US: Volkswagen plant expansion talks halted image

After a stint with the vote that called the workers at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga, Tennessee plant to decide if they want a UAW affiliation, expansion talks have grinned to a halt.

The reason is simple and also utterly complicated – the talks are at a standstill because of the disagreements regarding the organized labor at the factory. The vote in February was lost by the UAW – which also meant that Volkswagen couldn’t implement a German style works council, US law mandating a union be involved in such a process.

Since then, the guilt has been flying around – the UAW called the National Labor Relations Board to challenge the vote citing outside involvement and a German top labor representative which sits on Volkswagen’s supervisory board told workers that US Sen. Bob Corker and Governor Bill Haslam “interfered outrageously” in the election process.

On the other side, the Governor said there were no active talks with the automaker and suggested the state was unable to engage in such negotiations although the state Legislature is preparing to adjourn for the year soon – which would have given final approval on state incentives to the factory.

Also, there have been revealed documents that the state’s $300 million incentive package was offered to VW if the labor situation were concluded in the state’s way – as the Governor opposed unionization at the plant.