Tenn. governor downplays VW labor policy on UAW

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam is downplaying the significance of a new policy that the United Auto Workers has characterized as an avenue toward union recognition the Chattanooga Volkswagen factory.

Haslam is one of the more vocal Republicans critical of the UAW’s efforts to represent workers at the plant.

He told reporters Tuesday that his administration has been in talks with Volkswagen about the new policy, but declined to be specific pending an official announcement. But he added that he doesn’t expect “new news in this beyond what they said before.”

Volkswagen has so far declined to comment.

UAW leaders in Chattanooga predicted in a Monday letter to members that the new policy could lead the company to recognize the union as a bargaining partner. It would be the first foreign auto plant in the South with UAW representation.