Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) said there were efforts within a Tennessee Volkswagen plant to intimidate workers to join the United Auto Workers Union. Those efforts, Corker said, happened during a vote by the workers on whether to join the union or not.
His comments came during a Christian Science Monitor breakfast on Thursday, days after the workers in the plant voted not to join the union. Since then the UAW has appealed the ruling, citing Corker and other Republican lawmakers who threatened to rescind tax benefits for Volkswagen if workers voted to join a union.
“One of the things that hasn’t been reported is that the UAW had been spreading rumors that the only a new SUV line was going to come to the plant and double its size, the only way that was going to happen was if the plant was organized by the UAW,” Corker said. “Obviously, that was having an effect on people who worked there and so on Wednesday night during the course of a three day election after a thousand votes or 1300 hundred had been cast I made the statement that I was assured that even if the UAW did not win that Chatanooga was still its first choice.”
Later on during the breakfast Corker reiterated his earlier comments.
“I was very aware that inside the plant that the UAW and IG Metall, the German Union, was spreading the word within the plant, they were the ones that were actually inside the plant,” Corker said. He continued that “Inside the plant there were efforts to scare the employees that if they did not vote for the UAW the plant was not coming there.”