Here’s the skinny:
- Workers at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga, Tennessee plant want to join the United Automobile Worker’s Union.
- Plant management, desiring to implement a Germanic “worker’s council” to facilitate collaboration between white-collar and blue-collar workers, doesn’t object.
- State Republicans threaten to take away financial incentives if VW doesn’t block the move.
State Senator Bo Watson, who represents a suburb of Chattanooga, warned on Monday that if VW’s workers voted to embrace the U.A.W., the Republican-controlled Legislature might vote against approving future incentives to help the plant expand.
“The members of the Tennessee Senate will not view unionization as in the best interest of Tennessee,” Mr. Watson said at a news conference. He added that a pro-U.A.W. vote would make it “exponentially more challenging” for the legislature to approve future subsidies.
A loss of such incentives, industry analysts say, could persuade Volkswagen to award production of a new S.U.V. to its plant in Mexico instead of to the Chattanooga plant, which currently assembles the Passat.
So much for the “free market”. So much for “individual liberty”. Clearly, politics trumps ideology… so much that state Republicans would rather commit economic seppuku than give U.A.W. an ounce of influence in Tennessee.