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UAW Mulls Legal Action After VW Tennessee Plant Vote

  • VOA News

UAW Secretary-Treasurer Dennis Williams at news conference at Chattanooga Electrical Apprenticeship and Training Center in Tennessee, Feb, 14, 2014.
The head of the United Auto Workers Union in the United States says he is looking at all his options, including a legal challenge, after workers in a Tennessee Volkswagen plant voted against joining the union.

Friday's vote was 712 to 626 against unionization.

UAW President Bob King says he is "outraged" over what he called outside interference by conservative politicians in the vote. The UAW is considering its next move, including possibly appealing the results to the National Labor Relations Board.

No automobile plant in the southern United States is unionized. Volkswagen management welcomed the UAW's efforts. It says the Chattanooga, Tennessee plant is its only factory worldwide without a union.

But many Tennessee politicians, including Republican Senator Bob Corker, warned that allowing the union in would scare other companies from opening factories in the state.

Corker said Volkswagen executives told him they would open a new SUV plant in Chattanooga if workers rejected the union. Volkswagen denies Corker's assertion.

The once powerful UAW saw establishing membership in a southern U.S. plant as one of its last chances to remain a major force.

Its membership has fallen drastically in the last 30 years to less than one million. But the conservative south has traditionally been hostile to unions and some Volkswagen workers who voted against membership blame the union for the decline in the U.S. car industry.

Some information for this report comes from AP and AFP.