Bob Corker says UAW withdrawal opens the way for Chattanooga VW plant expansion

photo U.S. Sen. Bob Corker

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker said today that the United Auto Workers' withdrawl of its appeal to February's union vote at the Chattanooga Volkswagen plant opens the way to re-engage with the company to attract a potential expansion.

"It's a shame the UAW slowed the momentum on our expansion conversations with Volkswagen, but now it's time for VW, our state and our community to re-engage and move forward with bringing additional jobs to Chattanooga," said Corker in a statement.

VW workers voted by a 53 percent to 47 percent margin against unionizing the factory.

VW has said that Chattanooga is the front-runner to produce a new sport utility vehicle, bringing hundreds of new jobs to the factory and hundreds of million of dollar in investment.

Corker said the "11th hour reversal by the UAW affirms what we have said all along - that their objection was nothing more than a sideshow to draw attention away from their stinging loss in Chattanooga."

The former Chattanooga mayor said that many felt the UAW never really wanted another election in the near term because they knew they would lose by an even larger margin.

"Fortunately, the majority of workers at Volkswagen's Chattanooga plant realized they were only dollar signs to the UAW's self-survival," said Corker, who is traveling this week in Ukraine and Moldova in his duties as ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The senator was served with one of 24 subpoenas that the UAW had issued for a hearing on the appeal that was scheduled to begin today, but the union withdrew its appeal with the National Labor Relations Board for a revote.

The UAW claimed that Corker and other Republican politicians had made statements which interfered with and tainted the election.