This week, Southern Momentum, a grassroots group of Volkswagen Chattanooga workers who oppose the United Auto Workers, released the first in a series of worker testimonial videos regarding the upcoming election at the facility.
“It’s time for the attacks to stop,” says Carol Gruber, a team leader at Volkswagen Chattanooga.
“It’s time to build that quality car that gives us a paycheck in our bank account every two weeks. It’s time to stop so we can move forward and build the quality car that we know we can build. I am Volkswagen. And when you’re attacking Volkswagen, you’re attacking me, my friends, and my family.”
Gruber has worked at Volkswagen for eight years, according to a press release.
“I’ve worked a lot around all the areas, so I see how some are concerned about the union coming in. They are making promises that, unfortunately, it’s not really a promise. It’s, ‘We can possible get you this,’ or, ‘possibly get you that.’ Unfortunately, everything that we’re offered comes in one pile and something’s going to get taken away – your leased vehicle or less pay for different benefits. If it wasn’t for Volkswagen, I wouldn’t have what I have today. My children wouldn’t have what they have today,” Gruber said.
“I can’t risk losing all of that. My kids can’t risk losing all of that. I’ve got three fixin’ to go to college. Am I going to go flip burgers for $24 an hour? After eight years? No, no I’m not. It’s time for the attacks to stop. It’s time to build that quality car that gives us a paycheck in our bank account every two weeks. It’s time to stop so we can move forward and build the quality car that we know we can build.”
Last week, Southern Momentum decried attacks on the company by outsiders, including the Center for VW Facts, which the group says was created by a UAW member and Michigan political consultant.
Southern Momentum first formed ahead of the 2014 election at the Volkswagen Chattanooga facility, which the UAW lost by a vote of 712 to 626.
Gruber concluded the video with this:
“I am Volkswagen. And when you’re attacking Volkswagen, you’re attack me, my friends, and my family.”
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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Volkswagen Logo” by Mark Morgan. CC BY 2.0. Background Photo “Volkswagen Chattanooga Workers” by Volkswagen Chattanooga.