UAW drive falls short amid culture clash in Tenn.

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Associated Press

Posted on February 15, 2014 at 3:34 PM

Updated Sunday, Feb 16 at 3:02 AM

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — The failure of the United Auto Workers to unionize employees at the Volkswagen plant in Tennessee underscores a cultural disconnect between a labor-friendly German company and anti-union sentiment in the South.

The multiyear effort to organize Volkswagen's only U.S. plant was defeated on a 712-626 vote Friday night amid heavy campaigning on both sides.

Mike Jarvis, who was among the group of workers in the plant that organized to fight the UAW, said his colleagues were unwilling to risk hurting the plant, which he called "the greatest thing that's ever happened to us."

Southern Republicans expressed great relief that the UAW didn't manage to gain its first win in a foreign automaker in the South. They worried that a UAW victory could have scared away future manufacturing jobs.

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