The Other McCain

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German Union Threatens U.S. Jobs

Posted on | February 19, 2014 | 25 Comments

After workers at a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga voted to reject a United Auto Workers contract, most friends of free labor breathed a sigh of relief, but a deal that gives German workers a seat on the VW board may threaten the Tennessee workers’ jobs:

A Volkswagen board member is threatening to withhold future investments in its Tennessee facility if the workers do not unionize, according to Reuters.

“I can imagine fairly well that another VW factory in theUnited States, provided that one more should still be set up there, does not necessarily have to be assigned to the south again,” said Bernd Osterloh, head of VW’s works council.
“If co-determination isn’t guaranteed in the first place, we as workers will hardly be able to vote in favor” of potentially building another plant in the U.S. south, Osterloh, who is also on VW’s supervisory board, said.

A weird side-effect of globalization.



  • ConstantineX1

    Cross Volkswagen off potential next cars…

    Screw it, I plan to get a F150 anyway.

  • ThomasD

    Osterloh may not understand that the Wagner Act precludes the sort of worker/management works councils common in Germany.

    He can have his unionized American VW plant, but he probably will not like it.

    Either that or he’s just another socialist cryptocommunist.

  • JeffWeimer

    Who was it who was only concerned about German shareholders, again?

  • Quartermaster

    He’s probably both. I lived in Germany for 6 years and it is a maddening mix of conservatism and socialism.

  • DaveO

    In 2009, during the first of Obama’s many victory laps, the AFL-CIO dispatched agents from its constituent unions to Europe and North Africa, to make their “International” unions truly international. This is just one of the fruits of expeditions. Repealing the Wagner Act may be the stake in the heart of the AFL-CIO.

  • Evi L. Bloggerlady

    I can live without VW. No biggie.

  • Kirby McCain

    Just the heavy handed tactics unions have become famous for and they wonder why they have a bad rep.

  • common sense

    Okay, then build your Nazi People Cars in Detroit. I’m sure that’ll go well.

  • richard mcenroe

    So I don’t buy a Volkswagen built anywhere. Ever.

  • Adjoran

    I don’t believe this chap or the “works council” has the power to block VW from building another plant wherever they wish. They could try, but they would need allies on the Board of Directors to actually win.

    What he should remember is that VW was fairly late in the game among foreign manufacturers in building plants in the right-to-work states of the American South. They didn’t do it to screw their unions, they are stuck with those at home. It was to keep their vehicles competitively priced in the American market.

    If VW can’t compete in America, in the long run it will damage the brand and harm even those unionized German workers Osterloh is posturing to represent.

  • Funeral guy

    This is the screwiest story I’ve read in a long time. A corporation has, what is basically, a union boss sitting on its board? Isn’t that like inviting a snake to your picnic? Who’s watching out for the shareholders?

  • redc1c4

    Ford is UAW manufactured garbage: buying from them is like buying a GM.

    either way you’re supporting Obumble’s union saving bailout.

  • J.J. Sefton

    B-b-b-but, European socialism is a success!!! The left keep saying so, so it’s got to be true!

  • ConstantineX1

    Ford received no bailout.

  • texlovera

    German unions don’t like free will? Oh yeah, we kicked your ass over that question around, oh, 70 years ago??

    Go f_ck yourself, Adolf.

  • surellin

    “We as workers”, quoth the guy on the board in his disapproval of the guys on the assembly line. Love that German sense of humor.

  • skhpcola

    Excellent point, Adjoran. Their (VW and the union goons) ideological fervor will crash into the bastion of financial practicality. In their home market and the broader EU, people expect and accept paying a hefty “socialism” premium when buying anything. That doesn’t go over so well here, even among our indigenous Marxists.

  • K-Bob

    Exactly. People should take a drive past the Hyundai plant in Southern Alabama or the Kia plant in Georgia. They are massive structures on sprawling grounds and you can see they employ thousands. They put the old Fisher Body plant to shame.

    (And I’d never buy one of their cars.)

  • K-Bob

    Ford stayed out of the bailouts. Their bondholders didn’t get robbed at gunpoint. I’d love to have a new F150.

  • SDN

    “We as workers”

    Dropped an s, I’m positive.

  • redc1c4

    the union received the bailout, so Ford wouldn’t have to ante up $$ to keep the union solvent during the next contract negotiation

    either way you look at it, they were just as bailed out as GM & Chrysler. you & K-Bob are wrong.

  • redc1c4

    go ahead and give your money to the UAW, so they can give it to Shrillery & Obama.

    the throat you’re slitting is your own.

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