VW Chattanooga President Disputes Corker Statement On New Line Of SUVs And Union Vote; Corker Retorts

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Frank Fischer, CEO and chairman of Volkswagen Chattanooga, on Thursday disputed a statement made by Senator Bob Corker at a press conference on Wednesday.

Mr. Fischer said, “There is no connection between our Chattanooga employees’ decision about whether to be represented by a union and the decision about where to build a new product for the U.S. market.”

Later in the morning, Senator Corker replied, "Believe me, the decisions regarding the Volkswagen expansion are not being made by anyone in management at the Chattanooga plant and we are also very aware Frank Fischer is having to use old talking points when he responds to press inquiries.

“After all these years and my involvement with Volkswagen, I would not have made the statement I made yesterday without being confident it was true and factual."

Senator Corker said Wednesday that Chattanooga will be getting the production of a second line of vehicles as long as the UAW is not voted in by employees.

He said, “I’ve had conversations today and based on those am assured that should the workers vote against the UAW, Volkswagen will announce in the coming weeks that it will manufacture its new mid-size SUV here in Chattanooga.”

His staff said, "As mayor of Chattanooga from 2001-2005, worked with officials and community leaders to develop the 1,200 acre Enterprise South Industrial Park, which is now home to Volkswagen's North American manufacturing headquarters.

"Much of the negotiation that led to Volkswagen choosing Chattanooga occurred around the dining room table of Corker’s Chattanooga home."

The voting began Wednesday and continues through Friday.

VW officials said, "Volkswagen has invested $1 billion in the local economy for the Chattanooga plant and has created more than 5,000 jobs in the region. According to independent studies, the Volkswagen plant is expected to generate $12 billion in income growth and an additional 9,500 jobs related to its investment."

31,490 Cast Ballots In First 6 Days Of Early Voting In Hamilton County

In the first six days of early voting in Hamilton County, 31,490 have already cast ballots. That includes 2,216 ballots received by mail. There were 5,157 who turned out at early voting sites on Wednesday and 5,083 on Thursday. The total on Friday was 5,011, and it was 3,818 on Saturday. The turnout on Monday was 5,552 and on Tuesday was 5,262. Sites: Brainerd ... (click for more)

State Election Officials To East Tennessee To Promote Early Voting

Secretary of State Tre Hargett and Coordinator of Elections Mark Goins will visit multiple county election commissions and polling locations across east Tennessee to promote early voting on  Wednesday  and  Thursday . This is the second of three trips where Secretary Hargett and Coordinator Goins will visit 21 counties ahead of the  Nov. 8  general ... (click for more)

October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Picture a sold-out baseball game at Wrigley Field or Nationals Park packed with 40,000 fans. That image represents roughly the same number of women and men who die from breast cancer each year.  In Tennessee alone, an estimated 900 women will die from the disease in 2016. It is a sad statistic, but there is some good news: thanks to early detection and improved treatments, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Saving A Life & More

About 40 years ago I was at an afternoon football practice when one of those who was also watching from the fence was bitten by a bumble bee or yellow jacket or whatever it was and almost died from anaphylactic shock. Luckily an athletic trainer had an EpiPen, jammed it into the man’s thigh and it is believed to have saved the victim’s life. For years I kept an EpiPen on the top ... (click for more)

Taylor Luthringer, Thomas Porter Win Region Cross Country

COOKEVILLE – Tuesday was a pretty good day for the Signal Mountain cross country teams. Not only did they celebrate with both individual winners in the Region 4-A/AA races, but both teams finished in the top three and will advance to the state meet, which will be held at Nashville’s Percy Warner Park a week from Saturday. Taylor Luthringer and Thomas Porter captured the individual ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Draws Top Ranked Greeneville, CCS Opens With Madison Magnet

For the second year in a row, Notre Dame drew the top-ranked Greeneville in the opening round of the TSSAA Class A/AA state tournament.  Notre Dame is scheduled to play Greeneville on Wednesday at 8 p m. (EST)  in Murfreesboro. CCS will play Madison Magnet in the first round on field #1 at 7:30 p.m. (EST) . CCS and Greeneville met in the state championship game ... (click for more)