By on June 15, 2019

2018 Volkswagen Atlas - Image: Volkswagen

The results of a Friday vote are in, and Volkswagen can breathe a sigh of relief. Five years after the United Auto Workers first attempted to place the automaker’s Chattanooga, Tennessee assembly plant under its umbrella, a second vote has yielded the same results.

Weeks and months of acrimony, ads, accusations, and other seemingly unavoidable aspects of union organizing led to a narrow win for the no-union side. As before, Southern auto plants remain just beyond the grasp of the UAW.

Volkswagen was seen as a ripe target for the UAW to gain a toehold south of the Ohio River, even after a 2014 vote returned 712 in favor of the status quo and 626 backing UAW representation. This time around the vote was even closer — 833 against UAW, 776 in favor, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Ninety-three percent of eligible workers voted.

Both sides hurled the usual tropes at each other in the run-up to the vote, a decision VW successfully delayed via an appeal to the National Labor Relations Board. Anti-labor forces pointed to the UAW’s Fiat Chrysler corruption scandal, which, unhappily for UAW brass, reinforced a laundry list of stereotypes about well-fed, back-scratching labor execs and their equally greedy corporate partners. Pro-union types pointed to VW’s own history of nefarious deeds, topmost being the recent diesel emissions scandal.

You could search a military bunker and turn up less ammunition.

The vote gives VW a reason not to bargain with a group of Chattanooga maintenance workers who voted to unionize a year after the first failed attempt to unionize the plant. The automaker refuses to bargain with the group, claiming such negotiations should include all workers and maintenance staff, not just a subset of its workforce.

“Clearly Volkswagen was able to delay bargaining with maintenance [workers] and ultimately this vote among all production and maintenance workers through legal games until they could undermine the vote,” said UAW International spokesman Brian Rothenberg.

VW’s Chattanooga plant, home to the Passat and Atlas, employs about 3,500 workers, but will soon see its ranks swell. A number of vehicles could roll out of the Tennessee facility in the coming years; among them, a sportier Atlas-based SUV and two (or more) electric MEB-platform vehicles. In January, VW pledged $800 million towards the plant’s expansion.

Not only would bringing Chattanooga into its fold allow UAW to breach that pesky Southern wall, it would give its own ranks a much-needed boost. The union’s membership has declined drastically since its heyday in the 1970s.

[Image: Volkswagen]

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80 Comments on “Strike Two: UAW Again Fails to Unionize Volkswagen Plant...”


  • avatar
    civicjohn

    The UAW just can’t figure it out about the South. Maybe they should spend their money on the laid off workers elsewhere. Everyone knows VW is bringing more jobs to that location and the city is happy to welcome them.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    Back in the glory days of GM, the inside joke was that UAW stood for United against Working. And that was OK when the competition was UAW organized Ford and Chrysler, but not forever. That frictional union overhead is like a pair of ankle weights and a backpack on a runner.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      Ever worked on an auto assembly line moving at 80 cars per hour? Ever worked in one of the old school plants without airconditioning on a hot summer day?

      • 0 avatar
        civicjohn

        Upton Sinclair would be proud.

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          @civic: That was as recent as the 80’s. The UAW membership did work hard under tough conditions. Sure, there were some slackers and I’m not sure if the union itself was doing anything to improve conditions. It was rumored that they were being paid off.

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          @civic: That was as recent as the 80’s. The UAW membership did work hard under tough conditions. Sure, there were some slackers and I’m not sure if the union itself was doing anything to improve conditions. It was rumored that they were being paid off.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        At one time, a long, long time ago, there WAS a need for a union to ensure workers’ safety and fair pay/working hours.

        But today, with all the government mandated regulations and safety requirements, what EXACTLY does a union do? Collect 15% of a member’s wages, for what?

        Ultimately, it is up to the workers whether they should unionize, or not.

        But IF they choose to unionize, I would like to see a German National union cover them. Not the UAW with all their past, present and future issues.

        • 0 avatar
          Peter Gazis

          highdesertcat

          THIS IS NOT GERMANY!
          The German national union is unfamiliar with U.S. laws. They do not have a team of U.S. lawyers to represent the workers in cases of personal injury or unlawful termination.
          Also the UAW now pays for pensions and retiree healthcare. The German union doesn’t have enough U.S. mussel to negotiate lower drug prices & healthcare costs.

          • 0 avatar
            civicjohn

            @Peter, yes they do and they’re doing such a good job that they needed to grab some shares of Mylan so they could jump in on the opiate lawsuit bandwagon and try and get some money. It’s a huge holding for the UAW, all $1.4 million of it.

            https://www.ai-cio.com/news/uaw-pension-fund-urges-mylan-bolster-pay-policy/

        • 0 avatar
          dantes_inferno

          >Not the UAW with all their past, present and future issues.

          Let me correct this for you:

          Not the UAW with all their past, present and future FAILURES.

          There. Much better.

      • 0 avatar

        A House committee in Washington has slave reparation hearings coming up. No one alive was a slave. No one alive was a slave owner.

        Similarly, very few auto workers (alive or former) are around who worked in those conditions. At least in the US.

        I don’t care if they have a union or not. Currently not is winning the battle of the minds.

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        @mcs…I can answer YES to both your questions !!!

        Half the anti UAW crowd here, would be crying for Momma before the end of the shift

        • 0 avatar
          civicjohn

          @mikey, I’d be part of that half that understands hard work. Beyond all of my restaurant gigs, grass cutting, etc. prior to college, I was so lucky that my mother landed me a gig with the Dept. of Transportation the summer of my senior year.

          The gig was split between picking up trash all day and then being on a paving crew shoveling up asphalt behind the paving machine on the interstate. I have little use for those who are unwilling to do physical labor or try and upgrade either their job or their education. I don’t need a union, never have, never will, and I’ve made payroll for 15+ people over 20 years, so pardon me if I take offense to your “crying for Momma” comment. If you think the UAW adds any value other that lining the pockets of the union executives I’d be happy to read them. Otherwise, historical generalizations really have no relevance to the VW situation, or labor in general in the current time.

      • 0 avatar
        jeffmete

        Yes, I have. Worked the pump final assy line at SSG that moved every 4 seconds. And the heat treat department loading big carburizing furnaces. The Union has certainly done some great things making working in factories liveable places, but they quickly forgot that the company, GM in my case, still has to be competitive. It was never the wages, it was the work rules that first forced GM to their southern strategy. As they paid the non-Union workers in Decatur alabama the same as the union workers up north.

      • 0 avatar
        indi500fan

        Ever work in a plant with union reps “on the clock” 16 hours per day getting skilled trades rate wages but actually asleep in the “union work center” ?

    • 0 avatar
      jalop1991

      I’ve always said, union members need to unionize against union leaders.

      The union is just a bunch of thugs sticking themselves in as middlemen, taking money from the workers and delivering little value.

      Maybe if they figured out how to add value AND to sell that to the rank and file, they wouldn’t have such trouble. But nah.

      The unions should have gone after the cube workers 30 years ago, as the next big thing. Instead they stuck with blue collar laborers as they watched the need for labor go down the toilet.

      Of course, union leaders wouldn’t have done so well using their messages and tactics against the more intelligent white collar workforce, and no doubt that’s why they stuck with what they knew.

      And now they’re suffering for it. Waaaaaaaaah…..

      • 0 avatar
        MoDo

        They still should go after the cube workers / white collar. They’d need their grunt to get unionized then the white collar educated folks would take over and the entire thing may actually work out quite well. It would be nothing like the blue collar union jokes and aligning themselves with far left governments isn’t helping their cause either.

        Its always funny seeing some blue collar union guy with a gut and a mullet pretending to care about SJW issues. What a clown show!

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          Lots of conjecture and stereotyping here.

          Using Canadian numbers, not numbers from the USA, 1) there are far more white collar workers unionized than blue collar workers, 2) unions in Canada are engaged in ‘social unionism’, meaning that they have used union dues/funds for political campaigning and paying legal bills that have resulted in pay equity, benefits for same sex couples, the end of mandatory retirement, universal healthcare, as well as other political aims, 3) it is a proven fact that unionized workplaces have more effective health & safety programs than non-union workplaces, 4) each and every day companies are convicted of breaking labour/employment laws, and the government admits that those convicted represent only a small percentage of companies that break these rules, 5) union corruption is, in some unions an actuality, however this applies generally to older blue collar unions.

          The basic issue in the USA is that unions are based on the premise of collectivism, which has been tarnished in the USA as the false ideal of individualism has been foisted on the public. The USA was actually founded on collective action, from the Revolution to the ‘taming’ of the west. The battles between the settlers/farmers/small landowners and the ranchers, is nothing more than a precursor of the political discussions we are now witnessing.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            All public employee unions are examples of complete corruption. They negotiate with politicians they own to loot the resources of taxpayers who have no legal protection from the theft.

          • 0 avatar
            civicjohn

            @Arthur, you should back this up with some facts:

            “as the false ideal of individualism has been foisted on the public. The USA was actually founded on collective action, from the Revolution to the ‘taming’ of the west.”

            Founded on “collective action”? Really? Examples please. The “false Ideal of individualism” is obviously a perspective that comes from someone who’s never had any success on a personal level. Me thinks you need to consider another country.

          • 0 avatar
            civicjohn

            @Arthur, just some healthy debate. No need to get worried and head to your safe space.

            While the Revolution was fought by an army, they were not a bunch of hippies living on a commune who decided one day to pick a fight. Individuals made the decision to pick up arms and change their rule. That you refer to wagons headed to the West as another collective example, when many would consider a strong indicator of individualism, you see group think.

            You’ve provided 3 clear examples of your political leanings by citing the following:
            1. “The clique of ‘individualism’ is based on a myth, pushed by the neo-Conservative movement.” Nuff said.

            2. “And if indeed you are a small business owner, then you are dependent on the infrastructure, and education provided by the government.” I am, and who pays for the government? The citizens. I didn’t make the decision to have public schools, that was determined well before I started, but I support them with my property taxes. The roads were not built for my business, they were built for everyone and the government’s job is simply to try and route the tax proceeds to the right agency to keep them repaired, of which seems to be really hard work for a government.

            3. “Canada’s universal healthcare system provided a competitive advantage for Canadian autoworkers for decades.” Kinda makes my point that you believe that a government-run system for more and more things is simply better, because you must think that the government can make a better decision than the individual. I disagree.

        • 0 avatar
          AdamOfAus

          Lol that last line. Strange marriage of ideologies to be sure.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @CivicJohn, no use getting into an internet squabble, however you know nothing about me and are again engaging in uninformed conjecture.

            I provided examples from American history. It was a colletivist effort during the Revolution, during the changing from the original to the current Constitution. Populating the west via collective effort, after all the wagons did not go out individually, the railways which brought ‘western civilization’ and the campaigns to bring Statehood. And it was the existence of free, public education that provided the skilled workers that helped to build the USA.

            The clique of ‘individualism’ is based on a myth, pushed by the neo-Conservative movement.

            And if indeed you are a small business owner, then you are dependent on the infrastructure, and education provided by the government.

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        @jalop1991…I personally know many lower end salary retirees that wished they enjoyed UAW/CAW benefits.

        • 0 avatar
          ToddAtlasF1

          How about the workers in Marysville, where they still have jobs, as opposed to the workers in Westmoreland, where the UAW struck and sued VW until they didn’t?

          • 0 avatar
            Urlik

            All public employee unions except federal. Congress saw it for what it is and passed a law forbidding federal public employee unions from bargaining any pay or benefits, only working conditions.

  • avatar
    Peter Gazis

    I always thought Ford’s 2 Union plants in Louisville Kentucky. GMs union plants in Bowling Green Kentucky; Spring Hill Tennessee were all south of the Ohio river. Damn public school education.

  • avatar
    Peter Gazis

    Great for VW. Now when they discontinue the Passat, they could toss the workers out on their @$$ without a severance package.

    • 0 avatar
      phxmotor

      Kinda like what GM did to their rank and file with their phony “bankruptcy” a few years ago. Here we go again. … another day … another trick to renig on their contracts. Yet the UAW just sat by with their finger up their axx… . oh wait … wait one second… maybe this is why southern workers don’t trust the UAW. Why would they?

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        phxmotor, you’re right. All that AND the well-earned, decades-long track record that the UAW has developed for collectively bargaining their members out of their jobs with their Cadillac healthcare benefits demands and unrealistically high wages, driving two of their employers into bankrupture in 2009.

        • 0 avatar
          mikey

          HDC ..The Cadillac healthcare benefits drove GM and Chrysler into bankruptcy ???

          So I suppose the network of corrupt dealers, incompetent management, and an uncompetitive product didn’t share any of the blame ????

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            mikey, a lot of UAW members were sweating the decision of the last ‘crat administration to tax the Cadillac Healthcare Plans because they were too extravagant in comparison to what the administration’s plans were able to offer.

            Things would have been different if just ONE of the factors causing the bankrupture had been different.

            Contributing factors. There’s always more than just one perspective to consider the cause and effect of a calamity.

            For me, the effect of the mandated national healthcare caused our BlueCross/BlueShield coverage to be out of financial reach for us and for the family business.

            So now we have been reduced to Medicare and TriCare For Life, and for me, also the VA.

            But we’re still shelling out $270 per month for Medicare alone, with a lot less coverage than the UAW Cadillac healthcare plans provide.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            Canada’s universal healthcare system provided a competitive advantage for Canadian autoworkers for decades.

            And if GM/Chrysler had actually engineered, designed and manufactured better vehicles, perhaps they would not have needed to enter into bankruptcy? Most of their problems were self-induced by short-sighted and greedy management.

            As to the unions creating problems with working conditions, that is indeed an issue. However collective agreements are ‘negotiated’ meaning that any restrictions on working conditions were agreed upon by management. In industrial relations the saying is ‘you get the union that you deserve’.

    • 0 avatar
      civicjohn

      @Peter,

      …because everyone deserves a guaranteed job. Not.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    I don’t think VW has much of a problem with unions per se. After all, every VW plant worker in Germany is a member of a union, and that union has seats on the board.

    But I suspect they have a big problem with the UAW and their adversarial attitude.

    I think unions still have a place in society, Walmart workers BADLY need a union. Relatively highly paid autoworkers in a low cost of living area? Maybe not so much.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Yeah, it is a totally different environment in Germany. Plus, the German government is possibly the largest stakeholder in VW as source for underwriting the German Pension funds.

    • 0 avatar
      civicjohn

      @krhodes1, can you tell me precisely what a union would do for Walmart workers? Take some of their already small paycheck which would cut into what I assume would be a $15 minimum wage due to all of the hard work the union would do? If they don’t like it, roll on down the street and get a job with Target, or shop around, there’s plenty of companies that are paying $15, even evil Amazon if you live near one of their distribution warehouses.

      Get them health insurance? The ACA already will provide that to low income households.

      I’m no fan of the Walton family but they are fighting the brick and mortar vs. e-commerce world as good as they know how. I recently got my first Walmart grocery delivery after being stuck to Amazon Prime and they had great steak and lower prices. I could say that Walmart led the charge to sell Chinese goods to the US, but they are not unique in that anymore, and the US government turned a blind eye to that while that “great sucking sound” that only Ross Perot heard blew up US manufacturing so we could get $1.00 flip flops.

      And everything that the “Walmart union” would extract would be met with equivalent job cuts. So I’m all ears.

    • 0 avatar
      James Charles

      krhodes1,
      Or the US government implements a real and livable minimum wage. This would reduce the need to tip $2.74ph workers like my niece in NJ waiting tables.

      This would also reduce welfare and reduce taxation.

      • 0 avatar
        Roader

        “Unfortunately, the real minimum wage is always zero, regardless of the laws, and that is the wage that many workers receive in the wake of the creation or escalation of a government-mandated minimum wage, because they lose their jobs or fail to find jobs when they enter the labor force. Making it illegal to pay less than a given amount does not make a worker’s productivity worth that amount—and, if it is not, that worker is unlikely to be employed.”
        Thomas Sowell

      • 0 avatar
        civicjohn

        @James (or whoever you are), what in the heck is a “living wage” that should be dictated by the Federal government? You have absolutely no idea of what you speak of if you think that a single number would apply to every state and city in the US.

        Maybe your niece should consider another line of work.

        • 0 avatar
          James Charles

          civicjohn,
          My real name is Jim Marshall, so please don’t get into the rut a couple of other pumpkins on this have. I’m currently employed as a business analyst and modeller. I do work in aviation, but military.

          The definition in Australia for the minimum wage is 55% of the median wage. There a moves afoot to increase it to 65%.

          Anyone who works 37.5hrs a week should have an income to pay rent, pay utilities and live on potatoes, onions, carrots, oatmeal and ground meat. A Spartan existence no money for booze, smokes, eating out or even taking the kids to soccer.

          • 0 avatar
            civicjohn

            @James, I’m not concerned with your identity, my primary point in replying was that a single wage across the US would turn some economies on their head.

            There are many places in the South, MidWest, Southwest, etc., where $15/ hour would meet your definition. But in the large urban areas, the West, the NE, $15 wouldn’t be close. So, let’s move it to $20. Then every employer who was struggling to make payroll at $15 won’t be able to do it at $20, so they pickup their marbles and go home, jobs are lost, the domino effect starts, and the town collapses. I know that’s a simplistic example but it is indicative of a single wage across the entire country.

          • 0 avatar
            James Charles

            civicjohn,
            First, your initial statement after addressing illustrated doubt concerning my identity. Or was it a ploy or an attempt to reduce my credibility? This supports your comment you are not interested in my identity.

            Second, I’m fully aware of different City, State, laws regarding US minimum wage.

            The reality is the current system in place to manage the US minimum wage doesn’t work, hence the US has a huge disparity issue.

            Your comment above about my niece getting a better paying job is nonsense. Where she lives, marriage breakdown, educational opportunity all affect a persons ability to become upwardly mobile.

            Did you know that 30% of all jobs are low pay? You just can’t say its “their” fault for not having a job with a liveable income when nearly 1 in 3 jobs are not offering a livable minimum wage.

            I see many comments on TTAC regarding the hollowing out of the middle class, well in Australia to resolve this issue there is a livable minimum wage. We still have poor and some homeless, but we don’t have ghettos and whole regions with massive disparity and despair like the US.

            Another upside to increasing the minimum wage is reduced welfare costs. As a product of GDP Australia’s tax take is the same as the US.

          • 0 avatar
            Roader

            Australia’s long-term unemployment rate is a point higher than the US’s, one consequence of a high minimum wage law. You’re cutting off the bottom rungs of the employment ladder. There are some employees, specifically very young people, who just aren’t worth hiring at $17/hour. Minimum wage jobs are for people just just starting out, high schoolers living with their parents, college kids who rent an apartment with two buddies to split the rent, etc. Crank the wage up to $17/hour on those jobs and those jobs just go away.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @Roader: One point higher is statistically insignificant–less than the margin of error. That hardly qualifies as, “one consequence of a high minimum wage law.”

            What we’ve got in this country is a lot of corporations unwilling to pay an honest day’s wages for an honest day’s work and a lot of people unwilling to give an honest day’s work for poverty-level wages.

          • 0 avatar
            Roader

            Vulpine: “One point higher is statistically insignificant–less than the margin of error.”

            That’s not true at all. Australia’s unemployment rate is 5.1%, fully 42% higher than the United State’s 3.6%. Certainly Australia’s insanely high minimum wage is adding at least a whole point to their unemployment rate.

            What we’ve got in this country is a lot of people who have never run a business and have no idea what it takes to make a payroll week after week. They think that money grows on trees. They haven’t a clue.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Roader, the difference is only 1.5% of the whole population…maybe 42% higher than the 3.6% but still only 1.5% difference from 100%. Statistically insignificant. And when you consider the number of Americans who have dropped off the rolls due to inability to find (or accept) a job, I’m willing to bet that the number of jobless Americans far outstrips the number of jobless Australians on a percentage basis.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Call it a Workers Council and skim 3% max of worker pay. That might work. But the UAW and their gangsters….nah.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Apparently the Chattanooga workers weren’t as abused and underpaid as the UAW wants everyone to believe.

    Job security certainly can’t be one of their selling points.

  • avatar
    James Charles

    I’m glad the UAW has failed again.

    I see some comments made about severance pay etc the UAW would gain for workers. VAG is a huge business and if it did go under the global economy would be ratsh!t.

    GM, Frod and FCA are at a greater risk of failure than VAG. The Big3 are reliant on heavily protected pickup trucks and their closely related SUVs.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      You no longer even have a domestic auto market. What is Australia heavily reliant on? Ugg boots, blue asbestos, and drunken kangaroo fight videos? Maybe you should also look at Europe’s auto manufacturers that are completely dependent on small cars with slim margins.

      • 0 avatar
        James Charles

        Oh, Hummer,
        Please don’t lower yourself with those ridiculous “ugg boot” etc comparisons.

        Have a look at what Australia does produce and lead the world in.

        You degrade yourself unnecessarily.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @BAFO – The world would survive without VAG and its crappy cars just fine. There’s plenty of better cars trucks from countless builders.

      Still you cannot provide how “Big3” pickups are “protected”. Vague as usual. For years actually. Yes you’ll claim “Chicken Tax” (then scamper off) but that’s vague too.

      What actual, real, not imagined, pickups does the tax “protect” Big3 pickups from? Make a list right here…

      • 0 avatar
        James Charles

        BaffleMike,
        Present yourself differently. I can’t converse with the nonsense you are putting forward. This is a tip if you want to have a debate.

        VAG rubbish, as for the rest of your comment present evidence so it can be verifiable and validated. There is much information on the protection of the US industry.

        Also call me Baffles or James Charles. You ‘muricans have weird slang, Bafo. WTF is a bafo? No one has told me yet.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          @BAF0 (Jame Charles) – 0k, I’ll play… BAF0 is the acronym for Big Al From 0z, a banned and former commentor/troll that would frequent TTAC

          You and him have a few things in common. First, you appeared the exact day he was kicked.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Also you’re both from Australia, both Bogans, both work the airliner industry, both drive 4X4 global Ranger Crews, both sociopaths, both obsessed with chickens, both etc,etc, etc!

            Las Vegas places the odds of there being two of you on the entire planet (never mind 0z, never mind TTAC) at 1,000,000,000,000,000:1

        • 0 avatar
          thelaine

          You are not fooling anyone, BAFO. Everyone knows who you are.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        “What actual, real, not imagined, pickups does the tax “protect” Big3 pickups from? Make a list right here…”
        — Any and every foreign vehicle that can be considered a “personal truck” has a tax, or rather tariff, added to drive the prices up past the average price of the larger, American equivalent. Were it possible to import them with even a mere 10% tariff, they would be priced low enough to challenge the big-truck dominance in the US and very possibly drive the big trucks off the market.

        Every argument you have made to the contrary has been opinion based and not supported by ANY online evidence you have offered over this past decade.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Ok then name one. It shouldn’t be so hard, like pulling teeth!

          Did I mention US Lemon Laws?

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            Does the chicken tax apply to anything with more than one row of seats? It seems to me that the chicken tax isn’t very important now that single-cab pickup trucks are about as popular as motorcycle-sidecar combinations.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            It applies to all pickups and cargo vans. But the notion that it somehow protects the existence or extreme profits of “Big 3” pickups is goofy. Is there a global pickup anywhere that can give them hell?

            Except The Big 3 all have global/Euro vans for sale in US and are harmed by the Chicken tax way more than they could ever be. aided.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            Why did Ford send Transit Connects over with backseats to avoid the chicken tax? Why did Subaru put jump seats in the BRAT to avoid the chicken tax? The number of seating rows must be relevant.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Basically if it’s for sale as a cargo van, no loophole for you. Ford was fooling US Customs for a while. Maybe a van with 2nd row seating could be argued, but would probably be denied.

            There’s no seating “loophole” for pickups, the BRAT loophole was dropped, but any vehicle can be partially built, or finished in the US or NAFTA zone, like the Mercedes Sprinter, and avoid the chicken tax.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @DM: We’ve already said that just about every import is and was affected; specifically the VW Type 2 van and pickup

            https://i.ytimg.com/vi/pECpDK6K-Xk/maxresdefault.jpg
            http://car-from-uk.com/ebay/carphotos/full/ebay579705.jpg
            https://i.ytimg.com/vi/oDoszE5C41w/maxresdefault.jpg
            http://car-from-uk.com/ebay/carphotos/full/ebay475617.jpg
            https://i.pinimg.com/736x/ad/f1/ec/adf1ec9576bdd22df3e29e35523e1e0a–kombi-camper-volkswagen-bus.jpg

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Saying it (repeatedly) doesn’t make it so. You keep saying they were “affected”, but they were here, were they not? The “they” are those Japanese import pickups.

            First, they sure got here despite the Chicken tax in “full effect”. Then they climbed to around a million sold a year, again with the Chicken tax in full effect.

            Then years down the road, they mostly went away, except ‘that’ change happened with zero change to the Chicken tax. Clearly they were a gigantic trend that seamed unstoppable, but the bubble burst. It happens. And?

            The VW Transporter and vans were definitely “affected”. It was trade war, and both sides had casualties. So? US cars were just as banned from Europe.

            So what? Eventually exporting automakers found loopholes to exploit, or simply pay the tariffs if it’s worth it, like the Corvette and Camaro sold in Europe in recent years, plus various Jeeps.

            When vehicles (mostly sports cars, and “specialty”) are highly desired in foreign markets, there’s no stopping them. That’s exactly the case with ’80s import pickups to the US.

            The targeted VW “trucks” were loved in some circles, but weren’t exactly mainstream work trucks in the US. If they were, who knows?

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @DM: “Saying it (repeatedly) doesn’t make it so.” You keep saying this and yet you’ve never, EVER been able to PROVE your arguments that the Chicken Tax had no effect. Every single piece of evidence you have posted, both here and elsewhere, has done nothing but disprove your argument. I lived it. The proof is there that the Chicken Tax did nothing but drive truck prices up. Truck prices of all sizes of trucks. And it actively prevented the vehicles it was aimed at from being imported any more and has caused issues with importation of trucks ever since.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            I’ve shown you repeatedly the price of import pickups in the era. What better proof do you need than recorded history, which refutes your claims over and over.

            The import pickups undercut the price of domestic compact/midsize pickups by a few hundred dollars. And they undercut the price of import compact cars too.

            The increase in pickup prices, all pickups, from the beginning to the end of the mini truck craze/trend or era is equal to US inflation or slightly less. These are known easily proven facts, that I’ve linked you to repeatedly.

            The Chicken tax hasn’t changed. Please show how, where it has…
            Markets change all the time. All on there own.

            What about the Custom/Surfer Van Movement? Who, what are you gonna blame there? What about big hair? Fat ties? Bell Bottoms?

            It was just the perfect storm for mini trucks. People from all walks of life that had never owned a pickup before, and haven’t since, joined into one the hottest automotive trends of either Centuries. And?

        • 0 avatar
          James Charles

          Vulpine,
          From what I have read generated by this DenverMike since joining this site a few months ago is he’s a troll that the mediators need to address.

          Over the past couple of months he’s made statements to the effect that other nations that impose tariffs on US vehicle exports negatively impact the US manufacturers, but US tariffs don’t impact imported vehicles.

          This alone illustrates he’s trolling and the mediators need to read and find out the techniques employed by some trolls.

          The guy is apparently sick and gets of on trolling. You will find person to person this guy is weak.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAF0 – Since you have a complaint against a fellow commentor, the Moderators are real easy to reach…

    • 0 avatar
      James Charles

      Hummer,
      What’s so great about vehicle assembly? I’d rather off shore low skilled work and retain the design/engineering.

      The textile industry at the beginning of the 20th Century was big in NYC. If people resisted change like some of you guys the US would be a Mexico.

      Certain aspects of the auto manufacturing industry requires high skills and resources that is what the US should focus on. The US auto industry has evolved differently (like Australia) to Asia, EU and more or less the rest of the world to the point where the US insistence on large, cheap vehicle production supported by technical barriers and tariffs (25%) is isolating and impeding the US being able to sustain a profitable industry without this protection.

      US vehicles will become more and more expensive compared to other countries.

      Just because you can produce a car doesn’t mean you should. I know it impacts egos. Like I stated an engineer can flip burgers, but should he?

  • avatar

    I am intimately familiar with the UAW. this once great organization is awful, corrupt, and useless.

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      The FCA scandal certainly shows the problems are at all levels of management and labor. The UAW domos were far more interested in personal gravy deals than labor “justice”.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        I could understand that the last US administration did not go after the corruption of the UAW because they got that guy elected President.

        But now, after eight years of iniquity, corruption, fraud, scandal and injustice of the previous administration, we learn that President Trump is also a Union-man.

        And for many people who voted for Trump, that is getting blindsided. It’s one thing to create jobs, and automotive jobs, in the US but it is quite another to allow the insidious behavior of labor organizers to continue. That behavior has been documented over decades.

        Make no mistake, the UAW will eventually succeed in unionizing VW. This drama will continue and ultimately it is up to the employees to decide if they want to unionize, or not.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Unions cost me two different jobs in my working career–both going overseas rather than paying union-demanded wages.

  • avatar
    chris724

    The workers are right to reject the invading UAW.

  • avatar
    KingShango

    Is it even possible for the workers there to join IG Metall instead?

  • avatar
    R Henry

    Ugh. It is so dissappointing when political discourse overwhelms the car talk.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      That’s because the two are inextricably intertwined in the real world.

      Political actions drive the car industry, and the voting workers of the US car industry choose the representatives that develop legislation that determine the path of the car industry.

      Americans always get exactly what they deserve, because we vote for it.


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