The vote this week on whether to unionize the VW plant brings to mind these thoughts: 1) If the UAW is voted in, the people affected won't see much change in their workplace. Everything must be negotiated as they move forward. 2) The only tool the UAW has to back up labor demands is the threat of a strike. 3) If VW workers vote to unionize, the sky won't fall but county and state officials will surely be ticked off. 4) Should the UAW win, the union will be under a microscope. I suspect any labor unrest or negative publicity will torpedo their chances at organizing other plants. While I have no favorite, I expect the anti-union side will prevail.
JACKSON TOUBERT, Signal Mountain
Volkswagen employees need to think about one irrefutable fact. The basic reason you now have jobs at VW in Chattanooga is because the UAW's failed policies financially destroyed other car manufacturers and drove them out of Detroit. Don't be duped by UAW's deception. Think job security -- long-term!
VW-Chattanooga should be unionized, and its workers should be able to have a say in trying to provide for their families and at the same time make a profitable gain for the company that they work with. I would encourage union membership through bargaining and negotiation; you will get better working conditions, pay and benefits. Any nonunion workers think it's a given that the company will take care of them, but they don't realize that it's the bargaining and negotiations that the union has done with the company that has gotten them better working conditions, pay and benefits that all employees nonunion as well as union members enjoy. Remember, these things are not given to you, and they are not a right, but these things will be bargained and negotiated for by your union members. I encourage you to become unionized and have the employee-employer relationship in an industrial society that makes America function properly as far as making a living in America.
Opponents of giving workers power have launched a huge fight against VW's desire to organize its employees. It's ironic that politicians who complain of government interference are so intent on meddling in VW's business decisions. Claude Ramsey and his cronies are happy to interfere with VW in order to keep a boot on necks of working folk. We can only hope that meddling backfires, with a resounding vote for the union.
KATHERINE ZAMMIT, Sewanee, Tenn.
We assume, VW employees, that you have never been told what happened when a union was voted in at the VW plant in Pennsylvania. What happened? VW, shortly after the union was voted in, closed down the plant and moved the production facilities back to Germany. That is not what you want for our Chattanooga VW plant, is it? Also, VW is still considering where to locate its newest facilities, either in Chattanooga, or in Mexico. Is it just coincidental that they have not announced that decision prior to the Chattanooga union vote? That decision may well be heavily dependent upon that union vote! For the benefit of the VW workers, Chattanooga, and Tennessee, why not do the common-sense thing and instead of voting a union in, work cooperatively and constructively, along with VW, our legislators and our governor, to pass into law legislation to allow a "works council" to be established, in the absence of a union, at our Chattanooga VW plant, and then work cooperatively together with VW for overall mutual betterment, instead of the almost continual "Me vs. You" attitude that envelops most manufacturing facilities when unions are involved?
Being in two unions in my 38-year career in aviation, I find it refreshing to see Volkswagen seeking out labor to be represented to help run a successful factory operation. If I worked at VW and saw how much outside interference and influence is being promoted by business organizations whom I have never heard of, and after this election, never will, I would question their intentions. It seems that these business groups want to tell the workers how to vote. What's it in for them? Are they afraid of having to pay their own workers a decent salary to the point they no longer qualify for food stamps, offer benefits generous enough to make Obamacare irrelevant, and give workers back the buying power that has been taken from them this past 20 years? Are businesses worried that they will have to share in their record profits if workers organize and get what historically is their fair share, which they are not getting today? If this be true, there is more riding on this election than the unionization of Volkswagen. Given the plight of the middle class, those who exploit them have a right to be afraid.