Job Well Done - And Response (8)

Saturday, February 15, 2014
I have a feeling Senator Bob Corker got up this morning, peered over the sink into the mirror, and smiled smugly to himself, thinking job well done. On the other hand, I hope Senator Corker, "Bo" Watson, Claude Ramsey, and Gerald McCormick can all take a good hot shower today and wash the odor of threats and intimidation from their skin.

Yes, the VW employees have spoken. I just wonder how many of them changed their vote at the last minute, too worried that the Tennessee legislature would withhold future economic incentives or that the SUV line might go to Mexico instead? If this election is deemed valid, despite the outrageous conduct unbecoming our Republican elected officials, I suppose we will never know.

Even though I'm a union supporter, I would have been fine with the vote because it was the decision of VW employees and VW employees only. I'm just ashamed that the GOP, always staunchly against governmental influence in the affairs of businesses, suddenly decided to act differently. It's an embarrassment to have them as my political representatives.

Anyway, good luck to Volkswagen and its home in Chattanooga. The employees have spoken.
More or less.

Herb Montgomery

Chattanooga

* * *

Herb, it was common sense and Detroit, not Republicans, that convinced the majority of VW employees to vote no on the UAW issue.

Jim Ashley

* * *

Jim Ashley, Pray tell us how the United Auto Workers had anything to do with Detroit going bankrupt? When it is well known it was the corrupt politicians in Detroit that caused that scandal.

And it is also well known that the Koch brothers and affiliated right wing Republican liars, that put up those billboards that exploited your irrational emotions and fooled you into thinking that was the truth.

Donald Woods

Knoxville

* * * 

Oh, please, please quit treating the employees at VW like a bunch of idiots.
 
I have previously worked with at least a dozen employees now at VW and one thing I can guarantee...they are the best of the best (probably the reason why they're employed at VW).  They are critical thinkers, with open minds...probably the best and brightest  folks I've ever known and I was totally delighted when they were hired on full time.  I've talked to them over the past two years with regards to the UAW and quite frankly they did their homework and their research. 
 
Everyone wants to belong, everyone wants to be a part of something...especially something big and magnificent.  These folks talked to me about the pros and cons.  I think I understood when they explained those rotating hours were pretty tough getting used to so perhaps that was a pro.  That was it. I was astounded to hear from them the team work that appears to be the backbone of that plant and it was them that formed that team, each and every employee there works with the team their number one focus. 
 
On the con side, I believe it had something to do with the retirement program being offered by the UAW being less than what they already had but it's been awhile since I've spoken to any of them out of respect for their tough decision regarding the vote.  I think this entire country is a lot smarter now when it comes to promises that are almost always "misunderstandings of what was initially said."  The majority vote showed deep thought and consideration for their future, for the future of their families and I'm guessing the future of Chattanooga came in somewhere towards the bottom of their priority list.
 

I'm positive though that all those hundreds of suppliers are breathing a sigh of relief. Had the UAW been voted in, those outside, mostly minority owned, supplier businesses would have been forced into that collective bargaining unit which would eventually have pushed them out.  There were several dominoes that could have fallen that no one made mention of. 

I have worked in a union shop right here in this beautiful state and I can promise you the agitators within the union ranks drive a person nuts.  Just like every family has a black sheep every local has an agitator who believes in his/her heart their job is to make sure the non-union folks (be it management or line workers electing not to pay dues) don't rock an already shaky boat.  There's nothing worse than someone coming to work with one thought on their minds...whose life can I make miserable today.

A heartfelt congratulations to the employees of VW who have taken their future into their own hands.  No one knows what's best for you or your family than you do.  Clear thinking and not hope and change wins this day.
 

Sue White

* * *

Pointing out that hypocrisy is inherent in politics is similar in difficulty to pointing out from which direction the sun will rise. However, the chorus of local and national elected Democrats stating ad infinitum that there were outside interests at work impeding the unionization of the VW plant will find a place in the political hypocrisy hall of fame. If the UAW and its related minions are not  "outside interests," then President Obama never said, "If you like your insurance, you can keep it."
 
When President Obama, the ultimate outside interest, was quoted Friday as saying, "Everyone was in favor of the UAW representing Volkswagen except for local politicians who are more concerned about German shareholders than American workers," he not only demonstrated his penchant for hyperbolic rhetoric but that he needs to expand his sources for determining the direction of sentiment, at least when it comes to a vote at the Chattanooga VW plant.
 
Fred Decosimo

Signal Mountain

* * *

In my opinion, the union lost this election a long while ago when they tried to proclaim themselves as the representatives of the workers prior to the vote. By distributing the signature cards and then attempting to underhandedly use those as the "official election" they showed they weren't willing to take a chance on actually voting. When you cheat coming out of the starting gate, and everyone sees you, you're not likely to reach the finish line.

By the way, how is it all the writers here bemoaned all the Republicans voicing their opinions but no one bothered to bring up the fact that the president voiced his opinion prior to the vote as well?
 
Bob Carney

Ooltewah

* * *

First: I cannot in my wildest imagination see how Mr. Donald Woods can  think that the union did not play at least some part in the factors that led to Detroit’s bankruptcy. Detroit’s financial problems have to be linked in part to the auto plants shutting down, and the UAW demands certainly played a part In the plant closing/relocating.

Secondly, I think Sue Woods made some excellent points. I feel most VW employees made their decision by looking at the facts and ignoring outside influences and for that they are to be commended.

As noted, our elected leaders have every right to express their opinions, but I’m not sure what effect that may have.  If I were a VW employee and had not quite made my decision, the fact that Obama was “yes” would push me to vote “no”.  

Gus Bryan

* * *

The vote is over and one side won and the other lost. Now comes the excuses, it wasn't our fault, it was the fault of so and so and so and so. Today's mentality is it's someone else's fault.
 
A quote from the Associated Press:
“ Instead of celebrating a potential watershed moment for labor politics in the region, UAW supporters were left crestfallen by the 712-626 vote against union representation in the election that ended Friday night. The result stunned many labor experts who expected a UAW win because Volkswagen tacitly endorsed the union and even allowed organizers into the Chattanooga factory to make sales pitches.”
 
This seems to look as though someone tried to stack the deck and when the loss occurred we hear, "Not my fault."
 

N.D. Kennedy Sr.

Ooltewah

* * *

Now that the dust is settling on the UAW vote at VW, those on the losing side are already crying "foul" about Senator Corker's comments as well as other GOP politicians for being opposed to the UAW representing the rank and file at VW.  If one steps back a moment and take a long hard look at today's UAW, it seems reasonable to say that it is less a union and more of a funding raising arm of the Democrat Party.  

I just read a list of donors compiled by OpenSecrets.org showing that the UAW since 1989 has donated over $41 million with the vast majority going to the Democratic Party and zero going to the GOP.  I urge everyone to check out this eye-opening website.  http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/list.php

It appears that, had the UAW prevailed, much of the dues collected from local workers would have ended up in some Democrat politician's campaign fund.  Now that money will stay right here instead.  To that I do say "Job well done."

Jim Nelson


Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

Okay … here we go. A number of readers have complained that I haven’t shared any jokes that my friends send to my email address so on a weekend when our Volunteers and Mocs are idle, let’s laugh a little:   I was sitting in a bar one afternoon with an old friend knocking back a few beers when he said, "You know, if we're not careful we'll end up like those two old drunks ... (click for more)

You’re Right With Lamar

One of Tennessee’s favorite sons, Davy Crockett, coined an oft-used phrase:  “Be always sure you’re right, then go ahead.” Being sure is quite important, but may be difficult in this election cycle. The Democratic nominee campaigning against Lamar Alexander is a man whose radio ads call for “change,” “fair” taxes and more jobs.  Sounds good, huh?   ... (click for more)

3 People Shot On Wilson Street; One Victim Has "Life-Threatening" Wounds

Three people were shot on Wilson Street on Sunday night, including one who was critically injured. At approximately 8:22 p.m., Chattanooga Police responded to 2300 Wilson St. for shots fired in the area. O fficers located two black males suffering from apparent gunshot wounds. O ne victim was transported by HCEMS to a local hospital for non-life threatening injuries. ... (click for more)

Jumoke Johnson Jr. To Plead Guilty On Selling Crack Cocaine

A youth who was in the news earlier as a teen who had been the first in his family to graduate from Brainerd High School and who found a patron willing to pay for his college education is set to plead guilty on Tuesday to a charge of selling crack cocaine. Jumoke Johnson Jr., who turned 21 on Saturday, dropped out of Miles College in Alabama after one semester and has been ... (click for more)

McCallie Beats Baylor In Tennessee Classic Silver Division

NASHVILLE – Reed Oscar was the overall winner in 16 minutes, 49 seconds and teammate Dylan Carmack finished fifth overall in 17 minutes, 13 seconds to lead the McCallie Blue Tornado cross country team to a first-place finish in the Silver division of the Tennessee Classic, which was held here at Percy Warner Park Saturday morning. Teammates Connor Smith and Kevin Wagoner finished ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Golf Team Second At Wolf Run Intercollegiate

The Chattanooga Mocs men’s golf team is tied for second after 18 holes at the Wolf Run Intercollegiate. The Mocs and Florida Gators each shot 295 over the opening 18 to trail Illinois by 11 at 285 at Wolf Run Golf Club. The day’s docket had a scheduled 36 holes. Afternoon storms sent teams from the course prior to finishing. The remaining holes will be completed starting at 9:30 ... (click for more)