The United Auto Workers and VW Chattanooga “Win” 2014 Lump of Coal

December 19, 2014 1:02PM

In the closest vote in Lump of Coal history that featured hundreds of votes from across the state of Tennessee, the United Auto Workers and Volkswagen Chattanooga edged out the Department of Labor and Workforce Development by just 3 votes. The Beacon Center awards this dubious distinction annually to the person or group in Tennessee who, more than any other during the past year, acted as a Grinch to Tennesseans by bah-humbugging the principles of liberty and limited government. While there were many “strong competitors” this year, Tennesseans voted for a company and labor union who seemingly worked together to bilk the taxpayers of the state out of hundreds of millions of dollars. Even after workers at the VW plant in Chattanooga firmly rejected the UAW by a legally binding vote, the UAW has continued trying to bully its way into the plant, and VW has seemingly been more than happy to comply. This collusion makes both deserving of this award. Not honoring the will of your workers is one thing, but it’s another issue entirely to do so while also accepting taxpayer money. While the UAW shenanigans took place, VW Chattanooga received $230 million from state and local taxpayers in the form of handouts to pick Tennessee over Mexico for its SUV line. Beacon CEO Justin Owen had the following to say, “The United Auto Workers and Volkswagen should be ashamed of themselves. VW has chosen to completely ignore the will of its hard-working employees, while at the same time stealing tax dollars from them and all Tennesseans through corporate welfare. Meanwhile, the UAW needs to learn that no means no. Instead of being gracious in defeat when the workers voted it down, the union tried every trick in the book to backdoor its way into the VW plant, despite not having the support of the very workers it was trying to unionize. This dubious duo has fully earned this award.” You can see the full poll and descriptions here. The final vote totals are below: The United Auto Works and Volkswagen Chattanooga- 34.6% The Department of Labor and Workforce Development- 33.3% The City of Memphis- 17.3% The Cleveland Jetport- 14.8%