VW workers in Tennessee have rejected the United Autoworkers Union bid to unionize them in a very close vote: 626 yes, 712 no.
President Obama had weighed in, in his usual xenophobic style, saying that the only people who opposed the unionization were those who were “more concerned about German shareholders than American workers.” Apparently, a small majority of those American workers disagree with him.
The vote is a significant setback for the UAW, which has seen its U.S. membership plunge in recent years.
VW, like other German automotive firms, has a close relationship with IG Metall, the union that represents its German workers. But the UAW is a very different sort of animal. It may be that the VW workers did not want to be represented by a union; it may be that they did not want to be represented by that union.