State incentives for Volkswagen may depend on UAW vote, legislators say

Arkansas-Tennessee Live Blog
photo A worker cleans a Volkswagen logo.

A state senator said today that future financial incentives for expanding Volkswagen's Chattanooga plant may hinge on how workers vote this week on whether to accept the United Auto Workers.

Should workers vote for UAW representation, "I believe any additional incentives from the citizens of the state of Tennessee for expansion or otherwise will have a very tough time passing the Tennessee senate," said State Sen. Bo Watson, R-Chattanooga.

Also, state Rep. Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga, urged VW workers to vote "no" on the UAW.

"The taxpapers of Tennessee reached out to Volkswagen and welcome them to our state and our community. We are glad they are here. But that is not a green light to help force a union into the workplace. That was not part of the deal," the House majority leader said at a press conference.

VW had said Chattanooga is the frontrunner to produce a new sport utility vehicle, but that it's competing with Mexico for the project.

Nearly 1,500 VW workers are slated to vote Wednesday through Friday on the UAW issue.

See more on the UAW Decision in Tuesday's Times Free Press.