"Outrageous" Outside Interference

Saturday, February 15, 2014


In a post-Volkswagen employee “Works council” election statement to the media, UAW President Bob King said, "We're outraged at the outside interference in this election." "Never before in this country have we had a U.S. Senator, a Governor, and a leader of the Legislature threaten the company with no incentives and threaten workers with a loss of product.  It's outrageous."

Lifelong Michigan resident Bob King spoke of "outrageous outside interference" despite the fact that the senator in question – Senator Bob Corker - is a lifelong Chattanoogan and former mayor of Chattanooga.  Mr. King’s comments were made despite the fact that much of the success for even having Volkswagen located here in Chattanooga is due to Senator Corker’s and former County Mayor (and lifelong Hamilton County resident) Claude Ramsey’s efforts in selling Chattanooga to Volkswagen’s management.

What is outrageous is that Michigan resident Bob King, an outside interfering leader of organized labor, would have the gall to accuse local residents of interfering with the process.  It is “outrageous” that he would do so when it is those same local elected resident leaders, not him, who have a vested stake in making sure that Chattanooga maintains a long-term relationship with the management of Volkswagen.  It is “outrageous” that Mr. King would come here from Detroit and accuse our senator, governor, and elected legislators of being “outrageous” for voicing their concerns that Chattanooga not become another Detroit.

The last time I checked, our free speech rights under the First Amendment of the Constitution still assured each of us (including our elected leaders) the right to express our concerns and displeasures with union threats and interference.

Thank you to our friends and neighbors at Volkswagen who voted “no.”  You weren’t persuaded by the siren song of the United Auto Workers into giving up all control over your future to union leaders who were instrumental in bankrupting the industry that fed them. 

Unfortunately, I suspect he issue is not over.  We live in a litigious country.  I suspect the UAW will either sue in federal court or try to get the NLRB to invalidate the election alleging … you guessed it … outside interference by these local resident leaders who expressed their concerns … when it was they, the UAW, who were “outrageous” in their outside interference.

Wes Kliner 

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