UAW President Ron Gettelfinger said today that U.S. automobile companies are being put at a disadvantage by government in competing against Volkswagen’s new auto assembly plant in Chattanooga.
The union leader questioned why government leaders in Tennessee are willing to provide assistance to the German-based Volkswagen while the state’s U.S. senators declined to back a federal loan to help the Big Three U.S. car makers.
Mr. Gettelfinger said that trying to equalize UAW pay with what foreign car makers pay in the United States, as urged by U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., is like comparing apples to oranges. In its home country, Germany provides government-paid health care for Volkswagen workers, and VW is receiving $577.4 million in tax breaks and direct assistance from Tennessee governments to build an automobile plant in Chattanooga.
“They use taxpayer dollars to subsidize our competition,” Mr. Gettelfinger said during a news conference. “It doesn’t help our industry.”
For complete details, see tomorrow’s Chattanooga Times Free Press.