United Auto Workers President Bob King speaks to the media after workers at a Volkswagen factory voted against union representation in Chattanooga, Tenn., on Friday, Feb. 14, 2104. The 712 to 626 vote is a devastating blow to the union and its efforts to organize other Southern plants run by foreign automakers. (AP Photo/Erik Schelzig)
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — Just 87 votes at the Volkswagen plant in Tennessee separated the United Auto Workers union from what would have been its first successful organization of workers at a foreign automaker in the South.
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.
The loss is a major setback for the UAW’s effort to make inroads in the growing South, where foreign automakers have 14 assembly plants, eight built in the past decade, said Kristin Dziczek, Login to read more