Chattanooga Volkswagen plant to finish unionization vote

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Workers at Volkswagen’s plant in Chattanooga are finishing a vote over whether to unionize.

The vote of about 1,700 hourly workers began Wednesday and concludes Friday. A win would offer the United Auto Workers its first fully organized, foreign-owned auto assembly plant in the traditionally anti-union South.

Gov. Bill Lee, U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn and other top Republicans are urging a “no” vote, saying a union could cause economic harm.

In 2014, then-U.S. Sen. Bob Corker and then-Gov. Bill Haslam helped convince Volkswagen workers in Chattanooga to vote against UAW representation. A smaller group voted for unionization in 2015, but Volkswagen refused to negotiate.

UAW officials question why Chattanooga should differ from Volkswagen’s other major, union-represented plants worldwide, or Spring Hill’s General Motors plant with 3,000 UAW-represented workers.

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