We Are All Invested In Volkswagen

Thursday, February 13, 2014

I have chosen to stay out of the fray about the UAW as there are many elected Republican officials making statements, and I honestly didn’t need to add my voice.  However, this opinion has changed as my counterpart with the Democratic Party has decided to get into the discussion. 

There seems to be one critical point missing in all of the rhetoric against the Republican elected officials who decided to speak out against the UAW.  I, as a citizen of Hamilton County and the state of Tennessee, have a vested interest in VW and its success.  The reason I say that is because I, along with every other taxpaying citizen of this county and state, have invested more than $600 million in VW and the Chattanooga manufacturing plant. The difference is that unless you are one of the more than 2,000 employees working at VW, we have no say in the final vote on allowing UAW to organize workers at the plant.

Our state and county have invested a lot of time and money to ensure Hamilton County and VW have a bright future. Despite what some may believe, the UAW coming into VW will not be good or positive step for our community and its business outlook.  Just look towards Detroit and the shuttered VW plant in Pennsylvania to see how the UAW and their actions have affected these communities. 

Senators Watson and Gardenhire and Reps. McCormick, Carter and Floyd did not threaten anyone over the vote at VW.  They just told the truth to the voters.  The result of the UAW vote does matter, and it will have consequences.  I believe the employees at VW need to hear this information so they can make an informed vote.  If I’m not mistaken, that is what most people learn as they are growing up – there are consequences for the actions we take in life.

While I, any of our elected Republican leaders, and most of the Hamilton County area will have no say in this election, we will know the results this Friday when the votes are tabulated.  At that point, we will all know which way our community will be going in the future – for better or worse.  

I believe we can all agree that everyone has a vested interest in that.

Tony Sanders
Chairman, Hamilton County Republican Party

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