Some Commissioners Say Officials Should Not Have Held VW Press Conference

  • Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Some County Commissioners on Wednesday were critical of a group of officials who held a press conference urging Volkswagen workers not to join the United Auto Workers.

Commissioner David Sharpe said the group, that included County Mayor Weston Wamp, Commissioner Lee Helton and several members of the local legislative delegation, may have violated the National Labor Relations Act. He said the commission's ethics committee should look into it.

He said, "I was raised on union money. It put me through school and put food on our table. To speak while on the taxpayers' dime as a representative of this county, I take issue with."

Commissioner Warren Mackey, who said he was "a proud UAW member" while working at three different Detroit plants, said the UAW brought better pay and better benefits to plant workers. 

Hitting the "anti-union policies of conservatives," he said the VW workers "should be allowed to make their own decisions."

Commissioner Mackey said the local Volkswagen plant "is the only Volkswagen plant on the plant that is non-union. The company itself has no problem with a union."

Commissioner Greg Beck said when he went to work for Combustion Engineering in 1966 he was making $2.09 per hour. He said it was due to the Boilermakers Union that the pay was up to $13 an hour by the time he left in 1981. He said workers were given 10 minutes to eat lunch.

He said, "Were it not for the union, we probably would have still been making $2.09 an hour."

Commissioner Beck said, "I take offense to anyone who says unions are political. Unions are humane."

Commissioner Gene-o Shipley, a union member for half a century, said the UAW "needs to come to the values of Chattanooga, not the values of Detroit."

Commissioner Helton said, "My opposition was based on the fact that not all unions are created equal." He said he uses local union workers on his construction projects, but he said he believes the UAW is different. 

Breaking News
Scam Calls Reported By EPB Customers
  • 4/20/2024

EPB is now receiving reports that local customers may be receiving one of several different scam calls. 1) They may demand immediate payment to avoid disconnection. EPB never calls customers ... more

HCSO License Plate Reader Hit Leads To Recovery Of Stolen Box Truck, Arrest
HCSO License Plate Reader Hit Leads To Recovery Of Stolen Box Truck, Arrest
  • 4/20/2024

A Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant on Friday night received an alert from his in-car Automatic License Plate Reader (ALPR) for a stolen International box truck. A vehicle stop was conducted ... more

Driver Exits Vehicle After Chase On Apison Pike; Truck Rolls Into Parked Vehicle
Driver Exits Vehicle After Chase On Apison Pike; Truck Rolls Into Parked Vehicle
  • 4/20/2024

A man being chased on Apison Pike on Friday night jumped out and his truck rolled into a parked car. The incident began when a Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office deputy attempted to make a traffic ... more