CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF-TV) Tennessee Governor, Bill Haslam, spoke about the incentives that were offered to Volkswagen.
He was here celebrating some of Chattanooga's top high school seniors and took on some questions about his role in the Volkswagen's U-A-W vote.
He says he's been very clear on where he stood during the union vote and that nothing has changed.
“We've been really clear all along that we had an interest in the outcome of that vote,” said Governor Haslam.
He added his intention with what he wanted from Chattanooga's Volkswagen Plant was never a secret, and the incentives worth million were never tied to the outcome of the election.
Others like U-A-W director Gary Casteel feel differently.
“It's obvious to anybody that sees it that the state was threatening or intimidating Volkswagen to get the incentives,” said Casteel.
Haslam said that's not true, since the workers were the ones who voted. The incentive discussions were never public with them.
He also said in his experience, it's better to work with companies who aren't unionized, and that is why he pushed against Volkswagen forming one.
“We have a track record with companies who have been unionized and one's that weren't,” said Haslam. “Our track record is a lot better with companies that weren't unionized.”
UAW representatives believed incentive discussions swayed voters away. Governor Haslam feels it was the right thing to do for the State of Tennessee.
He is also not worried about being subpoenaed by the UAW.
“I have no doubt that we've done the right thing for the state and the states tax payers and hopefully for the southeast Tennessee area,” said Haslam.
He said the union would only make negotiations more difficult.