VW leader to talk with Gov. Haslam about producing new SUV at Chattanooga plant

VW leader to talk with Gov. Haslam about producing new SUV at Chattanooga plant

October 7th, 2013 by Mike Pare in Local - Breaking News

VW CrossBlue

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Bernd Osterloh

Bernd Osterloh

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

A top Volkswagen labor leader and supporter of the United Auto Workers organizing efforts in Chattanooga says he will raise the prospects of a second production model at the local factory when he meets with Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, according to Reuters.

Bernd Osterloh, head of VW's global works council, said he plans to meet politicians and other supporters and opponents of the UAW over the next weeks on a visit that had to be changed after his plane was grounded last week because of mechanical issues, Reuters said.

Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., told the German daily Handelsblatt that it would be one of Volkswagen's "biggest mistakes" to allow the UAW to represent workers at its Chattanooga plant.

Today's edition of German business newspaper quoted Corker as saying that while VW may be working successfully with other unions across the globe, the UAW would be the wrong partner.

"I think they are being very naive to think that they can bring the German model, embrace the UAW and think it's going to be productive," Corker told the paper.

VW officials have said the Chattanooga plant is the frontrunner to produce a new sport utility vehicle in the plant along with the Passat midsize sedan. However, the SUV project hasn't yet received the green light from VW's supervisory board.

See more in Tuesday's Times Free Press.