About Those New VW Jobs, Senator Corker

Sad for the workers in Tennessee, but kind of a hilarious FU to a certain meddling pol:

Volkswagen’s top labor representative threatened on Wednesday to try to block further investments by the German carmaker in the southern United States if its workers there are not unionized.

Workers at VW’s factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee, last Friday voted against representation by the United Auto Workers union (UAW), rejecting efforts by VW representatives to set up a German-style works council at the plant.

German workers enjoy considerable influence over company decisions under the legally enshrined “co-determination” principle which is anathema to many politicians in the U.S. who see organized labor as a threat to profits and job growth.

Chattanooga is VW’s only factory in the U.S. and one of the company’s few in the world without a works council.

“I can imagine fairly well that another VW factory in the United 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.

Oops. Sorry guys. Senator Corker didn’t intentionally mislead you, I am sure.

116 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    I’m sure that new product line is on its way to TN, however.

  2. 2
    kindness says:

    I have to admit the schadenfreude is classic.

  3. 3

    Remind me again why anyone who is not a part of 1% votes for the GOP?

  4. 4
    Jerzy Russian says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Remind me again why anyone who is not a part of 1% votes for the GOP?

    Normally, I would give you a nuanced answer (there are many reasons, etc.), but today I will simply say they vote that way because they are morans.

  5. 5
    Seanly says:

    Sen Corker lied? OMG, my faith in humanity is shaken to it’s core…

  6. 6
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Because they really don’t like people like you and me and all our deviated prevert and/or darker friends.

  7. 7

    Another example of GOP pettiness, did you guys see the concern trolly op-ed about the architect involved with W’s Presidential Library in NYT, this morning? My reaction here.

  8. 8
    ShadeTail says:

    @Seanly: Nah, he probably believed the shit he was shoveling. That’s the thing about today’s GOP, they live in the Faux “News” bubble and think the world actually works that way.

  9. 9
    NotMax says:

    Krauts v. Crackers.

    Place yer bets, ladies and gentlemen.

  10. 10
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Race. Religion. Region. Gender. Family history. Education. What their neighbors do. Spite.

    If the median voter was motivated by economic self-interest, we’d see a dramatically different country…

  11. 11
    Sly says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:
    Because the Democratic Party represents other people, and the greatest myth in American political culture is everyone but straight white men engage in “identity politics.”

  12. 12
    NotMax says:

    Die Wölfe kommen, die Wölfe kommen.

    Germany has its own little problems, too.

  13. 13
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Remind me again why anyone who is not a part of 1% votes for the GOP?

    Because “I’m not the one rich guy now, but maybe some day I will be!

  14. 14
    Baud says:

    OT: The Turtle vs. the Cocks:

    A group associated with cockfighting in Kentucky is promising political retribution against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for his vote in favor of the farm bill last month, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.

    “This will destroy Mitch McConnell in Kentucky,” Craig Davis, president of the United Gamefowl Breeders Association, told the newspaper.

    The bill made attending a cockfighting event a federal misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

    Davis, who confronted McConnell with hundreds of other “cockfighting enthusiasts” at a Monday event, said he could move “as many as 60,000 votes” if McConnell doesn’t address the issue.

  15. 15
    Cacti says:

    Post-war Germany wrote strong worker protections into their laws…

    As a certain well-known German politician and his party opposed independent trade unions rather vehemently.

    The confederate states, on the other hand, never got past the ante bellum mindset that the working class should be regarded as human draft animals.

  16. 16
  17. 17
    tokyo expat says:

    Was curious about local reaction, so I headed over to the Tennessean, thinking the local paper might have some more. It was not a front page story when I visited. I had to search around for the story. It’s pretty much similar to what’s quoted above. You’d think for a local paper they’d have done some follow up with Corker or with the workers to get reaction. How is this playing in Tennessee?

  18. 18
    Poopyman says:

    The jokes write themselves. From the Newsmax headlines on the right:

    McCain Blasts Kerry: ‘On What Planet Does He Reside?’

    While too easy to slag Grandpa Walnuts, not totally off-topic. Aged white male Republican Senators, are there any differences policy-wise? Some say none.

  19. 19
    BGinCHI says:

    VW announced today that the William Tecumseh Sherman Rural Assault Vehicle will be made in Detroit.

  20. 20
    Marian says:

    Serious question, why haven’t the German workers councils at BMW and Mercedes, both of which have factories in the south and aren’t unionized, not pushed for unionization?

  21. 21
    🎂 Martin says:

    @Baud: Heh. He said ‘cock’.

  22. 22
    maya says:

    Does this mean Detroit Michigan is more likely to get the Panzer V plant than Charlotte North Carolina?

  23. 23
    Sly says:

    @Cacti:

    The confederate states, on the other hand, never got past the ante bellum mindset that the working class should be regarded as human draft animals.

    Not the Southern white working class. They got to be honorary members in the club, and 300,000 of them died, either on the battlefield or, more commonly, wasting away from disease in unhygienic army camps, to keep that membership.

  24. 24
    NotMax says:

    @Baud

    “Whut’re you in fer?”

    “Lookin’ at cocks.”

  25. 25
    Cacti says:

    @Sly:

    Not the Southern white working class. They got to be honorary members in the club, and 300,000 of them died, either on the battlefield or, more commonly, wasting away from disease in unhygienic army camps, to keep that membership.

    White southerners have always been allowed the privilege of dying for the boss and his cotton fields.

  26. 26
    Gene108 says:

    @BGinCHI:

    I think Atlanta or Savannah Georgia would be more fitting.

  27. 27
    Scotius says:

    @Cacti:

    As a certain well-known German politician and his party opposed independent trade unions rather vehemently.

    But his party had the word “socialist” in it so he was actually a liberal.

  28. 28
    BGinCHI says:

    @Gene108: That’s where they’re building the VW Irony Coupe.

  29. 29
    lahru says:

    Volkswagen like many European companies believe that once someone is trained and settled in their job they are an asset not a liability (expense) which provides their company a higher return on investment. When it comes to money they look at any expense long term. Unlike the churn and earn view held by republicans.

  30. 30
    Patrick says:

    Volkswagen’s top labor representative threatened on Wednesday to try to block further investments by the German carmaker in the southern United States if its workers there are not unionized.

    I wonder why he didn’t make this statement before the vote?

  31. 31
    Patrick says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    Because “I’m not the one rich guy now, but maybe some day I will be!“

    Which, of course never happens. But I bet the rich in other countries, wish that the 99% in their respective countries were as helpful to the rich as they are here in the US.

  32. 32
    Botsplainer says:

    If V-Dub decided to shutter the Passat plant there over the lack of a union, a majority of that majority that voted “no” on the union would welcome the decision as a message to outsiders, and would proudly seal up the holes in their collapsing double wides with duct tape across generations.

    Being a Southern/Appalachian person of Scots-Irish descent is to have a cultural disorder, a bent to authoritarian self-delusion and self-destruction.

  33. 33
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Patrick: May not have helped, having been seen as union big-footing by the actual people on the shop floor who were voting.

  34. 34
    Emma says:

    @Patrick: Because considering his own environment it didn’t occur to him that the Americans would be dumb enough not to vote for it.

  35. 35
    Cacti says:

    @Patrick:

    I wonder why he didn’t make this statement before the vote?

    I think he may have honestly been taken by surprise.

    VW management had approached UAW to organize the unionization of the TN plant. Being inexperienced with the American south, he probably figured that would be enough to win the day.

  36. 36
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Patrick: The brainwashing here is world class.

    Which is why that cartoon is so perfect, especially skewering the apologists of the pundit world who would be defending it even if taken to that extreme, or to that logical extension, we could call it.

    Convincing people that they’re better off not banding together, staying as individuals, with no collective power, is one of the best brainwashing tactics ever.

  37. 37
    SFAW says:

    @BGinCHI:

    the William Tecumseh Sherman Rural Assault Vehicle

    Outstanding! I’d buy a herd Winnebagos them, they’d be good fun.

  38. 38
    WaterGirl says:

    @Poopyman: It’s even worse than that, Grandpa McCain doesn’t even know how to spell Kerry’s name.

  39. 39
    burnspbesq says:

    The only winners in this deal are the people of Puebla, Mexico, who will almost certainly get the VW jobs that were going to go to Chattanooga.

  40. 40
    MikeJ says:

    @Botsplainer:

    Being a Southern/Appalachian person of Scots-Irish descent is to have a cultural disorder

    Go fuck yourself.

  41. 41
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    Lots of respect for VW right here. These are the sorts of things that can tip a car-buying decision among options that are otherwise tough to differentiate.

  42. 42
    burnspbesq says:

    @SFAW:

    Hell, a herd of Winnebagos, we’re givin’ ’em away.

  43. 43
    Patrick says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    May not have helped, having been seen as union big-footing by the actual people on the shop floor who were voting.

    But it was OK for Corker to jump in…? I guess I don’t understand.

  44. 44
    jl says:

    @Marian: Good question. I guess depends on when the UAW decides the time is right to try to organize in a given state. Maybe the UAW decided to start with VW in TN. It will be interesting to watch whether the German worker representatives take notice and this episode has ripple effects in other states.

  45. 45
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @Davis X. Machina:
    It’s funny how that didn’t stop Corker from lying his ass off, though.

  46. 46
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @lahru:

    VW is in it for the long run. No Harvard MBA rape and run asshats need apply.

  47. 47
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Patrick: Corker’s not a member of IG Metal

  48. 48
    WaterGirl says:

    @Patrick: My understanding from what I read last week is that VW was limited in what they could say because they couldn’t be seen as trying to influence the vote.

    Where the hell is our labor board? Can’t this be overturned because of such obvious interference, even if it came from politicians rather than bosses at the plant? I mean seriously, a threat to your livelihood is a thread to your livelihood, regardless of who makes it.

    I feel so discouraged by all the depressing news this week, I’m just gonna turn off the computer and walk away. Hopefully tomorrow will bring a bit more perspective, but today pretty much sucks.

  49. 49
    Trollhattan says:

    @burnspbesq:

    What the hell’s this thing what got hold of my apple?

  50. 50
    Scotius says:

    My guess would be the threats to withhold future tax breaks can’t have gone down too well with VW management either. Companies are not used to state legislatures or even US senators pushing them around and telling them what they can or cannot do. It must have been doubly weird coming from Republicans.

  51. 51
    Marian says:

    @jl: Wouldn’t it be a hoot if the south were to become unionized because they paid German companies to come set up shop.

  52. 52
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Botsplainer:

    Being a Southern/Appalachian person of Scots-Irish descent is to have a cultural disorder, a bent to authoritarian self-delusion and self-destruction.

    Being a person with that heritage in my background, it’s indeed possible to transcend it, but it helps if you’re removed from the breeding ground, as I was.

  53. 53
    Patrick says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    Convincing people that they’re better off not banding together, staying as individuals, with no collective power, is one of the best brainwashing tactics ever.

    The funny thing is that these people are always against reducing defense spending. And the spending on our military is the very opposite of what they preach elsewhere, ie banding together, with collective taxes funding our military to defend our country. The hypocrisy…

  54. 54
    Trollhattan says:

    @WaterGirl:

    For that matter, when’s the last time somebody got hauled to the dock on anti-labor shenanigans anywhere? Even in California, the drumbeat against unions (primarily gummint workers and teachers) is loud and relentless. Richard Sherman missed one point: the thug cohort includes union members of any color or creed.

  55. 55
    Trollhattan says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Is there a catch-and-release program, like for Yosemite bears?

  56. 56
    Karen in GA says:

    many politicians in the U.S. who see organized labor as a threat to profits and job growth.

    FTFReuters.

    I’m very unhappy about the vote result. My husband is blue collar, and I’m telling you, they really need unions in the south. I was hoping this could be the first step towards him being treated a little freakin’ better one day.

    Fuck.

  57. 57
    beltane says:

    @Cacti: The working class of the American South bears no resemblance to the working classes of the rest of the world.

  58. 58
    Mandalay says:

    @lahru:

    When it comes to money they look at any expense long term. Unlike the churn and earn view held by republicans.

    It’s not so much the view held by Republicans, as the view held by senior executives (though there is probably considerable overlap there), since their annual bonuses are typically tied to profits in the short term rather than the long term.

    People in power with vision could revise how those running their companies are rewarded. For example, their bonuses for the current year could be deferred, based on (say) how the company performed 12 to 24 months from now, rather than in the preceding 12 months. This would give management a real incentive to adopt the long term view you describe.

    Of course this approach would make the one percenters squeal like skewered piglets, but the current approach to “rewarding talent” is nonsensical. That talent will generally do whatever maximizes their personal income rather than what is good for the company. If the personal rewards are more closely aligned with the long term performance of the company then the poor executives will start to (deservedly) lose, but the good executives will still (deservedly) win.

  59. 59
    Bobby Thomson says:

    Sucks to be the people who voted to unionize. A little glib to suggest they just move in this housing market.

  60. 60
    Botsplainer says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Being a person with that heritage in my background, it’s indeed possible to transcend it, but it helps if you’re removed from the breeding ground, as I was.

    I’m afflicted with it on my maternal line, all the way down to having a cousin who drunkenly shotgunned the buffet remnants at the family reunion. She tried to immerse me in it, but it didn’t take; I hate those not-too fucking distant cousins on that side.

  61. 61
    Cervantes says:

    @MikeJ: I bit my tongue.

  62. 62
    beltane says:

    @Patrick: They see no problem in banding together to kill foreigners, especially those of dark or dusky complexion.

  63. 63
    Cervantes says:

    @WaterGirl:

    I feel so discouraged by all the depressing news this week, I’m just gonna turn off the computer and walk away. Hopefully tomorrow will bring a bit more perspective, but today pretty much sucks.

    Whenever.

  64. 64
    Botsplainer says:

    @beltane:

    The working class of the American South bears no resemblance to the working classes of the rest of the world.

    I’m also willing to bet that if you did a car count across multiple shifts, the average number of VWs at that Chattanooga plant won’t exceed 10-15% on a given day because pussy ride.

    It’s all big ass pickemup trucks.

  65. 65
    Botsplainer says:

    @beltane:

    The working class of the American South bears no resemblance to the working classes of the rest of the world.

    I’m also willing to bet that if you did a car count across multiple shifts, the average number of VWs parked in the employee lot at that Chattanooga plant won’t exceed 10-15% on a given day because sissy ride.

    It’s all big ass pickemup trucks.

  66. 66
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    @Bobby Thomson: Yep. I’m old enough to remember when you could afford to move and have realistic expectations that you’d find a job once you got there. It ain’t that way now, that’s for damned sure.

  67. 67
    Steve says:

    Corker doesn’t give a rats rump whether VW ever opens another plant in the South or anywhere in the US. The important thing is he doesn’t have to worry about union money going to a political opponent. He won this one and I’m sure he’s savoring his victory. The really sad thing is the majority who voted no see this as vindication for not accepting any union representation for any of the workers. The German workers understand the importance of hanging together or hanging separately…real Merikans not so much.

  68. 68

    To quote the lamentably not late, and decidedly not great Tom Friedman, “Suck. On. This.”

  69. 69
    Botsplainer says:

    Here’s how you show Southern white solidarity, gathering in a group and taking action with your brother white guys….

    http://a57.foxnews.com/global......&tl=1

  70. 70
    Scamp Dog says:

    @Patrick: I’ve come to the conclusion that these people think that the purpose of government is to do things TO people, not for people. So making war on foreigners and imprisoning Americans is fine (imprisoning foreigners even better), but helping other Americans is Right Out.

    Of course the people preaching this philosophy are happy when government contracts send money their way, but military contracts and private prison contracts are almost licenses to print money.

  71. 71
    Mr. Longform says:

    @BGinCHI:

    VW announced today that the William Tecumseh Sherman Rural Assault Vehicle will be made in Detroit.

    Oh,man, I hope there’s a street model. I need to take out my redneck-executive boss’s Hummer.

  72. 72
    Pogonip says:

    The Germans probably decided that crazy people who shoot themselves in the foot are not the best choice to build their cars.

  73. 73
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Patrick: @beltane:

    They see no problem in banding together to kill foreigners, especially those of dark or dusky complexion.

    Or banding together to get 60,000 of their own soldiers slaughtered in Vietnam for no good reason, or not for anything that benefits them anyway, despite the lies to the contrary.

    The whole point of brainwashing is to convince people to act against their interests, and in the interest of those brainwashing them instead.

  74. 74
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader says:

    @Botsplainer: You’re an idiot. I have a big ass pickmeup truck and I’d love to own a bug.

  75. 75
    beltane says:

    @Botsplainer: Yup. A lot of people in this country have no problem pumping half their paychecks into the fuel tanks of their F150s.

    @Bill E Pilgrim: The smaller one’s brain, the easier it is to wash.

  76. 76
  77. 77
    smith says:

    @beltane:

    The working class of the American South bears no resemblance to the working classes of the rest of the world.

    Brings to mind this diary at GOS pointing out that, contra the received wisdom that the Democrats lost the white working class vote nationally after Reagan, it in fact only lost the Southern white working class vote. The shift, not surprisingly, appears to be due to Dems’ embrace of civil rights and Reps’ subsequent Southern Strategy. In the rest of the country the white working class still votes Dem at about the same rate as it did pre-Reagan.

  78. 78
    Kay says:

    @Marian:

    This was a new idea. They were trying to come up with a new model. A US labor/German works council partnership:

    Many American labor experts say it would be illegal under federal law for a company to establish a works council unless workers first voted to have a union represent them. Without that, a works council might be viewed as an illegal company-dominated, company-created employee group.
    For Volkswagen officials here and for many employees who support creating a works council, the challenge is how to legally set one up now that the workers rejected the U.A.W.

    The big irony of the thing is you could look at it as an end-run around political leaders. Both groups had something they wanted, and they made a deal. That’s one of the big benefits of having unions, a “labor movement”. They’re an entity outside state actors and the political leader realm.

    Then conservative politicians and lobbyists had to get involved.

  79. 79
    Kay says:

    @Marian:

    Several days before the election, Mr. Fischer lauded the idea of works councils, saying they “are key to our success and productivity.” He added, “It is a business model that helped to make Volkswagen the second-largest car company in the world.”
    If a works council is set up at the Volkswagen plant, it would be the first in the United States.

    The UAW vote was just the first step towards something new. VW has works councils in every place they operate except for the US and China.

  80. 80
    Chris says:

    @Steve:

    Corker doesn’t give a rats rump whether VW ever opens another plant in the South or anywhere in the US. The important thing is he doesn’t have to worry about union money going to a political opponent.

    This.

    Preserving the social order in the South is much more important than whether a few more plants open or close, and for hundreds of years that social order has been based on the suppression of anything like unions. It doesn’t matter if VW isn’t offended by their workers unionizing. A victory for the labor movement is a threat to all the elites in the state, and must be stopped for that reason, which is probably why Corker interjected himself into the argument in the first place.

    @Scamp Dog:

    They think the only legitimate functions of the government are the military, the police, and the court system (e.g. killing people, beating people and locking people up). Of course they think the government should do things to and not for people.

  81. 81
    Mike in NC says:

    @Karen in GA: SC Governor Nikki Haley declared unions and union members to be cockroaches unwelcome in her rancid state. No shit.

  82. 82
    burnspbesq says:

    @Trollhattan:

    What the hell’s this thing what got hold of my apple?

    Hard to see from 375 miles away, but it could be a baby’s arm.

  83. 83
    Kay says:

    @Chris:

    But for this, in this instance, one could look at it like there’s three forces, three power centers; VW, UAW and Corker (he’s political and state power) and Corker just can’t allow that third force to come into play, because that makes him less powerful. He deals with VW, not the UAW. Corker is protecting his turf. He wants two power centers, not three.

  84. 84
    Marian says:

    @Kay: Similar works councils at BMW and Mercedes if I’m not mistaken. They must be scared of having to compete against nonunion labor as well, it just interests me that it was the VW union that decided to tackle the problem whereas the other two plants have been here for years and nothing happened. The fact that the state of Lower Saxony owns something like a third of VW, which gives the unions a lot more clout, may have something to do with it.

  85. 85
    Cervantes says:

    @Marian:

    Serious question, why haven’t the German workers councils at BMW and Mercedes, both of which have factories in the south and aren’t unionized, not pushed for unionization?

    I don’t remember what happened at the BMW plant in South Carolina, but as for the Mercedes-Benz plant in Alabama: the UAW did push, as did the German works council. In fact, IG Metall helped the UAW organize Freightliner (owned by Daimler-Benz) in North Carolina and Oregon. But in Alabama, Stuttgart (Jurgen Schrempp in particular) was less than open to the union; local parts suppliers refused to unionize; and as workers were paid practically union-wage anyway, they chose not to unionize, either. They made more money than they were used to making, and did not seem to mind that, unlike their counterparts in Germany, few of them could afford to buy the SUVs they were building.

  86. 86
    Marian says:

    @Cervantes: Thank you for the info. That’s really interesting. I have wondered what the real attitude of the non-union management is to this.

  87. 87
    Kay says:

    @Marian:

    Listening to Corker all I could think was “you asshole. You just want to be the one and only route to VW and their jobs”. It’s really disgustingly paternalistic. He’ll be doing the negotiating for people in that state! And, as long as they remain individual employees with no larger voice or DC lobby presence, he retains all the power.

  88. 88
    johnny aquitard says:

    @MikeJ: Until people as yourself are able to acknowledge there is more than a little truth to it, you are doomed to prove it has more than a little truth to it. Speaking as a person with some scots/irish background.

  89. 89
    debbie says:

    I was hoping VW would speak up. I knew they wouldn’t support right to work. Unions need to capitalize on this and point out the fallacy of the GOP’s “business friendly” policies.

  90. 90
    boatboy_srq says:

    I find it particularly rich that the TN GOP got their panties in a twist over unionization at a plant that produces the People’s Car.

  91. 91
    Marian says:

    @Kay:
    I’m sure you’re right. Also, these establishment guys in the south have been used to competing on labor price to attract new business. They also identify with management. The man is frantic to keep from having to compete on any other basis.

  92. 92
    khead says:

    @🎂 Martin:

    I can’t remember what someone posted 6 minutes ago here @ BJ.

    So, salut!

  93. 93
    Chris says:

    @Kay:

    No doubt. I just also suspect that a ton of employers in the rest of Tennessee are scared shitless of any kind of win for organized labor in their state. Based on Corker’s choice of parties, I’d say they’re his constituency and that he kept that in mind too.

  94. 94
    Kay says:

    @Marian:

    The power struggle there was fascinating. This is the same two going at it in October of last year:

    However, Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker has said it would be a mistake for VW to allow the UAW to organise workers at its Tennessee plant. Last month, Corker called that possibility a “job-destroying idea” and said it would make the German automaker a “laughingstock in the business world.”
    Bernd Osterloh, head of VW’s global works council, said in a statement that forming a council was important if the plant wanted to produce other VW cars and that he would keep talking with the UAW.
    VW is considering the idea of building a seven-passenger crossover utility vehicle at the Chattanooga plant rather than at its plant in Puebla, Mexico, where it already assembles the Jetta compact car and the New Beetle, a U.S. executive of VW said last month.
    “We know how important that (second) vehicle is for Chattanooga,” said Osterloh, who as deputy chairman of VW has a say on production decisions.

  95. 95
    IM says:

    @Marian:

    Good question. Their position at VW is stronger. Perhaps more important: The union organization of foreign branches of their company is not a high priority on the to do list of german unions.

    It is a measure of the success of the VW union in the last years that they have come around to care about Tennessee.

  96. 96
    karen says:

    The anti government people hate the government because they want to make your life a living hell legally. Every rule and regulation, no matter how toothless is an obstacle from them being able to turn our world into a polluted, diseased, Hunger Games type of place.

    Keep this in mind when you vote. Even a DINO is better than the most moderate Republican. You all don’t get this when you’re on your purity soapbox. What matters are the NUMBERS.

    If you vote for someone who has no chance in 50 states (someone who is Kucinich liberal. Or Bernie Sanders liberal) then have fun living in hell. When the rest of the government is gutted because the GOP will own the House and Senate and President Obama will just be a figurehead.

    Haven’t you figured it out? They don’t NEED to win the Presidency if they have both houses. So FUCK purity. I blame the purity parade for 2010. Don’t do it for 2014. Or 2016. Please.

  97. 97
    RaflW says:

    (a) legally enshrined “co-determination” principle which is anathema to many politicians in the U.S. who see organized labor as a threat to profits and job growth.

    Bullshit. The US politicians who oppose unions don’t give a &$@* about job growth. They care about profits for their masters. Period.

  98. 98
    Kay says:

    @Chris:

    You want to say to them, “This is fairly straightforward. Corker is doing a horrible job negotiating with these employers on your behalf. Hire a third party. See how that goes.”

    He wants a monopoly on representing them, is what it comes down to. That to me was what the fight was about, and that’s what the whole “union boss’ line is about. They’re fine with BOSSES, conservative politicians. They just don’t want any more bosses at the table. It was so cozy and friendly when it was just them and the company!

  99. 99
    Marian says:

    @Kay: Ain’t it? In the real world, which do you think is more powerful? Assuming that the VW unions are in a position to determine–or even strongly influence– where the company builds cars? Would you pick a fight with him if you were in Corker’s position? That’s what makes me wonder what the nonunion management was whispering in his ear.

    @IM: True. It interests me that any German unions–strong or weak– don’t see US nonunion labor as a threat.

  100. 100
    Cervantes says:

    @Marian:

    It interests me that any German unions–strong or weak– don’t see US nonunion labor as a threat.

    I’d tell you what some of Daimler’s works council people have said privately about the skill level of non-union workers in Alabama — but I think you can imagine it pretty well on your own. The gist: “Well, those SUVs are for the American market only.”

  101. 101
    Marian says:

    @Cervantes:

    Ouch.

    Alas I’m old enough to remember the time when US workers thought they were safe because they were so much better than the competition that they could afford to demand a premium for their work. And here’s the thing, on the whole they were right. But the allure of cheap labor was too strong and those jobs went elsewhere.

  102. 102
    Chris says:

    @Marian:

    I’m old enough to remember the time when US workers thought they were safe because they were so much better than the competition that they could afford to demand a premium for their work.

    American labor, yes, but it was never Alabama nonunion labor.

    As you say, the jobs left the union strongholds in the Northeast and Midwest and went where the cheap labor was, and, well, you get what you pay for. No wonder the krauts aren’t worried about competition from our workforce.

  103. 103
    Kay says:

    @Marian:

    I don’t know, but doesn’t it put VW in a stronger position w/Tennessee as far as incentives, etc.? Corker has now announced that he saved the second vehicle. Can’t they put the squeeze on him for a better deal from the state?

  104. 104
    tybee says:

    @Gene108:

    atlanta was burned. savannah was not. atlanta deserves the factory.

  105. 105
    Marian says:

    @Kay:

    Don’t doubt it for a minute. If I were the German union guy I would think long and hard about giving in at any price…as Chris said, skilled US labor has already lost its jobs to unskilled Alabama workers. There’s no reason not to think this could happen to German workers as well. But the rest of the Supervisory Board might not be able to resist some serious incentives. As IM pointed out, VW’s union is very powerful (and under German law I believe the employees get one half of the seats of the Supervisory Board) it would take a lot of incentives to challenge the union.

    My own thought is that Corker doesn’t understand the power of employees in German companies and thought they couldn’t deliver on their threat. He thought German workers are kicked around like Tennessee workers :) I hope they give it to him in the slats.

  106. 106
    David in NY says:

    Anybody notice that Virg Bernero, Mayor of Lansing, Michigan (former home of Oldsmobile and others), has opened his arms to any expansion in which VW is interested. Lots of space formerly used for auto production, a well-educated work force, union-friendly. As a native of Lansing, I’d be more than pleased if VW took him up on it.

  107. 107
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @Marian: Because they’re BMW and Mercedes-not VW. Daimler raped and pillaged Chrysler the last decade. None of them idiot states should have granted them any incentives-but stupid is as stupid does….

  108. 108
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @Kay: Mexico will probably get the new SUV-they can’t trust the DC & TN GOP to not interfere.

    It’s that simple, as Ross Perot would say.

  109. 109
    mak says:

    @Patrick:

    I wonder why he didn’t make this statement before the vote?

    Attempts to influence the vote by either the union or VW may have violated NLRB rules. Corker was not so constrained – and therefore free the lie through his fucking teeth.

  110. 110
    Dexter's new approach says:

    @Mandalay:
    This is not accurate factually. In my past experience on wall street as a analyst researching companies, most compensation is forward-driven. Very few get salaries over $1 million, most CEOs it’s ~$300k. They live by their bonuses, and typically at least half is in the form of restricted stock or stock options that don’t vest over five years The market often freaks out when a CEO files to sell stock, as it’s sign that the company is fucked. Many BODs have included other long-term incentive metrics like employee retention into the bonus formula. So ostensibly top execs have long-term incentives. And it was obvious to me that most CEOs despise Wall Street, the pressure fro near-term results, their young punk analysts with their fancy-school MBAs that never ran anything, or worse, the super-arrogant hedge fund guys that make more than they do (as critics.)

    That doesn’t mean they aren’t bad-acting bastards out for themselves. Most of them are. Sometimes that means securing long-term success for their company, sometimes it means chasing quarterly results to hang on to their jobs or maxing out bonuses while the they can. But their success is only accidentally aligned with the greater good.

  111. 111
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Patrick:

    I wonder why he didn’t make this statement before the vote?

    He made a statement at the start of the month saying that it was up to the workers to decide. Then there was a week of GOPers putting the threateners in very loud voices. Now he’s making a different statement.

    Cervantes has covered a lot of the undercurrents here; I’ve seen commentators basically say “well, Germans are different and can have unions, but American unions are just all thugs.”

  112. 112
    NobodySpecial says:

    @karen:

    Haven’t you figured it out? They don’t NEED to win the Presidency if they have both houses. So FUCK purity. I blame the purity parade for 2010. Don’t do it for 2014. Or 2016. Please.

    There’s more than enough data to show that your evil purists came out to vote in 2010 in the same numbers that came out in 2008, and the ones who stayed home were the less ideological and less invested in the Democratic Party. So take your little narrative out back where it belongs with the UFO’s and Sasquatch and come join the real world.

  113. 113
    karen says:

    @NobodySpecial:

    Yeah, it had nothing to do with GOS or Firedog Lake saying that Obama deserved a lesson and staying home would teach it to him.

  114. 114
    Cervantes says:

    @karen: They actually say that?

    Childish beyond words.

  115. 115
    What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us? says:

    Detroit will take those jobs. And, there’s lots of manufacturing expertise there especially when it comes to cars.

  116. 116
    Fred says:

    My ex-wife’s great aunt once said to me, (in her high Noth Carlyna whine)”We don’t need no unions here. The companies give us jobs.” At the time she was in her mid seventies and still running a sewing machine in the local sweat shop for peanuts. She is the only person I ever knew who refused to tip in a restaurant, on moral grounds. Good christian she was. Many fine traits.

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