy strong arming unions!

Feb 19, 2014 11:23am EST  --  Report as abuse
Yashmak wrote:

The workers spoke. The UAW isn’t wanted. Now the union will try to block further investment in those workers’ company.

There was a time when private sector unions actually helped workers. Sadly, that time is long gone. They seem now to serve primarily as parasites.

Feb 19, 2014 11:24am EST  --  Report as abuse
Mikon wrote:

For an in-depth exposure of the facts surrounding this unionization effort by the UAW, read the companion article by John Lloyd who co-founded the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford, where he is Director of Journalism.
http://blogs.reuters.com/john-lloyd/2014/02/18/chattanoogas-union-blues/

As an added note, American taxpayers should be made aware that in the GM and Chrysler UAW bailouts, the Obama Administration spent $330,000 for EACH UAW MEMBER in the USA of YOUR tax money (per the Congressional Budget Office analysis). That was vote buying at its most obvious by the Democrats who controlled both houses of Congress at the time.

Feb 19, 2014 11:31am EST  --  Report as abuse
Orwelian84 wrote:

indymind

Last I checked economic collapse started in 2007 with the fall of Lehman brothers, TARP 1, and the stock crash all happened before Obama took office.

Also when Democrats “controlled” both chambers of Congress they had less than 60 votes in the Senate, and as you should know because of Senate Rules, excepting judicial nominations(not including the SCOTUS) nothing passes the Senate without 60 votes.

Feb 19, 2014 11:34am EST  --  Report as abuse
Big2Tex wrote:

Corker backed the citizens of Tennessee as the majority voted to reject the union. VW union bosses do not and never will represent American workers, only their corrupt, political bosses bent on global socialism. We must continue to fight for our freedoms and liberties despite Obama, unions, the media, and the far left posters in here who hate America.

Feb 19, 2014 11:35am EST  --  Report as abuse
SunnyDaySam wrote:

Yashmak: read the article. Almost every other VW plant in the world is unionized and the company is doing just fine. oh, and they don’t have to build in the USA if they don’t want to.

Feb 19, 2014 11:43am EST  --  Report as abuse
atteloc716 wrote:

React wrote:You guys get it, certainly no one else does.

Bakhtin wrote:
Isn’t this the exact opposite of what Republicans said would happen? Didn’t that idiot Bob Corker tell everybody that VW would only stay if there *wasn’t* a union?

Tye15 wrote:
Let me get this straight— the Senator for Tenn, instead of representing the interests of his citizens, represents the profits of a foreign company. And the german workers on the VW board are representing the interests of american workers. Maybe Germany should adopt our republican philosophy of profits over people, rather than their socialistic model. After all, it’s Germany, such a failed economy.

Bravo… could not have said it better!Corker and Norquist had there own agenda.

Feb 19, 2014 11:44am EST  --  Report as abuse
chuck2 wrote:

The GOB’s (Good ole boys) are terrified that unions come in and workers get a say and decent benefits, safety etc. GOBs prefer “old southern way of business, workers get short end, wealth remains on plantation economics.Absolute fear in South of workers getting any breaks, a horror for most to have safety enforced, OT and such other things as well as “Fire at will”. Noted the right in TN actually threatened VW with cut off of tax breaks it they went union, how dumb can they get? Going to be interesting to see what happens as auto in S pays around $10/hr in some auto-plantations and local business even less while owners make millions. Looks like ole Confederacy found a whole new war about workers, etc,again

Feb 19, 2014 11:52am EST  --  Report as abuse
Empress_Trudy wrote:

Next time rig your own election a little better. It was your OWN workers who voted this down.

Feb 19, 2014 11:53am EST  --  Report as abuse
opusday wrote:

Big2Tex, no one here hates America, we can disagree without being disagreeable.

Feb 19, 2014 11:55am EST  --  Report as abuse
columbare1 wrote:

The only companies that get unionized are those that deserve them ,because they pay too little, and ask too much,and make unionization the lessor of two evils.

Feb 19, 2014 11:56am EST  --  Report as abuse
Squeamish wrote:

“The conservatives stirred up massive, anti-union sentiments. It’s possible that the conclusion will be drawn that this interference amounted to unfair labor praxis.” (sic) Apparently only those in favor of unions are permitted to have a say in the matter. Voicing contrary opinions is “interference” and may be against the law.

Feb 19, 2014 11:59am EST  --  Report as abuse
Bakhtin wrote:

The problem here isn’t the UAW. It is Bob Corker, who just had to open his big stupid mouth and interfere, lying (Why do Republicans always have to do that?) about VW moving new production elsewhere. By doing that he reduced the validity of the vote, leaving the door open for a second vote. The GOP is the reason this issue isn’t settled – not the UAW.

And before the predictable “But… but… but – Obama!” brigade start – Obama commented only on Bob Corkers interference. He didn’t interfere with the vote like Corker.

Feb 19, 2014 11:59am EST  --  Report as abuse
JonSEAZ wrote:

Send VW and their crappy cars and their German Socialist ideas back to Germany. Buy American if you are so inclined or Japanese if you want really good cars, or Korean if you want decent cars and good value for your money. German cars have seen their day and now are just overpriced mediocrity. They want unionized VW plants in America, build them in Detroit and see how that goes.

Feb 19, 2014 12:01pm EST  --  Report as abuse
chuck2 wrote:

Just some questions for you anti union types. Who is in charge of quality, production, design, etc in USA auto plants, hint is NOT the unions. Who lobbied for trade deals that allowed corps to close down and get tax breaks for moving out of USA, hint is NOT unions. Who supported ‘Fair trade acts” which allows foreign firms to come to USA via exports,, but restricts USA exports, hints was NOT unions.

What is relationship between middle class and unions, as well as how has wages/benefits trended since 80′s AKA less unions, less wages? Wake up folks, upper end gets richer as unions/middle class goes down,that is economic fact. “Has anyone post the actual wages of auto plants and other industries in south, dare we?

Note most posts seem no more then R/Koch bro’s issued talking points and maybe on good day with a tail wind, 10% factual. Sorry folks but hard data is Unions DID NOT break USA auto, poor management did and then blamed unions.

Feb 19, 2014 12:05pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Flash1022 wrote:

Unions are not socialism.

In fact unionism is the pinnacle of capitalism.

As an independent contractor I negotiate my own jobs, that includes price and benefits. This is the most capitalistic right of an individual.

A group of independent contractors who negotiate jobs, that includes price and benefits are leveraging their skills the same as the individual. This is a union. This is capitalism.

Those who call unions socialistic do not know capitalism, socialism, communism, or the difference.

They should know unions are banned in socialist and communistic states because unions threaten those socialistic and communist governments.

Feb 19, 2014 12:06pm EST  --  Report as abuse
DMO33 wrote:

BigDumbTex – Spoken like a true ‘MURICAN; you mind backing up your statement of “kicking US manufacturers’ butts” with some quantitative data? Kicking their butts in terms of what? If you can’t, your post is true ‘MURICAN drivel.

Feb 19, 2014 12:10pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Swisswatch wrote:

I am pro union. My father was able to put me through college on union wages. His father was able to do the same for him. This country did not take off until the middle class got its purchasing power. Take a look at history. Unions destroyed Detroit? the industry destroyed by designing and producing inferior products since the 60′s – they were essentially a monopoly then. But these threats from the German union are wrong. The workers voted as did the German workers. Honor the vote.

Feb 19, 2014 12:12pm EST  --  Report as abuse
chuck2 wrote:

Noted all those posting Koch/R talking points, NONE seem to mention the “EVIL unions” of Pro sports, none discuss fire/cops unions, none mention what is in fact by any definition a union The American Bar Assoc. None mention celeb unions, none mention any of these “Evil Unions”, only those of workers, their neighbors, friends etc, seems only unions of common folks are bad, all others are OK, or at lest so on their talking points, yep well thought out anti unions posts, as only working folks are evil, not other unions members, so say R/Koch talking points?

Feb 19, 2014 12:18pm EST  --  Report as abuse
bear87 wrote:

I’m curious. I don’t really care all that much but I remember reading that a few states’ Right To Work bills were deemed unconstitutional.

But my main question is why a worker wouldn’t want a union that looks out for him. Without it the worker is basically at the mercy of an employer that says here is what the wage is, what your worker environment is, what your benefits are. Take it or leave it. They can pay what they want and you have no legal right to change it. Except maybe a strike, but then those never go the way you want them.

What confuses me is that the German run VW company wants a union so workers can work with management to make a better company. Where workers set up worker councils that work with managers to discuss work place issues and wages. It works in Germany but not here because no one likes unions.

So I wonder, do American workers here understand that under the current system they are basically screwed because law prohibits alternate employee representation in non union jobs. The GOP wins again. NO unions and no way for the worker to get better working conditions and wages because its illegal in the United States for workers to have groups except through a union. I wonder if the workers in Tennessee were given this information by the Rep. Senator. I’m betting not.

Feb 19, 2014 12:25pm EST  --  Report as abuse
bear87 wrote:

I’m curious. I don’t really care all that much but I remember reading that a few states’ Right To Work bills were deemed unconstitutional.

But my main question is why a worker wouldn’t want a union that looks out for him. Without it the worker is basically at the mercy of an employer that says here is what the wage is, what your worker environment is, what your benefits are. Take it or leave it. They can pay what they want and you have no legal right to change it. Except maybe a strike, but then those never go the way you want them.

What confuses me is that the German run VW company wants a union so workers can work with management to make a better company. Where workers set up worker councils that work with managers to discuss work place issues and wages. It works in Germany but not here because no one likes unions.

So I wonder, do American workers here understand that under the current system they are basically screwed because law prohibits alternate employee representation in non union jobs. The GOP wins again. NO unions and no way for the worker to get better working conditions and wages because its illegal in the United States for workers to have groups except through a union. I wonder if the workers in Tennessee were given this information by the Rep. Senator. I’m betting not.

Feb 19, 2014 12:25pm EST  --  Report as abuse
bear87 wrote:

I’m curious. I don’t really care all that much but I remember reading that a few states’ Right To Work bills were deemed unconstitutional.

But my main question is why a worker wouldn’t want a union that looks out for him. Without it the worker is basically at the mercy of an employer that says here is what the wage is, what your worker environment is, what your benefits are. Take it or leave it. They can pay what they want and you have no legal right to change it. Except maybe a strike, but then those never go the way you want them.

What confuses me is that the German run VW company wants a union so workers can work with management to make a better company. Where workers set up worker councils that work with managers to discuss work place issues and wages. It works in Germany but not here because no one likes unions.

So I wonder, do American workers here understand that under the current system they are basically screwed because law prohibits alternate employee representation in non union jobs. The GOP wins again. NO unions and no way for the worker to get better working conditions and wages because its illegal in the United States for workers to have groups except through a union. I wonder if the workers in Tennessee were given this information by the Rep. Senator. I’m betting not.

Feb 19, 2014 12:25pm EST  --  Report as abuse
bear87 wrote:

I’m curious. I don’t really care all that much but I remember reading that a few states’ Right To Work bills were deemed unconstitutional.

But my main question is why a worker wouldn’t want a union that looks out for him. Without it the worker is basically at the mercy of an employer that says here is what the wage is, what your worker environment is, what your benefits are. Take it or leave it. They can pay what they want and you have no legal right to change it. Except maybe a strike, but then those never go the way you want them.

What confuses me is that the German run VW company wants a union so workers can work with management to make a better company. Where workers set up worker councils that work with managers to discuss work place issues and wages. It works in Germany but not here because no one likes unions.

So I wonder, do American workers here understand that under the current system they are basically screwed because law prohibits alternate employee representation in non union jobs. The GOP wins again. NO unions and no way for the worker to get better working conditions and wages because its illegal in the United States for workers to have groups except through a union. I wonder if the workers in Tennessee were given this information by the Rep. Senator. I’m betting not.

Feb 19, 2014 12:25pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Flash1022 wrote:

Indymind

Low taxes and deregulation are the republican mantra that has never produced jobs and that bankrupts any municipalities and nations.

Then you can add our unpaid wars.

Our tax base has been damaged by republicans with promises of job in reducing the progressive tax since the 1950′s. You would think by now we would have 0% unemployment.

The people in WV believed in low taxes and deregulation for more jobs, and even hated the EPA. Now they have a chemical spill that has polluted their water supply, families and the municipality are going bankrupt, and with those who can move will leave plenty of jobs. They are now begging for the Federal government and the EPA to come in. This is not the job creation this nation needs.

This is not just happening in WV, it is happening throughout the nation.

You can take your low taxes and deregulation and shove it up your dark side.

You ought to be thankful it was only a republican recession!

Feb 19, 2014 12:25pm EST  --  Report as abuse
euro-yank wrote:

For a bit of historical perspective: It was the Nazis who crushed unions and works councils and the Americans who pushed for their return after WWII.

Feb 19, 2014 12:29pm EST  --  Report as abuse
fortdearborn wrote:

the old alfcio type unions are gone for good good riddance. They were as dishonest as Corker is now. The vw and european unions sit on the Bod, and their companies ar e more profitable than ours , build better cars, and are still paid way more than US car companies. Simple they have a better model through innovation. The old unions opf the USA are dead, when we chopped off their corrupt heads. Its hard to believe but true the disnformation in the USA rmapant. Corker should be imprisioned just like the old union bosses were. He knows he doing wrong violating laws and needs to be indicted like the old union bosses were. If you dont understand this, use the internet read the facts where they are not distorted.

Feb 19, 2014 12:33pm EST  --  Report as abuse
va_skeptic wrote:

No wonder VWs have rank among the worst in reliability (hint – union labor).
I wonder if ones rolling off the line in Chattanooga have a lower rate of repair compared to the ones coming from their unionized plants.

Feb 19, 2014 12:36pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Peddler wrote:

A union and a worker’s council are not the same thing. The worker’s council works hand in hand with management and ownership, unions want to dictate and strike if their demands are not met. The US operates under a right to work and capitalist economy, Germany more of a socialist state. Trying to impose Germany’s version of a union on the US is not welcomed in the form of a threat. If the worker’s council wants the same in the US, then approach the workers at the TN plant with the same concept, not a forced union on unwilling employees.

Feb 19, 2014 12:38pm EST  --  Report as abuse
fortdearborn wrote:

The european model has made germans companies so much more profitable than ours and the wage scale is 50 percent higher than ours. Anyone that doesnt get that union does NOT mean the old corrupt union practices but the new innovations. Should we throw away our cell phone because Apple makesa too much money. WAke up America. The people against the workers council are exactly like the old aflcio booses. Corrupt, ill informed. And vistims of Russian stlye propogamda which is just what Corker is doing. He is like the old syle Commie thugs. or Union thugs. Surdy read the facts get into the new century. This is not 1985 anymore.

Feb 19, 2014 12:39pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Union407 wrote:

VW should unionize….bring the work to Ohio….we have a better work force up North

Feb 19, 2014 12:49pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Union407 wrote:

VW should unionize….bring the work to Ohio….we have a better work force up North

Feb 19, 2014 12:49pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Union407 wrote:

VW should unionize….bring the work to Ohio….we have a better work force up North

Feb 19, 2014 12:49pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Union407 wrote:

VW should unionize….bring the work to Ohio….we have a better work force up North

Feb 19, 2014 12:49pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Union407 wrote:

VW should unionize….bring the work to Ohio….we have a better work force up North

Feb 19, 2014 12:49pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Union407 wrote:

VW should unionize….bring the work to Ohio….we have a better work force up North

Feb 19, 2014 12:49pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Union407 wrote:

VW should unionize….bring the work to Ohio….we have a better work force up North

Feb 19, 2014 12:49pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Union407 wrote:

VW should unionize….bring the work to Ohio….we have a better work force up North

Feb 19, 2014 12:49pm EST  --  Report as abuse

I am so sick of the anti-union idiots saying things like the UAW ‘destroyed Detroit’, this is just factually wrong. Since I do not want to type it again, I have told these dolts 4-5 times in the last few days the same thing, here is a quick summary of what has caused Detroit’s issues and how the UAW IS NOT responsible…

‘I guess it just shows how they target low information voters by using the whole’UAW ruined Detroit’ argument. Anyone with any critical anaylsis of the last 40 years of socio economics of the Southeast Michigan area realizes that what got Detroit in such a bad spot started with the rise of the suburbs, much of the money moved out, this led to a period of ‘white flight’ as the more affluent white people moved to the suburb, leaving behind mostly poor/African Americans in the city. This decline in tax base along with some boneheaded management decisions is what got Detroit to where it is today. If it was the UAW then southeast Michigan would not be the vibrant area it still is today.’

You can not re-write recent history and expect to get away with it.

Feb 19, 2014 1:08pm EST  --  Report as abuse
ajsfca wrote:

Why do unions demand closed shops? Why do unions demand the right to strike? Why do unions require workers work only through the union? Why do unions require workers to pay dues to the union in order to work? Why do unions insist on administering benefits and pension monies? Why do unions require political action assessments from their members? How do you spell R A C K E T ?

Feb 19, 2014 1:09pm EST  --  Report as abuse
djchefron wrote:

Good karma is a female dog. It is time workers stand up for basic rights.Dont build another plant in the backwaters of the United States. Maybe they will have more time to handle snakes for the lord

Feb 19, 2014 1:20pm EST  --  Report as abuse
persch wrote:

So the workers decide they do not want the UAW in there and now they and other American workers are being penalized from expanding employment opportunities because of it? What the heck is this?? Yeah, worker’s rights…nope – more like the UAW desperate to be relevant even at the cost of the American worker.

Feb 19, 2014 1:22pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Sammy2000 wrote:

It really tells you something about the intelligence level of the workers in Tennessee when they are so afraid of losing a job that they’ll approve a scheme that creates a pay level that is 20% LESS than their union counterparts.

Oh, and VW never said they would close the plant or not open more plants if the unions were approved.

This is ALL about the right wing pushing the “right to work” status, denying workers the money they deserve to be paid…and of course, being afraid of union workers voting for Democrats.

Feb 19, 2014 1:26pm EST  --  Report as abuse
TheNewWorld wrote:

After the whines about interferance from the right, they are now threatening the workers in Tennessee with repurcussions for not unionizing. Close down the plant and put a 100% tarrif on Volkswagen vehicles coming into the US. If they wanted a union shop, they should have gone to Michigan to start with.

Feb 19, 2014 1:27pm EST  --  Report as abuse
TheNewWorld wrote:

@USAPragmatist2

The UAW bankrupted Chrysler and GM. Why do you think the Germans dumped Chrysler in 2007? Now the Italians are having their run at the failing company. I don’t dispute your view of Detroit, but GM and chrysler played a large role in the crash of Detroit as well. Management and the UAW both share blame.

Feb 19, 2014 1:30pm EST  --  Report as abuse
pbgd wrote:

The Germans try to enforce German union rules on American workers. That could get interesting.

Feb 19, 2014 1:31pm EST  --  Report as abuse
steviehh wrote:

Dammmn! Republicans, they just got schooled.

German worker productivity is the highest in the world. The Guilds and unions are ancient history to the Germans. Protects everyone, no race to the bottom there.

Feb 19, 2014 1:32pm EST  --  Report as abuse
TheNewWorld wrote:

@bear87

“But my main question is why a worker wouldn’t want a union that looks out for him. Without it the worker is basically at the mercy of an employer that says here is what the wage is, what your worker environment is, what your benefits are. Take it or leave it. They can pay what they want and you have no legal right to change it. Except maybe a strike, but then those never go the way you want them. ”

I am not a low skill worker that needs a moron Union Rep with a GED to bargain for me. I am perfectly fine with dealing my employer directly, and if he wont pay me what I want, I will go elsewhere. But I am a skilled, educated worker. If you feel the need to pay a percentage of your paycheck to someone else to bargain for you, so be it. As far as safety regulations, hours, etc. There are agencies that govern these issues and the Unions are no longer needed like they used to be. In my opinion if you are incapable of negotiating your pay and benefits before you accept a job, you are not worth hiring anyways.

Feb 19, 2014 1:38pm EST  --  Report as abuse
SwainSR wrote:

Here’s a tip for VW officials: Mind your own business. You are not legally entitled to coerce employees in the State of Tennessee to join a union. You may be entitled to do that in Germany or Brazil or Mexico, or wherever else you produce cars and trucks. Tennessee operates by a different set of rules. If you don’t like the quality of the products produced in Tennessee by your employees, shut down the plant. Otherwise, butt out if you wouldn’t like to see how popular labor unions have become in the United States. Hint: Not very. Sorry. Those are the facts.

Feb 19, 2014 1:42pm EST  --  Report as abuse
SwainSR wrote:

Here’s a tip for VW officials: Mind your own business. You are not legally entitled to coerce employees in the State of Tennessee to join a union. You may be entitled to do that in Germany or Brazil or Mexico, or wherever else you produce cars and trucks. Tennessee operates by a different set of rules. If you don’t like the quality of the products produced in Tennessee by your employees, shut down the plant. Otherwise, butt out if you wouldn’t like to see how popular labor unions have become in the United States. Hint: Not very. Sorry. Those are the facts.

Feb 19, 2014 1:42pm EST  --  Report as abuse
zagatosz wrote:

Unions have nothing to do with the success and failure of auto manufacturing. American car companies went bust because of bad management and product. For all of you that are making all the anti union comments be aware that VW has only 3 non union plants 2 in China and 1 in the USA. While VW is number 3 in car production it is number one in revenue making 45 billion more than Toyota with all those union workers.

Feb 19, 2014 1:50pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Ciao wrote:

1) Union negotiations increase worker wages
2) Increased wages raise production costs
3) Company, unable to afford increased costs, relocates work to reduce costs
4) Union complains about work being sent overseas.

Feb 19, 2014 1:52pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Texas_Aggie wrote:

Like the VW management says, they need to work with their workers and if the workers don’t want to contribute, then they will go build cars where the workers are willing to take a place in making decisions. Typical for the right wing that they had to “win” this by deceit and brute force. VW had made it clear that they wanted a union in the plant so that daily business would be facilitated, but Corker decides to lie out his rectum and other wingers decide to threaten the workers if they vote for a union, so the right wing “won.” Now let’s see what happens when VW decides that maybe Canada is a better place to build cars the same way one of the other car manufacturers did.

Looking at some of these posts supporting the “droit du seignor” of management to pound the workforce into the modern equivalent of serfdom, you can understand why the US is on the skids despite the attempts of decent people to make sure that everyone has a chance at a decent job, at a decent education, at a decent life. These individuals don’t amount to anything themselves, but they are just bright enough to resent other people who would be able to use a hand up to improve themselves and the country. They are the sycophants that surround every boss and cling to his coattails hoping for some crumbs to come their way, basking in reflected glory, but fighting like diseased rats to prevent anyone else from actually achieving something.

Feb 19, 2014 2:00pm EST  --  Report as abuse
jimst wrote:

There was a time when unions helped with stuff like … eliminating child labor, getting the 40 hour work week, health benefits, paid vacation time, paid sick days, etc. We don’t need no stinking unions! It’s every man, woman and child for themselves! Yeeeehawww!

Feb 19, 2014 2:03pm EST  --  Report as abuse
gitmojo wrote:

The concept of unionism sounds good as do most of the other “isms”,
until they grow to a certain point. Statism is another.
The corruption within is borne of too many places to hide and apathy by the rank and file. People all want someone to fight their battles for them and seldom are willing to sign grievances.
The preference is to lob stones over the wall then run for cover.
Unions/gov;t serves that purpose.
The cost is that those willing to engage demand more tribute for their effort.
Eventually, the leader oversteps with negative results.
Big unions and the likes of Obama are obvious examples.

Do we want to follow the euro model?
Four day weeks, six hour days, eight week vacations all sound great ’til the Co can’t turn a profit and moves to Mexico.
Do we want to emulate GB where everything is unionized and can literally stop the country?
Further, do we stand to be held hostage by a foreign power, in this case a union?
A lot of vehicles on the market. We can choose another that doesn’t threaten its host.

Feb 19, 2014 2:06pm EST  --  Report as abuse
TaterSalad wrote:

Typical Union jerkoffs in action. Now you can see why the majority voted against the Union. Seems this council of made up of 1/2 Union jerkoffs needs to be voted out also by the workers.

Feb 19, 2014 2:09pm EST  --  Report as abuse
zvbxrpl wrote:

Did VW not understand that they were putting the plant in the middle of anti-union Tennesee? Wasn’t that part of the inducement offered? Now all of a sudden they’re shocked, SHOCKED that their workers don’t want a union. Just as US work habits and rules would not do well in Germany, German work habits and rules may not do well here.

Feb 19, 2014 2:09pm EST  --  Report as abuse

@TheNewWorld, the UAW did not bankrupt GM or Chrysler, GM or Chrysler did that to themselves with poor planning and producing vehicles that consumers did not want. Quit re-writing history.

Overall, this whole debate reflects a different culture between Germany and the USA, the Germans respect and reward hard work, in the USA we have become such a society dominated by the corporation(after all they are people right? LOL) so we are more dominated by absolute profit at all costs. The saddest thing about this, is a large portion of the country goes along with this to the detriment of their own self interest(the middle class/low income righties who have been fooled by the moneyed interest of their party).

@Ciao, you forgot the most important part, higher paid workers=more money flowing around the economy=Higher GDP. Compared to low paid workers=higher corporate profits= more money in the bank accounts of a few not being used to purchase goods=lower GDP.

It really is not that complicated, but I guess it hard for the right as I have shown, with my analysis of why Detroit is in such as bad place compared to the rightie mentality of ‘the UAW destroyed Detroit, they have this innate ability to not understand simple economic fundamentals if it is counter to their ideology. in this case the ideology is ‘Unions are bad’.

Feb 19, 2014 2:12pm EST  --  Report as abuse
MarianoP wrote:

Got to somehow keep that Democrat/Union money laundering machine going.

Feb 19, 2014 2:13pm EST  --  Report as abuse
TheNewWorld wrote:

@USAPragmatist2

Who built those vehicles? Management. Quit rewriting history. Remember Daimler could do nothing to fix Chrysler. The problem was the UAW, not management. You are the one doing the rewriting here sir.

Feb 19, 2014 2:24pm EST  --  Report as abuse
pmwhww wrote:

I always admired the way unions and management worked together in Germany. Herr Osterloh shows a lack of understanding of how unions work in the US. He also shows a lack of understanding of the American worker with his “The conservatives stirred up massive, anti-union sentiments,” Osterloh said.” comment. Perhaps he should become familiar with both before determining how to implement the German model into their factories into the US.

Feb 19, 2014 2:28pm EST  --  Report as abuse
DMO33 wrote:

BigDumbTex – Spoken like a true ‘MURICAN; you mind backing up your statement of “kicking US manufacturers’ butts” with some quantitative data? Kicking their butts in terms of what? If you can’t, your post is true ‘MURICAN drivel.

Feb 19, 2014 2:33pm EST  --  Report as abuse
gcf1965 wrote:

USA(poster) said “Overall, this whole debate reflects a different culture between Germany and the USA, the Germans respect and reward hard work,…” absolutely correct, however, in the USA(nation), democrats seek to punish hard work and success while rewarding those who are non productive. One need only look at the democrats who spend so much of their time seeking ways to take away from success and give to those who have neither earned nor deserve. Thank you USA(poster) for argueing what good conservatives have been saying all along.

Unions bring higher wages, to the point that the wages are greater than the value added of the usually mediocre worker. This resuts in overpriced products that cannot compete.

Also unions bring job security, so much so that people almost can not get fired, resulting in poor job performance and lazy workers who are marginal at best doing their job. This results in poor quality that coupled with the higher prices above results in even less competitiveness.

Unions now exist not at all for the worker or company, but for the power, wealth, and influence of its highest officials. Unions are a merger of politics and criminal organizations (if there is a difference) that should be disbanded.

Feb 19, 2014 2:36pm EST  --  Report as abuse
gcf1965 wrote:

“It really is not that complicated, but I guess it hard for the right as I have shown, with my analysis of why Detroit is in such as bad place…” I agree with this too. Two ideas/concepts explain Detroit – Unions and decades of democrat leaders

Feb 19, 2014 2:38pm EST  --  Report as abuse
mddickens wrote:

Right, I’m sure that southern US workers are going to let a bunch of Germans tell them what they have to do. Note to Germany: the more you threaten us, the less we care.

Feb 19, 2014 2:38pm EST  --  Report as abuse

@TheNewWorld, did the UAW design these cars ? no. Of course UAW members built the cars, because that was/is their job. While it is management’s job to run the company and decide what to build. GM and Chrysler’s problem was not it’s output of cars(the workers did their job), it was that not many wanted to buy them.

Now I can understand if GM and/Or Chrysler where set up like German companies like VW, with worker representatives making up half the board, but they are not. Workers, aka UAW, had ZERO input into vehicle design/what to build.

And then when it became clear that their deals had to be re-worked in order to help save the companies from previous boneheaded management decisions, guess who stepped up to the plate, the UAW, they took benefit/wage concessions, in order to allow the companies to stay afloat. Yes they did get future profit sharing type agreements, but that is a good thing cause they all have some skin in the game now.

As an example look at Ford, they did some serious soul searching and changed their whole outlook on what cars to make/how to make them, and started to turn themselves around before then financial crash of 2008, and Ford is all UAW too. GM/Chrysler could have done the same thing too, but they where shortsighted.

Seriously man, you are normally not as divorced from reality as the rightie/Obama haters(which I have said before I do not put you in that category, but I do remember you being an unabashed liberal, or something like that LOL), but in this case you putting the blame on the UAW does not reflect reality.

Feb 19, 2014 2:44pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Ciao wrote:

@USAPragmatist2: woah, can we stick to topic and leave the childish insults on the playground?
Please show me where I said “Detroit” anywhere in my post.

Feb 19, 2014 2:51pm EST  --  Report as abuse
DarwinEvolved wrote:

Detroit has lots of land available, lots of people willing to work, lots of workers with production experience and a VW plant would be welcomed with open arms.

Tell the tea baggers to take a hike. As a VW owner (2011 Golf) and holder of VW ADRs, I would prefer to see VW put a plant in Michigan- Detroit would be fine.

Feb 19, 2014 3:25pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Yashmak wrote:

“This tool works for the Koch brothers, not ordinary Americans. He’s a well-known scumbag.”- TPartyNutcases

Um, if you look at the top political donors, the Koch brothers are WAY down the list. . . behind whom you might ask? Well, more than half of the top 10 political donors are unions, and all of them donate almost exclusively to the Democrat party. Anything you say about them, you should apply equally to those who donate many times as much as they do politically. . .that is, if you want to be taken seriously, instead of as someone who has partaken of a bit much partisan kool-aid.

Feb 19, 2014 3:36pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Yashmak wrote:

“This tool works for the Koch brothers, not ordinary Americans. He’s a well-known scumbag.”- TPartyNutcases

Um, if you look at the top political donors, the Koch brothers are WAY down the list. . . behind whom you might ask? Well, more than half of the top 10 political donors are unions, and all of them donate almost exclusively to the Democrat party. Anything you say about them, you should apply equally to those who donate many times as much as they do politically. . .that is, if you want to be taken seriously, instead of as someone who has partaken of a bit much partisan kool-aid.

Feb 19, 2014 3:36pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Damnyanqui wrote:

Wow.
This is precisely the kind of union thuggery Tennessee and its workers freely voted to prevent. Where is the NLRB now to sanction these union goons for extortion?
Hello?

Feb 19, 2014 4:00pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Ciao wrote:

@USAPragmatist2: Macroeconomics is fine, but an increase in GDP isn’t going to cause a lot of excitement in a company that is struggling because the market won’t support their product at a price that covers their increased expenses. Especially if their competitors offer their products at a lower cost because they are doing their manufacturing overseas.

Feb 19, 2014 4:05pm EST  --  Report as abuse
fuchqu wrote:

What is thuggery is a Politician threatening workers that if they go union the company won’t open another plant contrary to what VW stated. I believe in the modern world that’s called Coercion and in direct violation of the Wagner Act.

Feb 19, 2014 4:08pm EST  --  Report as abuse

@GCF1965 wow so many falshoods in one post I cant tackle them all, but here are a few…

1.you say ‘however, in the USA(nation), democrats seek to punish hard work and success while rewarding those who are non productive. ‘ Wrong, what the Democrats want to do is provide a strong social safety net, much like they have in Germany, where as you admitted they reward hard work, but how can they do this with a strong social safety net? notice the discrepancy in your argument? I have to give you credit though, using an advanced debating technique like using my own words against me, but it is an advanced technique for a reason, if not used carefully it can backfire as this one did on you.

2. you say ‘Unions bring higher wages, to the point that the wages are greater than the value added of the usually mediocre worker. This results in overpriced products that cannot compete.’ Wrong once again, it is management’s responsibility to not agree to contracts with their workers that will make a company un-profitable. This is free-market capitalism. The workers can demand what they want, but that does not mean the company has to give it to them. If the proposed contract will not allow a company to be successful, then the company should not agree to the contract and hire new workers. Not that complicated.

@yashmak, you are talking about disclosed donations, most of the Koch brothers donations are anonymous to 501C organizations. That is one of the reasons it is so evil, they hide behind the 501c, if what you are doing is genuine, why hide behind another organization?

@Ciao, Then they need to increase the price or find a cheaper way to manufacture it or get out of that business. But you are getting at one of the root causes of our lack of middle class jobs, outsourcing is encouraged not just by wage disparity(the average American worker does get paid more, but they are also more productive on average, so wage disparity is a bit nullified) but by an archaic tax code.

Feb 19, 2014 4:23pm EST  --  Report as abuse

@ciao, to add, the last paragraph was not necessarily directed at you, but those that claim the ‘UAW ruined Detroit’

Feb 19, 2014 4:24pm EST  --  Report as abuse
kcroofer wrote:

VW come on over to Missouri, we love the unions and have two of the big 3 in KC, that are expanding and doing well with skilled labor. What I find hilarious is the ability some of you have to read. You keep posting that the union needs to quit or give up when it’s the VW company itself pushing for the union. Reading and comprehension is taught at an early age, but from the comments on here I’d say some of you missed that class or was never taught.

Feb 19, 2014 4:41pm EST  --  Report as abuse
gcf1965 wrote:

There is a difference between a strong social safety net and promoting generational dependence on government as a means to win votes and retain power. It is far too easy to get by on the gov’t dole while working cash jobs to supplement in this country. Democrats have no desire to provide a social safety net, rather a power safety net, providing anything to gain votes and retain power. To not understand a difference between safety net (UI benefits) and government dependence (unending UI benefits) prevents a meaningful conversation on the solutions to problems

While technically, corps do have the responsibility to just say no to workers/unions, it is the thuggery of the unions that can cripple a corp for weeks or months through blackmail. This is the big problem, so many unions have held a company hostage demading ridiculous pay/benefits that eventually the company is forced to cede, after all, bleed money with no revenue or lose money with revenue and then when they are not able to find a way to make up for the crazy demands of the union contracts, they find alternative solutions, like outsourcing and offshoring. Now the unios cry foul and blame the company for putting people out of work, when the truth is it was the demands for $25+/hr for floor sweepers that put workers out of a job.

Feb 19, 2014 4:50pm EST  --  Report as abuse
newthouser wrote:

I find it ridiculous that there are those who would blame Detroit’s downfall on the Union. The Union did not design nor approve the lousy cars like the Aztec, Vega, Cimarron, Pinto or the other flops over the years that came out of Detroit – Upper Management approved them. Upper management also failed to take real notice when the Japanese car companies starting eating their profit share in the 70′s. They hold the greatest responsibility but shoulder the least blame and suffer the least consequences when they make mistakes. Ultimately everything rolls down hill to the rank and file, the easy target. Shame on any of you who would act as company stooges and fail to place the real blame where it lies.

Feb 19, 2014 4:51pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Ciao wrote:

@USAPragmatist2: good summary, however I’m not sure I agree with your final conclusion: that tax code is the way to fix this. I think the problems that truly have come from union representation are more when they have gone too far. Everyone deserves a fair wage for what they do, but that fair wage needs to be tied to how much the market values their output. When the company/union partnership fails is when the wages and bonuses don’t strike that balance. This leaves an opening for competition to come in and undercut them on price. As we’ve seen, when that happens the company is hosed because they can’t compete on price anymore.
Someone made the point that a union worker is better trained than non-union, and is therefor more productive. I don’t dispute that that can happen, but again the difference in wages needs to reflect the difference in productivity. If someone is twice as effective but you pay them four times as much, you set up the same failure.

Feb 19, 2014 4:52pm EST  --  Report as abuse
newthouser wrote:

TheNewWorld, it was obvious from the start that Benz had no desire or long term goals to really invest and grow Chrysler. Bob Lutz used the deal to sell Chrysler as a stepping stone to other things. When they had gutted and taken what they wanted they simply threw Chrysler away for another scavenger to pick on its bones – the aptly named 3 headed dog Cerberus.

Feb 19, 2014 4:54pm EST  --  Report as abuse
SunnyDaySam wrote:

SwainSR wrote:
‘Here’s a tip for VW officials: Mind your own business.’

uh, read the article. that’s exactly what they’re doing. Labor sits at the management table at VW. It’s a great model for USA corporations.

Feb 19, 2014 5:04pm EST  --  Report as abuse
bricko12 wrote:

We would now urge VW to leave the US altogether and keep their communist Unions out of the country. We eventually will outlaw Unionism all together and make if a felony to promote or join one.

Feb 19, 2014 5:14pm EST  --  Report as abuse
mewp1 wrote:

I suppose next they will blame Republicans for the snow.

Feb 19, 2014 5:15pm EST  --  Report as abuse
DaMav wrote:

Obviously the VW’s “Works Council” could care less what American workers want. The actual workers dared to stand up to the union bosses in a fair vote; those union bosses are now threatening the well being of the workers.

Reuters BIAS ALERT:
“German workers enjoy considerable influence over company decisions under the legally enshrined “co-determination” principle which is anathema to many politicians in the U.S. who see organized labor as a threat to profits and job growth.”
– Note how they make it sound like only “politicians in the US” oppose unions as a threat. But those voting in the election rejecting unionization were in fact workers, not politicians. In fact Obama, a politician, pushed the union, speaking before other politicians. But the negative ‘politicians’ is only used for Republicans. Nice little mind twist.
Finally note that rules favoring unions are glowingly described as “legally enshrined”. But the election rejecting the union bosses, which is also so “enshrined”, receives no such puffery.

Feb 19, 2014 5:19pm EST  --  Report as abuse
PoliticsUnspn wrote:

indymind wrote:
It is amazing that one poster said that Obama rescued the auto industry in order to save a Republican Depression. Sir, he saved us from a Democrat Depression, the democrats being in charge of the White House and both Houses of Congress. Think!

Yeah, I’m thinking …thinking about how the financial crisis started before the election was even held! Sen McCain rushing back to D.C. so he could be a part of the discussions that were being held without him…so he wouldn’t have to show up at the debate.

Bush and Paulson at the podium telling the American people we were facing a financial crisis and the Democrats who passed without the help of the Republicans the TARP vote (the 2nd vote) after Paulson went to Pelosi and begged her for the votes to pass it to save the economy.

Bush granted the bridge loan ($13B)to the auto companies, so any final decisions could be made by the new president.

I also recall how these auto makers flew into DC in their personal jets with their hands out — I sure didn’t see any Union representatives there.

Detroit’s problems were created by CEO’s who had their politicians in their pockets — never bothering to increase CAFE standards or building better cars. There was a time when Japanese cars were rejected due to their poor quality, even with better gas mileage. Japan car makers soon figured it out and retooled to make better cars. The Big 3 in their smugness thought they could continue without changing to compete. And they were able to hold on until the economy crashed — and like all other businesses, their credit card got cut off.

The loans (which have been repaid) to the auto industry were necessary, not only because of the manufacturing base the economy needed from Detroit, but all the sub-contractors tied to that industry all around the county.

Detroit is what it is due to the massive layoffs and mortgage foreclosures all of which gutted their tax base (as happened everywhere in the country, but not to the extent it happened in Detroit due to the massive employment by the car industry there).

The statements you made are utterly nonsensical and without any factual basis.

Feb 19, 2014 6:05pm EST  --  Report as abuse
bc81024 wrote:

Unions built the US middle-class, stop the revisionist history. NeoCons are in a genocide against unions because unios challenge management’s dominance. But as the article states, in Germany, unions can and are part of the manufactuing process.

Are we seeing a new era of union growth into US industrys, both manufcturing and service? That would make the Koch/NeoCon/Tejadist factions of the GOP quite unhappy. But may spell a bright light for the US working class, who have seen nothing but darkness since Nov 1980.

We can only hope.

Finally GM’s management killed the EV, not unions. GM was leading the electric car development market and the former (WWIIer’s-not surprized) killed the one growth project GM had. They did it on purpose, while demonizing the UAW.

Hang together or hang separately.

Feb 19, 2014 6:12pm EST  --  Report as abuse
PoliticsUnspn wrote:

DaMav wrote:
Obviously the VW’s “Works Council” could care less what American workers want. The actual workers dared to stand up to the union bosses in a fair vote; those union bosses are now threatening the well being of the workers.

Obama made NO comment until the vote was over, whereas Corker and the TN legislature intervened with threats (no more tax incentives) and lies (still waiting for Corker to admit who he “spoke” with, since VW denied his statement.

There was nothing fair about this vote, due to the intervention by these public officials.

VW has a works council – and Germany has done very well with their unions — check out their GDP! They’ve become the bankers for the EU because of their strong manufacturing base using this model.

THEY have the right to decide what they do with the company and IF they choose to tell the US south to go bugger off, that is THEIR decision.

Having seen what these politicians have done, I am quite certain they are questioning whether they can trust them in the future not to change laws to undermine their business, if they don’t like something the company is doing.

So that SUV expansion Corker “guaranteed” — looks like that may NOT be happening now. VW is not to blame, UAW is not to blame, if it happens, but you can place the blame SQUARELY at the feet of Corker and the TN legislature who threatened VW.

Feb 19, 2014 6:13pm EST  --  Report as abuse
PoliticsUnspn wrote:

Ciao – while I appreciate you insight, answer this question.

Why is it that no matter where the car in manufactured in the US – union or non-union, that the price of the car is the same?

Feb 19, 2014 6:16pm EST  --  Report as abuse

@ciao, thank you for the civil and thoughtful response. As in anything it is possible that wages can be too high, but honestly I doubt that is a common problem around the country now. And in the cases where unions have been faced with job losses by company they have contract with going under, vs taking a pay cut, nearly every time the unions took a cut (airline unions and UAW for example). When you have a solid working relationship with your workers (unionized or not) the workers will generally cooperate.

With regards to outsourcing I did not mean to imply that in can be completely fixed by tax code, it can not. But we can adjust our tax code to NOT benefit those that move jobs offshore and benefit those that bring jobs back to the USA. this would not fix it by any means, cause there are other factors, but it sure would help. In fact this is one of the many proposals that Obama has put out there, only to be rejected by the GOP in their continual ploy to make him look bad by promoting a partisan environment when Obama ran on bipartisanship.

Feb 19, 2014 6:23pm EST  --  Report as abuse
DrArthurIde wrote:

Organized labor is a help both to management and to union participants. It was labor that gave workers a five day work week or 40 hours a week. It was labor that gave workers health benefits. It was unions that pushed through maternal leave–for mothers and brothers. It was labor that created holidays for working people. Etc. It is the rich and super rich who oppose unions so that they can continue to gouge the working poor and disappearing middle class. It is the rich and super rich who distort economics and reality to build a wall of fear around workers.

Germany is right. Hopefully Germany and all foreign investors in the USA financial structure will pull their factories and businesses out of the USA. The USA is not a democracy nor has interest in those who have worked to make it great. The USA is not a place of freedom or equality with corporations being declared people and the rich, once more, as in the 19th century, buy elections and power.

Feb 19, 2014 6:32pm EST  --  Report as abuse

@gcf1965, I can not think of one instance in the last 5 years where unions ‘put a company out of business’. In fact, as I mentioned in previous post, every time I can think of recently where companies are doing bad and risk going under, the unions have stepped up to the plate and taken concessions, for example the UAW with GM and Chrysler (and Ford, but Ford re-negotiated ahead of time before it was bankruptcy or not, another example of the mis-management of Chrysler/GM) and the airline unions (Pilots, flight attendants, maintenance, baggage workers, etc).

So please give me one documented example where the unions ‘blackmailed’ a company into bankruptcy. Or else it is just another rightie myth, like ‘Obamacare created part time jobs’(ignoring the fact that forced part time employment has DECREASED since the PPACA was enacted) or the whole voter fraud so we need voter ID thing(with no documented cases of voter fraud)

Lastly please stop with the ‘vote buying’ bullpucky, because that is all it is, a big stinking pile of it. Doing what one thinks is right for one’s constituents is not ‘vote buying’, it is governing. Not like they govern anymore, but when the GOP does what they think is right for the constituents is that ‘vote buying’? Here is what vote buying is, I will give you $1000 cash if you vote for me.

Feb 19, 2014 6:33pm EST  --  Report as abuse
cervantes011 wrote:

Alot of moron brainwashed right wingers on here. Unions didn’t destroy jobs.. neoliberal globalization did. Bernanke stated ‘Reagan’s preference to offsore manufacturing has failed’ Yellen stated a large part of low wages which results in low aggregate demand which results in economic collapse is largely to blame on union busting. Right wingers don’t know how an economic engine runs.. they only know the propaganda that others have told them.. that’s why the economy is sputtering on fumes. ‘Low information voters’.. parroting the conservative propaganda not realizing THEY are the ‘low information’.. or Misinformation voter. Ignorance.

Feb 19, 2014 6:39pm EST  --  Report as abuse
pacers101 wrote:

I don’t know what unions in germany are like but you all dodged a bullet in TN. You don’t want any part of uaw, they will fleece you for everything.

Feb 19, 2014 6:58pm EST  --  Report as abuse
lucslawyer wrote:

And where was management when all of this destruction was going on? After all, the workers only have the materials, equipment, and designs that management provides with which to create a product.

Feb 19, 2014 7:29pm EST  --  Report as abuse
mpatrovsky wrote:

I’m tired of these left wing FOREIGN idiots trying to dictate to the U.S. and force us to adhere to their wimp driven socialism. We don’t need no stinkin’ unions here. If the employees want a larger voice in company affairs they need to buy stock in the companies and vote their shares.

Feb 19, 2014 7:31pm EST  --  Report as abuse
adbstern wrote:

Unions protect workers from wage erosion and increase pay and benefits for non-union workers as well. It is not Labor’s fault that Capital is willing to send jobs elsewhere to push down labor costs. Companies are producing more and making higher profits than ever, but those profits are not being passed on to workers. They are passed on to shareholders and higher-ups in the company. Just look at Germany, they have a very strong Labor movement and continue to be the dominant economy in Europe.

Feb 19, 2014 7:40pm EST  --  Report as abuse
DracoSolon wrote:

Tell VW management to not build the new crossover there and not to expand the plant. It would serve them right! The Mexican facility can build it just fine!

Feb 19, 2014 7:46pm EST  --  Report as abuse
xyz2055 wrote:

Big2Tex..you forgetting the largest union debacle of all time..the Air Traffic Controllers Union. They had a no strike clause in their contract and they went on strike any way. They shut down the airports holding the country hostage while demanding a huge increase in pay and benefits. We all cheered when Reagan fired them all!

But this was different. This VW plant actually welcomed the union. Isn’t it the right of a private corporation to run their business the way they want? And shouldn’t it be the right of the workers to decide on their own without heavy outside influence whether or not they want union representation? Corker and Norquist were the ones who intimidated the workers into voting no. Non-stop radio ads and billboards. This vote is tarnished.

Feb 19, 2014 8:02pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Flash1022 wrote:

Big2Tex

Many of the companies and states you mentioned went out of business because they felt there was no need to fund their pensions in good times. They had the means and ability to fund the pensions, until the bad times hit. Then they found themselves in trouble.

They also bought bad financial instruments, and did not make the investments in infrastructure and job training they need to provide for the future.

Feb 19, 2014 8:06pm EST  --  Report as abuse
gitmojo wrote:

@usaprag:

So you have already forgotten about the brave baker’s union that single handedly sunk the Hostess bakery? The saintly, altruistic souls that forsook the four other unions who had already had contracts but all lost their jobs?
Negotiating in good faith is something you do to get a fair wage, benefits and working conditions not something you pull out of the emergency playbook when the company is on death’s door.

So you sell yourself as some all knowing, middle of the road guy but, in reality, you’re just another liberal apologist spinfreak, probably on Soros’s payroll.

Do you expect all Americans are that naive believing that buying votes has more avenues than the direct payoff.
For sure that IS done by the machine that delivers the vote from the city section8 housing directly to the booth and IN the booth in some cases. Some lottery tickets or a gift card will do the trick.

And if no IDs can be insisted on when voting, how can you determine who a registered voter IS and who isn’t? Brilliant! No fraud!
Really?

Feb 19, 2014 8:19pm EST  --  Report as abuse
G-1 wrote:

Companies fail all the time. Why blame it on unions?

By that count, emancipation brought a lot of plantations to ruin. Child labour laws also damaged many companies. In fact, food safety regulations have made providing food to the US marketplace less profitable, even prohibitively so for some potential baby formula makers.

Wow. Republicans have become the very definition of stupid.

Feb 19, 2014 8:21pm EST  --  Report as abuse
amyl wrote:

If you don’t like unions don’t join one. The UAW was going to give up many concessions to implement a worker council at Volkswagen … not a typical union … so much for that tired old right wing rhetoric about union thugs, unions have outlived their usefulness, blah blah blah. That.is.all … carry on carrying on.

Feb 19, 2014 8:45pm EST  --  Report as abuse
carlo151 wrote:

Detroit auto problems were 2-fold, cars that people did not want and the age of the workforce.
GM boomed in the 60′s, these people were all retirees by the late 90′s. To compete with Honda or others who hired 20-somethings who are 30 years from retirement gives the new companies an edge. That will turn around in 5 years, GM will be the young kids on the block.

The bad cars were all management. This idea that more lines get more market share, Pontiac, Buick, Chevy, all basically the same car.

It looks like Sen. Corker may have to kiss some German union a-s if he ever wants another factory there.

Feb 19, 2014 9:08pm EST  --  Report as abuse
carlo151 wrote:

gitmojo if is up to you to prove voter fraud. You fund the cost of the investigation to turn up nothing more than somebody signed the book on the wrong line.

And when do the investigation, try and find why 70% of registered voters in some elections never vote. We need more involvement in elections instead of false accusations being used to pass voter suppression laws.

Feb 19, 2014 9:13pm EST  --  Report as abuse

the work council cannot have it both ways. Tennessee looked like a sweet place to build a plant when consideration was given to the “corporate welfare” (tax breaks, and the fact that there is no state income tax) that Tennessee offered. The work council was a member of the decision team that took the deal. Now, an unintended consequence – rejection of unionization – has them upset. The work council help feather this nest, now they complain about the feathers being too prickly…

Feb 19, 2014 9:23pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Big2Tex wrote:

I will bet that if you asked any of the workers at the VW plant thaey would say that Corker, Norquist and Obama had no influence whatsoever on their vote. These folks were voting for their own, individual futures and could care less what politicians had to say. they worked at the plant, knew the management, knew their job situations, and voted accordingly…no UAW representation. Accept the truth you Marxist elitists, people are wise to your lies and deceit. You were able to buy almost half the vote but not a majority…..tick, tock…you lose.

Feb 19, 2014 9:24pm EST  --  Report as abuse
YoungTurkArmy wrote:

@Texas_Aggie: yes, please, bring the jobs to Canada, a still union friendly country. It would be especially interesting to hear Harper speaking out of both sides of his mouth, welcoming the jobs while downplaying union involvement in material decisions. I can hardly wait.

Feb 19, 2014 9:49pm EST  --  Report as abuse
xyz2055 wrote:

Nice fantasy you got going on there Big2Tex. What Corker and Norquist did is no different than running a campaign…everyone (except you) knows that the more you spend (advertising) the better the chance of selling your goods. Corker and Norquist were the only ones putting out radio ads and billboards. Only an idiot doesn’t see that they influenced the vote.

Feb 19, 2014 10:05pm EST  --  Report as abuse
gitmojo wrote:

@carlo151:

The same stupid talking points must be inscribed on the first page of the liberal playbook: voter ID equals voter suppression.
What are you trying to hide? Why wouldn’t someone with nothing to hide show a picture ID?
Required procedure for BREATHING today but not for voting?
Can’t cash a check, apply for benefits, get on a plane, cross a border, use travelers checks, etc, etc,etc.
Stop with the hardship whining.
Proof of fraud starts with the ID. Must be why you have a problem with it.

Feb 19, 2014 10:06pm EST  --  Report as abuse
donaldrgibson wrote:

Wow, as a person who has worked 20 years in a union, I know first hand what they are like, they have their good and bad. After 20 years their bad outweighs the good. You have know idea what it is like to sit and watch a person make the same wage as you, while they sit around on there arse, then to boot because of the union they don’t get fired. I have worked with people that smell like a brewery, get caught in their car at break drinking, guess what they still have a job. Then try suggesting that maybe we should have a straight %raise for everyone then go to a raise based on performance on top of that. The union wants no part in that, “not fair” they say. Hell so it’s ok to come in and lounge around and do nothing while I do my job. Sorry folks but your paid to do a job, you agreed when you got hired to the wage and hours, so shut up, have some pride and do your damn job.

Feb 19, 2014 10:07pm EST  --  Report as abuse
donaldrgibson wrote:

Wow, as a person who has worked 20 years in a union, I know first hand what they are like, they have their good and bad. After 20 years their bad outweighs the good. You have know idea what it is like to sit and watch a person make the same wage as you, while they sit around on there arse, then to boot because of the union they don’t get fired. I have worked with people that smell like a brewery, get caught in their car at break drinking, guess what they still have a job. Then try suggesting that maybe we should have a straight %raise for everyone then go to a raise based on performance on top of that. The union wants no part in that, “not fair” they say. Hell so it’s ok to come in and lounge around and do nothing while I do my job. Sorry folks but your paid to do a job, you agreed when you got hired to the wage and hours, so shut up, have some pride and do your damn job.

Feb 19, 2014 10:07pm EST  --  Report as abuse
donaldrgibson wrote:

Wow, as a person who has worked 20 years in a union, I know first hand what they are like, they have their good and bad. After 20 years their bad outweighs the good. You have know idea what it is like to sit and watch a person make the same wage as you, while they sit around on there arse, then to boot because of the union they don’t get fired. I have worked with people that smell like a brewery, get caught in their car at break drinking, guess what they still have a job. Then try suggesting that maybe we should have a straight %raise for everyone then go to a raise based on performance on top of that. The union wants no part in that, “not fair” they say. Hell so it’s ok to come in and lounge around and do nothing while I do my job. Sorry folks but your paid to do a job, you agreed when you got hired to the wage and hours, so shut up, have some pride and do your damn job.

Feb 19, 2014 10:07pm EST  --  Report as abuse
donaldrgibson wrote:

Wow, as a person who has worked 20 years in a union, I know first hand what they are like, they have their good and bad. After 20 years their bad outweighs the good. You have know idea what it is like to sit and watch a person make the same wage as you, while they sit around on there arse, then to boot because of the union they don’t get fired. I have worked with people that smell like a brewery, get caught in their car at break drinking, guess what they still have a job. Then try suggesting that maybe we should have a straight %raise for everyone then go to a raise based on performance on top of that. The union wants no part in that, “not fair” they say. Hell so it’s ok to come in and lounge around and do nothing while I do my job. Sorry folks but your paid to do a job, you agreed when you got hired to the wage and hours, so shut up, have some pride and do your damn job.

Feb 19, 2014 10:07pm EST  --  Report as abuse
donaldrgibson wrote:

Wow, as a person who has worked 20 years in a union, I know first hand what they are like, they have their good and bad. After 20 years their bad outweighs the good. You have know idea what it is like to sit and watch a person make the same wage as you, while they sit around on there arse, then to boot because of the union they don’t get fired. I have worked with people that smell like a brewery, get caught in their car at break drinking, guess what they still have a job. Then try suggesting that maybe we should have a straight %raise for everyone then go to a raise based on performance on top of that. The union wants no part in that, “not fair” they say. Hell so it’s ok to come in and lounge around and do nothing while I do my job. Sorry folks but your paid to do a job, you agreed when you got hired to the wage and hours, so shut up, have some pride and do your damn job.

Feb 19, 2014 10:07pm EST  --  Report as abuse
donaldrgibson wrote:

Wow, as a person who has worked 20 years in a union, I know first hand what they are like, they have their good and bad. After 20 years their bad outweighs the good. You have know idea what it is like to sit and watch a person make the same wage as you, while they sit around on there arse, then to boot because of the union they don’t get fired. I have worked with people that smell like a brewery, get caught in their car at break drinking, guess what they still have a job. Then try suggesting that maybe we should have a straight %raise for everyone then go to a raise based on performance on top of that. The union wants no part in that, “not fair” they say. Hell so it’s ok to come in and lounge around and do nothing while I do my job. Sorry folks but your paid to do a job, you agreed when you got hired to the wage and hours, so shut up, have some pride and do your damn job.

Feb 19, 2014 10:07pm EST  --  Report as abuse
donaldrgibson wrote:

Wow, as a person who has worked 20 years in a union, I know first hand what they are like, they have their good and bad. After 20 years their bad outweighs the good. You have know idea what it is like to sit and watch a person make the same wage as you, while they sit around on there arse, then to boot because of the union they don’t get fired. I have worked with people that smell like a brewery, get caught in their car at break drinking, guess what they still have a job. Then try suggesting that maybe we should have a straight %raise for everyone then go to a raise based on performance on top of that. The union wants no part in that, “not fair” they say. Hell so it’s ok to come in and lounge around and do nothing while I do my job. Sorry folks but your paid to do a job, you agreed when you got hired to the wage and hours, so shut up, have some pride and do your damn job.

Feb 19, 2014 10:07pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Bakhtin wrote:

gitmojo wrote:
“So you have already forgotten about the brave baker’s union that single handedly sunk the Hostess bakery?”

In 2010, the Hostess executives gave themselves an 80% pay rise. In August 2011, they stopped paying pension benefits in breach of their pension contract. In January 2012 they filed for bankruptcy for the second time. In July 2012 they gave workers a choice of giving up pensions or reducing pay and benefits. In November 2012 – 11 months after Hostess filed for bankruptcy – the union rejected the new contracts and went on strike.

Please, explain to us all how this is all the unions fault, and not lousy management. Tell us , specifically, what the union did to single handedly sink Hostess.

Feb 19, 2014 10:13pm EST  --  Report as abuse
elsewhere wrote:

To German unions, go ahead and cut your nose off to spite you face.

Feb 19, 2014 10:34pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Kahnie wrote:

VW is welcome in any union loving state. Washington, Oregon, California. You name it. We will welcome you and your union concept of joint decision making. It just makes sense for all. VW makes money and so do the workers. Win-Win.

Feb 19, 2014 10:39pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Kahnie wrote:

The threats came from Corker, not the union. Corker still thinks this is the ante-bellum South and the workers are just slaves on the plantation. He is a union-hater from the git-go. Not a representative of all the people, just the ones who pay him to be anti-union.

Feb 19, 2014 10:43pm EST  --  Report as abuse
gitmojo wrote:

@bakhtin:

Hostess was trying to recover from a prior bankruptcy and dealing with $2 billion in unfunded pension liability. The new proprietors were capital investors who didn’t realize the can of worms they invested in.
So you’re right, the management was not up to the task but strike was the finishing touch and if the recent execs didn’t invest in the company they would have folded years before.

Feb 19, 2014 11:02pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Aanna1123 wrote:

Bring your company to Michigan! We love unions!

Feb 19, 2014 11:04pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Aanna1123 wrote:

Bring your company to Michigan! We love unions!

Feb 19, 2014 11:04pm EST  --  Report as abuse

VW and the works council loved the south when the smelled the “corporate welfare” tax incentives, the no state income tax, the cheap construction cost, the strategic distribution advantages, etc. The works council and the UAW also knew they had a friendly organizing environment with VW, but that could wait until later and would roll out during phase 2 of their plan. Phase 2 just backfired. Now a threat to build/produce elsewhere? Go north, but you don’t get the tax incentives et al….

The works council cannot complain about the failed phase 2. They own this. Feather your nest if you will, but don’t complain if the feathers have burrs…

Feb 19, 2014 11:14pm EST  --  Report as abuse
MarkMulligan wrote:

Germany has very strong, very powerful unions, low unemployment and a thriving economy. There are still lots of manufacturing jobs in Germany and they pay many times what they pay here and with great benefits. German business and labor does a very good job of working together, not at all like the antagonistic relationship of labor and management in the U.S. The U.S. is ultimately doomed if it doesn’t soon start figuring out how to save the middle class. Germany figured it out a long time ago.

Feb 19, 2014 11:35pm EST  --  Report as abuse
garyharryman wrote:

Sounds like the head of the German Works Council is smarter than American politicians. If unions destroyed the American auto industry, as the myth purveyors claim, they why are we begging unionized German auto manufacturers to open plants in the US? When labor and management work together they make superior products. The proof is in the pudding.

Feb 19, 2014 11:42pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Thorsman wrote:

wow..the stupid on this thread is palpable. Make unionizing a felony??? And you call OTHERS “socialist”? There’s some special kind of stupid going on here.

Feb 20, 2014 12:54am EST  --  Report as abuse
jorge62 wrote:

VW better look at what happened in Detroit.

Feb 20, 2014 12:59am EST  --  Report as abuse
Bakhtin wrote:

gitmojo

So now your tune has changed from ‘the brave baker’s union that single handedly sunk the Hostess bakery’ to ‘the finishing touch’, which is good – you have learned something.

But… how is the strike even the finishing touch, when it came 11 months *after* Hostess filed for bankruptcy? The cause of the bankruptcy cannot come 11 months after the bankruptcy is filed!

Feb 20, 2014 1:47am EST  --  Report as abuse

Some really stupid rednecks posting here.

Germany is kicking our a** by most measures, as is the rest of Europe.

Feb 20, 2014 1:53am EST  --  Report as abuse
rts18202 wrote:

How interesting…the company wants a union and the workers don’t. The company WILL build a plant if the workers are unionized and will not build if they aren’t. The company makes a decent product and makes money. Certainly a big difference between the German way and the American way.Going to be interesting how this play out.

Feb 20, 2014 2:27am EST  --  Report as abuse
UScitizentoo wrote:

You have to laugh at the anti-union posters here gagging on the profitable VW insisting on a union because it works better for VW. First it was “we’re desperate for a factory” now it’s F VW for wanting a union to run their business and build their product the way they usually do to make a profit. You do have to hand it to the fascists for their astounding ability to ignore reality.

Feb 20, 2014 3:23am EST  --  Report as abuse
theovulator wrote:

Bakhtin.

Specifically?

“the union rejected the new contracts and went on strike.”

And the company, AND the workers, ALL went under.

Specific enough?

Feb 20, 2014 3:44am EST  --  Report as abuse
theovulator wrote:

UScitizentoo.

VW, fascists? Really?

You do recall that at one point in VW’s history, Hitler ran the thing.

Feb 20, 2014 3:53am EST  --  Report as abuse

It is remarkable how ignorant the American Konservative is regarding how things work outside of their little bubble world. Worldwide, workers are treated in a drastically different way, with Germany, France, Italy and others who consider their EMPLOYEES as a vital part of their manufacturing operations….the Volkswagen “workers council” model is a VERY LARGE something that folks like Bob Corker and his anti-union friends have missed…. I suggest that the Americans following Corker wake up and look at the real world and recognize those REAL PEOPLE who assemble the autos and run the machines of American industry.

Feb 20, 2014 6:24am EST  --  Report as abuse
a1a1a1a1a1a1 wrote:

“unions destroyed the US auto industry”

Ah, I see the Fox talking-point scribblers and propaganda flaks have been sharpening their crayons.

Bad management destroyed the US auto industry. When Americans were crying out for fuel efficient automobiles, management kept cranking out gas guzzlers. Toyota (and other foreign firms) stepped in and took over our markets. How soon we forget. (Although it is easier to forget when outlets such as Fox shills keep hammering away that unions are the devil’s minions.)

“Unions servers a valid purpose in their time… but that time is long gone. ”
Oh yes. Just ask the Koch brothers how wise it is for workers to depend on the kindness of others. Better yet, ask workers at any of the several fast food franchises how delightful it is to work “flexible schedules” (part time so if they’re lucky, they can hold two jobs…benefits? sorry) for the kind of pay that forces them to apply for food stamps.

Geesh, people. Claw your way out of the bubble.

Feb 20, 2014 7:07am EST  --  Report as abuse
Bakhtin wrote:

theovulator wrote:
“Bakhtin.

Specifically?

“the union rejected the new contracts and went on strike.”

And the company, AND the workers, ALL went under.

Specific enough?”

That is not specific. It is a lie. Flat out wrong. You have reversed the time-line. You are revising history to fit your Fox Fantasy.

Maybe this is simple enough for you: January 2012 the company goes under. November 2012 the union rejects new contracts. Notice how what FoxBots keep insisting was the cause came *after* the bankruptcy?

Feb 20, 2014 7:30am EST  --  Report as abuse
Bakhtin wrote:

theovulator wrote:
“Bakhtin.

Specifically?

“the union rejected the new contracts and went on strike.”

And the company, AND the workers, ALL went under.

Specific enough?”

That is not specific. It is a lie. Flat out wrong. You have reversed the time-line. You are revising history to fit your Fox Fantasy.

Maybe this is simple enough for you: January 2012 the company goes under. November 2012 the union rejects new contracts. Notice how what FoxBots keep insisting was the cause came *after* the bankruptcy?

Feb 20, 2014 7:30am EST  --  Report as abuse
fuchqu wrote:

I would like to clarify a few things that some people have wrote here that are completely devoid of facts.
1. When people start using words they don’t actually understand but heard on the radio or from someone, they lose the argument automatically based on ignorance.. Calling some one ” a Marxist Elitist” actually makes no sense it’s like an oxymoron, Marxism is based on the concept of contempt for the bourgeoisie! So when you call someone an elitist you yourself sound like a Marxist.
2. Socialism (very scary word thrown around often) it’s very definition is, “to each according to his contribution” Wow now for those calling others lazy bums etc… This socialism thing sounds kinda good! You get paid more for doing more work and less for lack thereof work.
3. Communism- ” each according to his need” now most of you were brought up to fear communism, it’s understandable that fear you have was perpetuated by the government and military industrial complex to enrich defense contractors same as now with terrorism same fear different face!
4. Elitism- those whose influence or authority is greater then others, that sorta sounds like talk radio host who influence their listeners to believe whatever, or politician as a whole, not so much the blue collar worker who doesn’t agree with you!
5. Hostess did not go bankrupt because of the union, that’s a fact. The first time they went bankrupt was because of declining sales of junk food, there are some places in the US that don’t see deep fried twinkies and sticks of butter as a delicacy! It’s actually unhealthy and could explain why some people are obese and in poor health. When hostess came out of bankruptcy in 2009 it had new backers as in the form of Private Equity Investors who happened to load the company full of debt (that’s what they usually do because bankruptcy laws are convoluted in the US to protect them) the new management also slash wage and benefits of the workers (true story) and kept trying to prop up obsolete products instead of creating new items. The union was scapegoated, yes the pension was unfunded but at the cost of equity firms, the whole premise of these firms is to leverage other people’s money buy a company usually load that company with debt and then filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and liquidating all assets to increase profit (keep in mind the fledgling company was probably bought for pennies on the dollar) Usually benefits are kept separate from employer assets as per the ERISA Provision and all pension monies have to be adequately funded, so an employer usually knows what they are getting into!
6. I work for the New York City Carpenters Union we’re not a bunch of thugs no parasites or goons, we happen to be hard working Americans! Perhaps there is resentment from others that the jobs they have suck or they don’t make enough money and get jealous when they see others doing better. I feel bad for those people, it’s not your fault where you live has a corrupted political system that protects corporations over the people.. No where else in the world besides here in the USA does a CEO have a salary ratio of 1,795:1 (that’s the ratio for the CEO of JC penny another failing company) the current average for the US is 354:1.. In Germany it’s 12:1, 15:1for France the next highest to the US is Venezuela at 50:1…. Since the 1950′s it has gone up 1,000%
7. The reason our auto industry actually done well for some long is because we bombed the crap out of the Germans in WW2 and destroyed most of its factories etc…. So no completion from them and we nuked Japan crippling them as well it’s quite easy to be successful when your competition is virtually non existent, then by the late 70s early 80s (around the time we went into decline) they started to come back on the international market making a product that surpassed what we called an automobile!
8. VW wanted the union because that’s how they roll most modern country’s use union labor, not because its some Marxist socialist communist elitist infiltration into the us market but because they know a healthy and prosperous work force is a productive work force! The reason these Politicians will vehemently oppose unions is because their constituents have been indoctrinated to believe they are evil, by years of political rhetoric. Honestly it’s quite ignorant to oppose something you have no idea about! Could it possibly be that the major corporation that contribute heavily to campaigns and Super PACS of these candidates have other reasons to oppose unions? Perhaps it might hurt their bottom line and shareholders ( which sorry people no matter how much you like to think you joke 10 shares of said company buys you a voice, the wealthy family that happened to be apart of the IPO snatched up 1,000,000 shares actually holds the majority vote! And they LOVE PROFIT not workers rights) Politicians don’t care about people they care more about making as much money as possible, don’t believe look at the net worth of some of these people! Quite odd how a career politician can be worth $50,000,000…. Public servant??? More like Corporate Servant

Feb 20, 2014 9:22am EST  --  Report as abuse
mrc06405 wrote:

Republicans Tennessee using threats and lies to keep workers from exercising there right to organize marks a new low for the Republican anti-worker crusade.

Where does Corker get off promising a new model to be built in Tennessee only if the workers vote down a union? He does not work at Volkswagen. Not only is this not true, it looks like Volkswagen is LESS likely to put work in the U.S. if they cannot set up workers councils here as they have all over the world.

Let’s hope in the next vote, the VW workers are smart enough and brave enough and won’t be fooled or bullied by the politicians into voting against themselves again.

Feb 20, 2014 10:07am EST  --  Report as abuse
lee6747 wrote:

best thing to happen to chattanooga tn and they blew it they meaning right wing republicans they are pro business as long as they agree with it

Feb 20, 2014 11:44am EST  --  Report as abuse
msliberty wrote:

@considerthis1, et al – Southern politicians try hard to keep secret the fact that union shops have better production results and better company/worker relations than non-unionized shops. Thanks, VW, and LET IT BEGIN, FINALLY, FOR THE SOUTHERN WORKER AND THE MIDDLE CLASS! It won’t happen over night, but workers will begin talking to relatives and friends from the unionized North (your company cannot prevent this) and they will not believe what they have been missing. CAUTION – watch out for greed. Can’i help but wonder how Tennessee recruiters MISSED this in VW,s background.

Feb 20, 2014 12:02pm EST  --  Report as abuse
bradleypitt wrote:

You people do realize that the “works council” is a UNION group.

They are not VW.

There is nothing illegal about Volkswagen setting up an advisory council on their own at the plant and seeking input. Why do they need a Union to do that?

This is German Unions interfering in Amercian Labor decisions…

Perhaps people against Unions should refuse to buy cars from Unionized plants..Detroit proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that union labor sucks.

Feb 20, 2014 12:32pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Cartman wrote:

When given a chance to choose, when allowed to vote in secret and without coercion, American workers continue to trend against the unions. People can bring their own politics and anecdotes to the table but they’re truly irrelevant. A majority of workers are increasingly concluding that – for themselves, their families, their lives and their wallets – the union and paying unions dues is not for them. It is that simple. No, no…just stop…just shut up. People are choosing what is best for them. Working people. Job holders. They’re making the choice for themselves. So please stop…no, I know you can’t wait to interrupt and demand to have unions accepted as a positive thing. Maybe they are. Maybe they are note. But those on the inside with a stake in the game are, more and more, saying no thank you to the union.

Feb 20, 2014 12:52pm EST  --  Report as abuse
SR37212 wrote:

I find it funny some people calling Southerners rednecks. I guess they are so smart they don’t know that the term redneck refers to union workers that fought mine owners and used red bandanas tied around their necks…. So who are the dumb ones???

Feb 20, 2014 1:27pm EST  --  Report as abuse
1Amergal wrote:

If you could keep the outside money and influence out of the conversation, the folks affected in Tennessee would have fair elections. Sen. Corker and the rest of those politicians should keep their mouths shut. This is between VW and the workers.

Feb 20, 2014 2:28pm EST  --  Report as abuse
JM_San_Diego wrote:

It sounds like those union leaders are opposed to Freedom. (I think some Germans have a history of this. Not sure. Checking.)

Feb 20, 2014 5:23pm EST  --  Report as abuse
hduplease wrote:

looks like senator cocker got caught in his own lies, wonder how he is going to lie his way out of this one when he said he personally talked to vw and was assured of a new plant if they went nonunion. lets here it senator, or is it if his lips are moveing he s lying

Feb 20, 2014 5:38pm EST  --  Report as abuse
knoppster wrote:

I have read other articles about this, and I wondered how long it would take the anti-union drones to start attacking VW and the Germans. After the union vote, they seemed to be celebrating in a way they haven’t since “w” got elected. However, things are not as clear cut as you may think. People from other parts of the world can and do think differently, and your collective victory “orgasm” may be premature. What happened at VW only bought corker and company, a one year repreave, after that the UAW or another Union can start the process all over. If anything, all this vote did was expose the real enemies of the workers, the business roundtable and their attack dogs such as corker. It also shows that the workers have powerful allies overseas. The next time there is an attempt, and there will be a next time, to organize a German owned company, it will be much harder for the brt attack dogs to have there lies believed.

Feb 20, 2014 5:54pm EST  --  Report as abuse
TimeIsNow74 wrote:

Please read and understand the supper rich, the corporate greed, and wealthy politicians have succeeded in pitting the middle class against one another. Every middle class person is divided between beliefs and he has this and she has that, I don’t have it neither should they. Well this is what the super wealthy want’s so that the heat is taken off of them while we slaughter one another for a buck. Middle class STOP and make a stand the time is now. Stick together before we become extinct.

Feb 20, 2014 7:22pm EST  --  Report as abuse
TimeIsNow74 wrote:

Please read and understand the supper rich, the corporate greed, and wealthy politicians have succeeded in pitting the middle class against one another. Every middle class person is divided between beliefs and he has this and she has that, I don’t have it neither should they. Well this is what the super wealthy want’s so that the heat is taken off of them while we slaughter one another for a buck. Middle class STOP and make a stand the time is now. Stick together before we become extinct.

Feb 20, 2014 7:22pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Gilde wrote:

Who does the UAW think they are to threaten VW. The UAW leaders are only interested in their own pocketbooks. Look at the MESS they have made in Detroit with the USA car manufacturers. They are just self-centered and over whelmed with power and greed, just about like the current administration in Washington and most of the Congress. IF VW encourages the UAW, rest assured I will not purchase one of their automobiles. Then the UAW will try “screwing-up” all the other car manufacturers in the Southern states.

Feb 20, 2014 7:27pm EST  --  Report as abuse
birdonawire wrote:

I guess Sen Corker forgot to check with “management” first.

Feb 21, 2014 1:34am EST  --  Report as abuse
donnyjohnson wrote:

I find the anti-union comments interesting. Most are simply reactionary and don’t know how to act when a company management and investors are in favor of unionization.

The United States number one competitor is Germany which is a highly unionized country where employees have an actual voice at their workplace. The unfortunate thing is this system was established by the United States to institutionalize democracy and with the understanding that one of the first things that the Nazi party did was attack Unions. We can look at Poland and see it was the Union movement that defeated Soviet style communism, even Reagan understood this.

Most of the folks that are anti Union are simple anti democracy, anti worker and most likely marginal employees who have gotten where they are not on merit but on being the lap dog of middle management. There is not an understanding that the actions that took place in Tennessee by right wing reactionaries would simply be illegal in Germany. This story simply shows that statements made by reactionary leaders were simply lies told to influence and frighten employees at the facility.

Not one of the anti union voices can articulate why they so strongly oppose workplace democracy.

Feb 21, 2014 1:15pm EST  --  Report as abuse
esdraelon11 wrote:

Anyone who can look at Detroit and still support Unions is a fool. If VW feels so strongly then by all means invest in Detroit!@ Those poor folks could certainly use the help – no hard feelings either way. But if the UAW manages to force itself into the south then the south deserves what it gets in the long run. Take in a thief and a thug and ask them to look out for your interests and what do you expect?

Feb 21, 2014 8:29pm EST  --  Report as abuse
bkalafut wrote:

This Osterloh is a member of the SDP: a committed socialist ideologue. And trying to influence the internal politics of the United States. That doesn’t sit well here, foreign ideologues telling us what to do.

Making this worse: the workers rejected the union. Nobody twisted their arms. Knowing what the UAW is and how corrupt and destructive it is, they voted “no.” And now this foreign ideologue is saying he knows better and that next time around workers must vote to join a corrupt, destructive organization, or else.

Feb 21, 2014 9:37pm EST  --  Report as abuse
abuien wrote:

If you want to build the best planes you go to Washington state. If you want to build the best cars you go to Detroit. I bet they would love to have VW make them an offer.

Feb 22, 2014 3:32pm EST  --  Report as abuse
kag0607 wrote:

Its a shame that the GOP had to get involved, and crock of sh*t is saying that they will get more work. I feel for the workers who believed it. But still will never understand voting against your own interests.

Feb 22, 2014 7:32pm EST  --  Report as abuse
GlueBall wrote:

The last thing on my mind would be to buy a Made-In-USA Volkswagen.

Feb 23, 2014 9:14am EST  --  Report as abuse
jrj906202 wrote:

Volkswagen should just relocate to Detroit.I bet there are some empty factories they could use and also could pay a lot more for labor.Everyone would be happy,for awhile.Volkswagen already is doing poorly in the U.S.,because of poor quality and high prices.Higher labor costs and inefficient labor union practices should help end their days of selling in the U.S.

Feb 24, 2014 11:19am EST  --  Report as abuse
may31out wrote:

Here’s an idea! Perhaps UAW and Teamsters could refill their coffers by moving into labor friendly Europe and sinking their fangs into European payrolls (real point of all this)! European companies and workers will learn that UAW/Teamsters are unlike any unions they’ve known. Might have a better understanding of Tennessee VW workers’ vote.

Feb 24, 2014 1:49pm EST  --  Report as abuse
repp4 wrote:

” prompted U.S. President Barack Obama to intervene, accusing Republicans of trying to block the Chattanooga workforce’s efforts”

seems to me the US workers blocked the effort. i guess democratic votes only count when what you want wins. thanks to God this A-hole is nearing the end and is already a lame duck. but then he started out lame.

Feb 25, 2014 9:38am EST  --  Report as abuse
DGS62 wrote:

As I understand it, in Europe these “works councils” exist without American-style unions, but U.S. law won’t allow that. It should be changed so that it does.

Feb 25, 2014 9:54am EST  --  Report as abuse
YONATAN wrote:

WHAT IS THE GOVERNMENT PLANNING TO DO ABOUT THE OVER TWO MILLION UNEMPLOYED WORKERS THAT HAVE RUN OUT OF BENEFITS SINCE LAST DECEMBER, WHEN THE REPUBLICANS VOTED DOWN THE UNEMPLOYMENT EXTENSION, WHICH THESE WORKERS WERE DEPENDING ON TO PROVIDE FOR THEIR FAMILIES? IT SEEMS THAT THERE HAS BEEN NO ACTION IN TRYING TO RESOLVE THIS UNFORTUNATE ISSUE. PEOPLE ARE HURTING IN THIS COUNTRY. HOW CAN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY USE THESE VICTEMS AS A POLITICAL TOOL TO FURTHER THEIR AGENDA? WHY IS IT EASY FOR THEM TO APPROVE CORPORATE WELFARE AND FOREIGN AID, BUT VOTE DOWN THE NEEDED EXTENSION FOR THESE FAMILIES? WHAT HAPPENED TO THE REPUBLICAN PLATFORM ON “FAMILY VALUES” ? IS THIS MOTTO JUST FOR THE ONE PERCENT IN THIS COUNTRY ONLY? SHAME ON THE GOVERNEMT FOR NOT APPROVING THIS MUCH NEEDED FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO THOSE WORKERS IN REAL NEED. I’M SURE THAT THE PUBLIC WILL REMEMBER WHICH POLITICAL PARTY HELPED THEM IN TIMES OF CRISIS, AND WHICH CHOSE TO LOOK THE OTHER WAY.

Feb 25, 2014 4:35pm EST  --  Report as abuse
ABilderburger wrote:

German workers won’t understand what is happening in the USA since their unions actually do represent them and act in their best interests.

In the United States, unions are part of the anti-humanity Uberliberal campaign to terminate the economy and ensure all jobs destroy the worker’s soul and the economy’s progress.

Feb 25, 2014 4:36pm EST  --  Report as abuse
eddieVroom wrote:

Janesville Wisconsin is a good place to relocate to. Union-friendly, lots of former GM workers too.

Feb 25, 2014 8:37pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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