Tag Archives: works

Corker Weighs in Against Union at Volkswagen

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker on Friday said top Volkswagen leaders aren’t pushing United Auto Workers’ efforts in Chattanooga and he contended there’s no link between plant expansion and setting up a factory works council.
Further from the Chattanooga TFP:
A UAW official said VW employees won’t be “intimidated by outside forces,” and that the German automaker has “an outstanding track record” of working with organized labor globally.
The two sides weighed into the VW issue as a Washington, D.C., group Friday officially launched a summerlong “education campaign” about the UAW and its efforts to organize the VW plant.
Corker, a Tennessee Republican who helped negotiate the incentives package to bring Volkswagen to Chattanooga, said he has talked to VW leaders numerous times and “there’s not a push by the executive leadership or the board toward the UAW.”
“I know for a fact that at the highest levels of VW, they’re aware that if the UAW became involved in the plant, it would be a negative for the future economic growth of our state,” he said.
However, Gary Casteel, a UAW regional director in Lebanon, Tenn., said the auto companies and their employees represented by the union are prospering.
The Spring Hill, Tenn., plant run by General Motors has been resurrected and now has 2,000 workers, he said. Ford Motor Co. employees at a plant in his region last year received $8,000 profit-sharing bonuses and could receive $10,000 each this year, Casteel said.
Chrysler, meanwhile, is recording the fastest-growing market share among automakers, he said.
“We’re doing fine,” Casteel said.
Still, Corker said the possibility that the UAW could represent workers at the VW plant has affected recruitment of other businesses to Tennessee.
“It has already created some obstacles to us,” he said. “I think the leadership at the [Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce] believes that if the UAW established a stronghold in our area, it would be a negative,” he said.
The former Chattanooga mayor termed “totally and absolutely false” a claim last week by a top German VW works council official that it would block the possibility of Chattanooga landing new production until the issue of a works council is clear at the plant.

Senate Passes Democrat-Sponsored ‘Tennessee Works Act’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A proposal to help Tennesseans get off unemployment and find a job has passed the Senate.
The legislation, called the “Tennessee Works Act,” was unanimously approved 33-0 on Wednesday. The companion bill is awaiting a vote in the House Finance Committee.
The bill creates a pilot program to provide employers with grants to pay for training expenses for recently laid-off workers or workers whose jobs have gone overseas. In order to continue receiving the grant funds, employers agree to hire a portion of the employees trained.
The sponsor of the legislation, Democratic Sen. Andy Berke of Chattanooga, says the bill is proof that Republicans and Democrats “can work together to make Tennessee an even better place to work, play and live.”

Press release below

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Buying Guns With City Money Deemed a Firing Offense

Rockwood Mayor James Watts says he’s recommending that City Council on Monday fire Tom Pierce, the city’s longtime public works director, reports the News Sentinel.
An investigation of records shows that Pierce in 2010 used the city’s credit card to buy 13 weapons — including an assault rifle — at a cost of “somewhere around $6,000,” Watts said.
…Pierce at first told officials he needed the weapons “for personal protection in working with animal control,” Watts said.
“When we got into it, and there were that many weapons involved, it changed the course of what we were looking at,” the mayor said.
The city also is looking into Pierce’s purchases of clothing with the city credit card, Watts said,