UAW reacts after VW employees vote "No" - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UAW reacts after VW employees vote "No"

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VW employees against unionization speak to media Friday night after the vote count showed plant workers voted down representation by the United Auto Workers. Photo by Dan Henry/Times Free Press VW employees against unionization speak to media Friday night after the vote count showed plant workers voted down representation by the United Auto Workers. Photo by Dan Henry/Times Free Press
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Volkswagen employees have denied UAW representation after a secret ballot vote was held this week.

It came as a surprise to many union supporters.

"Obviously we're deeply disappointed for our workers and the people here in the Chattanooga plant that work so hard," said Bob King, President of UAW.

626 workers voted yes and 712 voted no; turning down the option of UAW representation.

Numbers the UAW supporters weren't expecting.

"Obviously I think we went into this thinking we were going to win by a pretty big margin and when we lost I think is a pretty big disappointment," said Justin King, Volkswagen Employee.

Bob King told Channel 3 they had majority support at one time, but said he believes when the local and state politicians started speaking out, the numbers began changing.

"We're outraged at the outside interference in this election it's never happened in this country before that a governor, a state senator, a leader of the legislature, threatened the company with no incentives, threatened workers with a  loss of product," said Bob King. "Threats against the company and threats against the workers were what shifted things."

But King says their fight isn't over.

"We're going to sit down with our legal department and our leadership council and we'll make a collective decision together on what are our next steps," said Bob King. "One great thing about the UAW and one good thing about the workers is we don't quit. We know what's right. We're going to fight for what's right. We take setbacks we get up and fight another day to make sure workers have a real voice and a real opportunity."

For the workers like Justin King and Edward Hunter, Monday will be business as usual.

"It means we go to work on Monday and we build cars with our coworkers just like we did on Thursday," said Hunter.

But they both say they still hope for a second chance.

"I hope we have another opportunity to join a union and make this a better workplace," said Justin King.

"So we'll investigate it, we'll look at it, we'll re-strategize, but we're not leaving Chattanooga," said Dennis Williams, Secretary/Treasurer UAW.

UAW officials tell Channel 3 they have a lot of opportunity in the south and have organized campaigns at other locations.

We asked Bob King what this vote would mean for the future of UAW. He responded by saying it is much broader than the UAW, it effects all workers.

He did not comment any further on the future of UAW.

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