In the photo above Frank Fischer, the chairman and CEO of the Volkswagen plant in Tennessee, left, and Gary Casteel, a regional director for the United Auto Workers, hold a press conference at the Chattanooga, Tennessee facility on Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, after an announcement that workers at the plant rejected union representation .
The vote against union representation was 712 to 626. It capped a sprint finish to a long race and was particularly surprising for UAW supporters, because Volkswagen had allowed the union access to the factory and officially stayed neutral on the vote, while other manufacturers have been hostile to organized labor.
In a stinging defeat that could accelerate the decades-long decline of the United Auto Workers, Volkswagen AG workers voted against union representation at a Chattanooga, Tennessee plant, which had been seen as organized labor's best chance to expand in the U.S. South.
Republican U.S. Senator Bob Corker, the former mayor of Chattanooga who helped bring the VW plant to Tennessee, said on Wednesday after the first day of voting that VW would expand the factory if the union was rejected.
National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix applauded the vote saying, “if UAW officials cannot win when the odds are so stacked in their favor, perhaps they should re-evaluate the product they are selling to workers."