Local Lawmakers Ready to Wash Their Hands of the UAW

Reported by: Bill Mitchell

Edited by: Ashley Henderson
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Updated: 4/25/2014 6:45 pm
CHATTANOOGA, TN. (WDEF-TV) - It's been two months since Volkswagen employees rejected the United Auto Workers Union.
That was a few weeks after the state of Tennessee pulled back its 300-dollar incentive for Volkswagen to build its new SUV in Chattanooga.
Local lawmakers expect a new incentive package in the near future.

Governor Bill Haslam and the state's economic development commission offer incentive packages to many companies that want to do business in Tennessee.
The governor was accused of pulling back a 300-million dollar incentive for Volkswagen to build its SUV here. He says it was not connected to the UAW vote.
But it's political and economic because these deals have to make lawmakers happy.

REP. GERALD MCCORMICK " And with a heavily republican state giving away hundreds of millions of dollars to bring in an organization that's hostile...to the...we don't believe just the leadership but the people of the state of Tennessee."

McCormick says he thinks the UAW is just an arm of the democratic party.

SEN "BO" WATSON "The negotiations leading up to that are all really the responsibility of the executive branch ..Usually done by economic and community development folks ...And obviously the Governor is always a key player in those kind of talks."

Both Mccormick and Watson held a news conference before the vote, to discourage the UAW's organizing effort.
And, they were subpoened for Monday's NLRB hearing, which was called off before it started.

SEN. "BO" WATSON "Look, that issue, at least in this point of time, is behind us. And I believe everybody really needs to just move forward."

REP. GERALD MCCORMICK "It was an obvious attempt to chill our right to free speech...and its a terrible tactic to use. I don't think it worked and was a despicable thing to do."

Mccormick and Watson say they are not involved in offering state incentives to Volkswagen.

SEN. "BO" WATSON, SPEAKER PRO TEM " We want them to expand their line in southeast Tennessee ..And I think the state will do what it can ..What's possible to try and facilitate that."

Now that the UAW challenge is over and both sides know where they stand, Governor Haslam says he hopes to begin new talks with Volkswagen quickly.

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