Gov. Bill Haslam: Chattanooga VW workers OK with current system

Gov. Bill Haslam: Chattanooga VW workers OK with current system

March 20th, 2013 by Mike Pare in Local - Breaking News

Governor Bill Haslam answers questions in this file photo.

Photo by The Tennessean /Times Free Press.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today weighed into reports that Volkswagen is talking with the United Auto Workers about the Chattanooga plant, saying workers like the current nonunion structure.

"I would hate for anything to happen that would hurt the productivity of the plant or to deter investment in Chattanooga," he said in a statement.

The Republican governor said Tennessee is a right-to-work state and that he has talked to a number of VW employees who are "very comfortable" with the way things are now at the factory.

Horst Neumann, VW's board member in charge of human resources, said the automaker was in talks with the UAW about setting up a German-style labor board at the Tennessee plant.

Neumann said the company may release a plan for the works council labor board in May or June, and formal talks with a union could begin as soon as the second half of the year if VW's managing board approves.