UAW: Sen. Bob Corker 'swayed by special interests' over unionizing VW plant

UAW: Sen. Bob Corker 'swayed by special interests' over unionizing VW plant

February 11th, 2014 by Mike Pare in Business Around the Region

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn.

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

A United Auto Workers official says that U.S. Sen. Bob Corker has been "swayed by special interests" and that's why the former Chattanooga mayor is weighing into the Volkswagen plant union election in a planned press conference today.

"It's unfortunate that Bob Corker has been swayed by special interests from outside Tennessee to flip-flop on his position on what's best for Chattanooga's working families," said UAW Regional Director Gary Casteel, who directs the union's organizing in the South.

"While outside interests and other politicians have been trying to impact the results of this vote, which would give Volkswagen workers a voice to make VW stronger in safety, job security and efficiency, improving the quality of life for everyone in Chattanooga, we believe Corker was right in his original statement that this vote should be left to the workers," Casteel said in a statement.

Last week, Corker said in a statement that "During the next week and a half, while the decision is in the hands of the employees, I do not think it is appropriate for me to make additional public comment."

Corker, in calling a press conference for today, said Monday that the UAW was misusing his comments.

"While I had not planned to make additional public remarks in advance of this week's vote, after comments the UAW made this weekend, I feel strongly that it is important to return home and ensure my position is clear," he said.

See more on the UAW Decision in Wednesday's Times Free Press.