Workers at a Volkswagen AG plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., were telling the United Auto Workers union they "like things the way they are," after their failed attempt to unionize employees, Rep. Marsha Blackburn said Monday.
"They sent the message that they like things the way they are. They are delighted to have VW there. They're delighted to have the jobs, but they don't want to change their work environment," the Tennessee Republican told MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
Workers at the Chattanooga VW factory voted last week 712-626 against a UAW attempt to gain a foothold in the southern automotive plant. The move was seen as a stunning defeat to the UAW, which has faced a decline in membership.
Blackburn explained a reason unions have a tough time penetrating factories in the South was because employers were "very relational, and have great relationships with individuals who work in their companies."
There could be a place for unions in southern factories if they could guarantee a "product that is going to be more competitive and that would be good for everybody," Blackburn maintained.
In Tennessee, exports have increased 20 percent over the last five years, Blackburn explained. She said her goal was to see that number grow.
"What I would like to see is greater output and more exports. I would love for a lot of the manufacturing to come back onshore, and for us to repatriate some of those jobs," she said.
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