FILE - In this Aug. 31, 2017, file photo, workers produce vehicles at Volkswagen's U.S. plant in Chattanooga, Tenn. Top Tennessee Republicans are predicting economic harm if a vote to unionize Volkswagen's car assembly plant in Chattanooga passes. (AP Photo/Erik Schelzig, File)

GOP officials rehash old fight against Volkswagen union vote

June 07, 2019 - 1:20 am

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Top Tennessee Republicans are predicting economic harm if workers at Volkswagen's car assembly plant in Chattanooga vote to unionize.

With 1,700 workers scheduled to vote June 12-14, U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn and Gov. Bill Lee are following their predecessors' blueprint.

In 2014, then-U.S. Sen. Bob Corker and then-Gov. Bill Haslam helped convince Volkswagen workers in Chattanooga to vote 712-626 against unionization with United Auto Workers.

Lee argues it's harder to recruit companies in a state with significant union activity.

The union has questioned why Lee headlined a January announcement at the Spring Hill General Motors plant, which has 3,000 UAW-represented workers.

A smaller group of Chattanooga workers voted for representation in 2015, but Volkswagen refused to negotiate.

Other than that vote, UAW hasn't fully organized a foreign-owned auto assembly plant in the traditionally anti-union South.

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