Yesterday, I made the mistake of saying that Tennessee Republican Senator Bob Corker was one of the more reasonable-minded elected Republicans in Congress. A few days before that, I even went as crazy as to throw Corker on a long-shot list of people to replace Chris Christie as the “Establishment Republican” in the 2016 Republican Primary.
Now, though, Corker has begun threatening the workers at a Volkswagon plant in Chatanooga if they choose to unionize. Today, he added that he “heard” from “people he knows” that if the workers at the plan choose not to unionize, they will be rewarded with the company assigning production of it’s new midsized SUV’s to the plant, presumably meaning more jobs and hours for the community. Corker said, “I’ve had conversations today and based on those am assured that should the workers vote against the UAW, Volkswagen will announce in the coming weeks that it will manufacture its new mid-size SUV here in Chattanooga,”
All of this, for Corker, even though the company has come out and said, “Volkswagen America is committed to defending our employees’ legal right to make a free choice.” Volkswagon, the German automaker, is one of the more unionization friendly auto-makers in the world. Tennessee Democratic State Rep. Craig Fitzhugh told reporters, “in my 20 years on the hill, I’ve never seen such a massive intrusion into the affairs of a private company”.
It really is quite amazing seeing Republicans, who always talk about the evils of the big-bad Federal Government interfering with private businesses. In this case, that private business, and its employees, seem to have decided that unionization is the right move for them. But when it’s an outcome Republicans don’t like- such as unionization, gay marriage, or abortions- all of a sudden government intrusion turns into “religious freedom”, or the wonders of the “free market”.