Unionize - And Response (3)

Friday, September 13, 2013

The saddest thing about local government in the area is they seem to think they run the Volkswagen operations. How many vehicles have Bob Corker or Ron Harr built? Do they understand the business? Do they even understand why we want a contract? Or would they even ask?  

The answers to these questions are a resounding, No. You wanted Volkswagen to be here, you got them here. To think that employees would not want to unionize and protect their job is insane.  

We all know that the chamber is a union in itself. Maybe the businesses that are represented by the Chamber should unionize.

Mark Stephens

* * *

Think long term and vote NO. 

Better yet, drive through Detroit. Unions want your "dues" and it adds to their power and they threaten your employer with "comply or we strike."  I believe the mob calls it a shake down. 

You once were begging for the prized job at VW and you folks have made national news with the Passat being #1. Now the unions/wolves want in. They will promise you riches and peaceful valleys. But instead they are a malignant tumor. 

Don't let your employer be bullied by a union. Unions are out dated. With the OSHA laws and EEOC and sexual harassment laws available today for unfair treatment is all you need today. 

Lots of folks out there would love to have what you have. Don't get greedy. 

Former Teamster
Michael Burns 

 * * * 

In response to your a letter posted today, I would like to clear up a few misconceptions. First of all Chattanooga is not Detroit. The comparisons need to stop. Detroit's circumstances we're result of a global economic breakdown. The UAW and the auto industry as a whole was not to blame. There are so many different financial avenues that an auto company uses that was not available to them during the time banks were going under. 

To to be able to speak on any particular topic one must be educated first. Take the time out of your busy day sit down, open a web browser to the UAW or to GM or Chrysler or Ford for that matter, and read. These corporations themselves do not blame the UAW. These corporations understand that in 2006, the economy tanked. 

As a former Teamster myself, I can attest to the fact that there are good. And then there is bad. A local chapter of any union makes up its own members and how those members work in that union. It will either make it a successful or unsuccessful local. One needs to be educated on the difference. The unions of all trades are very supportive of the community along with the companies in which they represent the workers of.  

To clear up a misconception, the UAW was asked to come here by Volkswagen employees to help unionize the Volkswagen plant. It was a grassroots movement conceived by workers from within the plant. The UAW was not did not force its way into Chattanooga. The UAW was invited.

Every single union member chooses of their free will to sign an authorization card for representation and will gladly accept the $30 or so  a month in union dues. Because the union member knows that money is going is coming back to the community. Chattanooga is not too big to not accept additional funds pumped into community projects. 

Instead of sitting and just making wild accusations about an organization that you do not know well enough to speak ill about, take the time and talk to a UAW member. Ask that individual if the money he spends out of his paycheck voluntarily is such a burden to him. His answer will be no. This is not about money.  This is about a company like Volkswagen that offers their employees a voice in the workplace. The co-determination model, as its called in the workplace, is afforded to every other Volkswagen employee around the world. With the support of employees and the Volkswagen management together,now remember that, together they build exceptional vehicles. To be able to work for an employer like Volkswagen that encourages this hand in hand cohesiveness is almost unheard of anywhere else around the world. Because this is so different and has never been attempted before brings out the skeptics and the fear and people. Educate yourself about all the facts of this particular topic before you decide to make disparaging comments. 

Edward Hunter
Actual Volkswagen Employee

* * *


I’d like to make a response to Mr. Hunter’s comments. In his letter he states that VW employees will “gladly” give 30 dollars a month because this money will go back to the community. But I have to ask, why did the UAW not clear up the misconception before allowing the person to sign the card? What misconception? Why the misconception that 30 dollars will stay in the community. The fact is on the UAW page itself. Why only 10 dollars of every thirty will be staying. The other 20 goes to Detroit. Yep, right back up to the UAW, for their General Fund, and Strike fund for other UAW plants. 

Why not tell the truth how they got in? They moved down here from Detroit, where they had no job.  They got their Chattanooga addresses and brought their cancer into the plant. They told team members it was illegal for VW to set up a works council like Germany has unless they were represented by a union. They implied it had to be the UAW, that Germany wanted the UAW. What they didn’t say was the VW employees could set up their own independent union, and it would be legal. Nope, they didn’t tell anyone that, now did they?

They passed out cards and told people signing the card only meant that they were “OK” with a union, but didn’t mean they would join a union. They made a nice pretty card and they buried a sentence authorizing the UAW to represent them in the long paragraph. And many folks didn’t read – they listened and signed. I hear many want the cards back. But the union didn’t tell them they could write a letter to HR asking for their card back now, did they?

The UAW wants one thing, and one thing only. Your money. They stand to make about a million dollars a year off VW employees, and two thirds of that will not stay in Chattanooga. Look into what you can lose – all your benefits are re-negotiated, and you can bet the UAW will give back the four car deal, the health benefits, the nice uniforms, and other benefits in favor of more money. Why? Because they get 1.5% of every penny they can squeeze out of VW at your expense. Why else would they be here? Do some research, you will find where the UAW president said if they didn’t get one of the Southern Auto plants, they will go bankrupt. 

I beg you, do your research before you let them sell you down the river. Even if you don’t join or don’t pay dues – if they represent the hourly workforce, and you are hourly, anything they negotiate – applies to you too.

Kaye Fiorello – another real VW employee.



Sterling Jetton, A Man Of Compassion

I am writing this letter on behalf of one of the finest men in our community whom I have known for over 35 years.  In 1980 I went to work in a leadership position in the Assessor of Property Office for Claude Ramsey and worked there for 14 years.  Today I have over 50 years of property tax experience.  In 1985 Claude hired five young men to assist us in the 1989 ... (click for more)

Standing Behind The Armored Truck Lane

I just wanted to say that I stand behind the city's implementation of an armored truck lane.  I do my banking downtown and see those armored truck lanes used quite extensively.  The armored truck lane provides a safe, close location for the transfer of money to and from the banks.  I do have a few complaints about the armored truck lanes, however.  They need ... (click for more)

Arrests Made In Connection With Fire At Brainerd Trophy Shop

Fire investigators Captain Moore and Captain McElvain made two arrests Friday night in connection with the fire at the Brainerd Trophy Shop that occurred  on Friday  morning. Gene Wegg and Pamela McNabb, have been arrested and charged with arson by the Chattanooga Fire Department. The two allegedly broke into the Brainerd Trophy Shop and set fire to the building, ... (click for more)

History Center Not Giving Out Any More Information On Past Spending Details, Current Status, At This Time

The president of the Chattanooga History Center, which has halted plans for a world class history museum near the Aquarium after raising over $10 million, said no other information will be provided at this time. Chattanoogan.com had sought details about prior spending and the salary of former executive director Daryl Black as well as the center's current status. Jo Coke said, ... (click for more)

Second-Ranked Oak Hill Smashes McCallie, 89-59, In Classic

National prep power Oak Hill Academy lived up to its billing Friday night in the inaugural McCallie Classic. Senior Braxton Key, who plans to play college basketball at Alabama, scored 11 of his 19 points in the first quarter, junior Lindell Wigginton put up 16 of his game-high 22 in the second half and the second-ranked Warriors shellacked the host Blue Tornado, 89-59, at McCallie’s ... (click for more)

Red Bank Advances To Finals In A-AA State Duals

FRANKLIN, Tenn. – The Red Bank Lions are in the finals of the Class A-AA State Duals while the Notre Dame Fighting Irish will be battling for a little self respect here at the Williamson County Agricultural Expo on Saturday.   Friday was a short one for Notre Dame as they had to wrestle Red Bank in its first match.   Needless to say, it wasn’t a very positive ... (click for more)