Southern Momentum, a grassroots group of Volkswagen Chattanooga workers who oppose the United Auto Workers, ramped up their media campaign this week with additional radio and television ads in the Chattanooga market.
“While the Detroit-based UAW and its cronies have been working for more than five years to organize our facility, over the span of a few weeks, we have been able to build a significant coalition of workers inside the plant to push back on the false attacks and intimidation by the UAW,” said CB Bitton, a team leader at Volkswagen Chattanooga, in a press release.
“We are proud to fight for the future of the plant and for the livelihoods of our families. Without Volkswagen, many of us would either be out of work or at a job with less pay and fewer benefits. It is important this facility thrive, and we can’t take a chance on our future by allowing the UAW – with its long track record of broken promises, lost jobs, and closed plants – to come into our factory. It is time to send a strong message and reject the UAW yet again.”
A Southern Momentum radio ad warns listeners that UAW is an out-of-state union that wants to take over the Chattanooga Volkswagen plant and look after their own interests — not yours.
“Their record is clear. Broken promises. Lost jobs. Closed plants. And workers left behind. As UAW plants close around the country, they’re desperate for new members,” the radio ad warns.
“They’re coming into Chattanooga to take money out of your paycheck to keep their organization alive. UAW will always put themselves first, not the workers at VW.”
A Southern Momentum television ad said much the same.
The group also released a second worker testimonial, this time featuring Volkswagen Chattanooga employee Keri Menendez.
“You know, back, I think, when unions first started, there was a need for unions. People were overworked, they didn’t have good working conditions and everything. But since I have been with Volkswagen, I mean, it’s really been a great company, in my opinion,” Menendez said.
“We got bonuses before we were building cars. We have excellent benefits. I have been at Volkswagen since the beginning and I just feel like it’s something that I was there from the start and it’s mine and I just don’t feel like somebody like the UAW should come down and try to take it from us.”
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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “UAW” by UAW. Background Photo “Volkswagen Tennessee Chattanooga Facility” by Volkswagen Tennessee Chattanooga.