Gov. Haslam: UAW's Chattanooga efforts hurt business recruitment (with video)

Gov. Haslam: UAW's Chattanooga efforts hurt business recruitment (with video)

September 6th, 2013 by Mike Pare in Local - Breaking News

Gov. Bill Haslam speaks at Volkswagen Chattanooga in this file photo.

Photo by Doug Strickland/Times Free Press.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said today that business recruitment to the state is being hindered by the United Auto Workers' organizing efforts at Chattanooga's Volkswagen plant.

"I've had several folks recently say that if the UAW comes, that would dampen our enthusiasm for Tennessee," the governor said in remarks to Times Free Press reporters and editors. "They feel like 'We're looking at Tennessee because it's a right to work state.'"

Haslam said he also has talked with VW officials in Chattanooga and in Germany, who tell him that the works council labor board under consideration at the local assembly plant should not be "an ultimate concern."

But, he said, state officials have been clear with VW that its works councils and Tennessee's history with the UAW "we feel like are two very different things."

VW and UAW said this week they're continuing to talk about a collaborative German-style works council set up. Each have said that it will be up to the workers to decide if they want the labor board and for the UAW to represent them.

See more in Saturday's Times Free Press.