The United Auto Workers union, having looted and stripped Detroit bare, have set their sights south, to the right-to-work states and the foreign-owned auto plants they host.
German car maker Volkswagen, for example, has operated an assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee since 2011, producing Passat sedans. The factory has 3,350 employees, making it vital to the economic health one of the state’s largest cities.
In 2011, UAW head Bob King met with leaders of IG Metall, a large umbrella union which represents Volkswagen workers in Germany, to secure their support in his efforts to unionize the Tennessee Volkswagen plant. He initially received a lukewarm reception from his German counterparts. An IG Metall official, Peter Donath, cautioned King that the UAW could count on little actual help: “we will support the UAW, but we will not support the UAW’s work.”