Wednesday, February 26, 2014

intellectually strong people have always tended to take advantage of intellectually weak people...,

triblive |  The United Auto Workers has been dealt a stinging defeat, with a majority of employees at a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee voting against joining the union. 

The failure of the UAW underscores a cultural disconnect between a labor-friendly German company and anti-union sentiment in the South. 

The multiyear effort to organize Volkswagen's only American plant was defeated on a 712-626 vote on Friday night amid heavy campaigning on both sides. 

Workers voting against the union said that while they remain open to forming a German-style “works council” at the plant, they were unwilling to risk the Volkswagen factory that opened to great fanfare on the site of a former Army ammunition plant in 2011. 

“Come on, this is Chattanooga, Tennessee,” said worker Mike Jarvis, who was among the group in the plant that organized to fight the UAW. “It's the greatest thing that's ever happened to us.” 

Jarvis, who hangs doors, trunk lids and hoods on cars, said workers were worried about the union's historical impact on Detroit automakers and the many plants that have closed in the North, he said.
“Look at every company that's went bankrupt or shut down or had an issue,” he said. “What is the one common denominator with all those companies? UAW. We don't need it.” 

Pocketbook issues were on opponents' minds, Jarvis said. Workers were suspicious that Volkswagen and the union might have reached “cost containment” agreements that could have led to a cut in their hourly pay rate to that made by entry-level employees with the Detroit Three automakers, he said.
The concern, he said, was that the UAW “was going to take the salaries in a backward motion, not in a forward motion,” said Jarvis, who makes about $20 per hour as he approaches his three-year anniversary at the plant. 

Southern Republicans were horrified when Volkswagen announced it was engaging in talks with the UAW last year. Republican Sen. Bob Corker, who has been among the UAW's most vocal critics, said at the time that Volkswagen would become a “laughingstock” in the business world if it welcomed the union to its plant. 

Volkswagen wants to form a works council at the plant to represent blue-collar and salaried workers. But to do so under U.S. law requires the establishment of an independent union. Fist tap Dale.


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