Experts Say UAW Treats Volkswagen Chattanooga as Adversary


Southern Momentum, a grassroots group of Volkswagen Chattanooga workers who oppose the United Auto Workers, this week responded after Automotive News reported the UAW is “disputing whether the automaker is maintaining its neutrality.”

This, according to a press release the group put out this week.

“Here we go again,” said Maury Nicely, a Chattanooga-based lawyer for Evans Harrison Hackett PLC, who has worked with anti-UAW team members since 2014.

“While the UAW has tried to distance itself from attacks on the company by the Center for VW Facts, the union itself is treating Volkswagen as an adversary. The UAW has been provided with an unprecedented hands-off approach from Volkswagen, yet they are still attacking the company. We are glad voting is underway and are hopeful workers have seen that the UAW is not here to be a partner to the company and our community. They are simply here to knock Volkswagen down and collect membership dues to send back to Detroit.”

As of 8 p.m. Central Friday night, a final vote tally was not officially announced.

As The Tennessee Star reported, one of the primary people fighting for the United Auto Workers to set up shop at Volkswagen Chattanooga reportedly had to settle a slander suit for his part in a nasty mudslinging campaign in Michigan.

This, according to last week’s Washington Free Beacon.

Joe DiSano, a Michigan political consultant, heads up the Center for VW Facts. DiSano reportedly accused VW of waging a “deceptive campaign to discourage employees” from becoming the first UAW plant in the right-to-work state.

“DiSano would know a thing or two about ‘deceptive’ campaigns. During a 2012 Democratic primary for a Michigan statehouse seat, he circulated a robocall accusing one of the candidates of ‘using the internet to lure young girls into nude modeling sessions at his home,’ where he took “dirty pictures in his basement,’” The Washington Free Beacon reported.

“The target of those robocalls lost the race and later filed a defamation suit seeking to clear his name. A judge dismissed DiSano’s First Amendment defense and the two parties settled. As part of the settlement agreement DiSano agreed to circulate a new robocall correcting the previous mudslinging and issue public apologies in two newspapers.”

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.

As The Tennessee Star reported, Southern Momentum has run radio and television ads opposing the UAW in the Chattanooga market featuring Volkswagen employees who don’t want the UAW in town.

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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. 





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2 Thoughts to “Experts Say UAW Treats Volkswagen Chattanooga as Adversary”

  1. Bill Delzell

    One ironic thing about the setback to Labor at Volkswagen Plant in Chattanooga: Chattanooga used to be a major national hotbed of organized labor activity. During the First World War, the city had some of the biggest public transit strikes and major anti-war protests by union members. Until it ceased to be a predominantly blue/pink collar city, labor unions had continued to play a major role in the city’s history. Former Congressman C. Estes Keefauver used to represent the Chattanooga Third District from 1939 to 1948 after which he entered the U.S. Senate. He compiled quite a liberal voting record even supporting civil rights when it was risky for an elected official from the Southeast to do so, and not only survived, but thrived!

  2. 83ragtop50

    Go away UAW!