The state of Tennessee is about to approve a package of more than $165 million in tax incentives for Volkswagon to create hundreds of thousands of jobs in that state, but a Republican state legislator is opposed to it because those workers might form unions.
Tennessee Republican state Sen. Bo Watson warned on Tuesday that a plan to bring 200,000 jobs to his state was a “magnet for unionized labor, intentionally.”
According to Chattanooga Times Free Press, Watson told the state Senate Commerce Committee that approving $165.8 million in tax incentives for Volkswagen was dangerous because unions could change the “culture” of Tennessee.
“I hope the committee will take some time to fully vet this incentive offer,” Watson advised. “At the end of the day, we can have no buyer’s remorse.”
“The incentive, no doubt, will create about 200,000 jobs directly, and countless more indirectly,” he admitted. “It will give southeast Tennessee a big foothold in the automotive industry, particularly in research and development. And it will allow the development of a new line of Volkswagen vehicles, particularly the SUV.”
But Watson asserted that the threat of organized labor unions might not be worth the benefits that Volkswagen would bring to the state.
“VW is a magnet for organized labor, intentionally,” he opined. “I believe this committee should know and understand what Volkswagen’s position is on this issue, both here and in Germany.”
Watson ended up not voting for the incentives, but all the others on the committee did. Seriously, how fucked in the head do you have to be to take this position after admitting that this would create hundreds of thousands of jobs not only in your state, but in your specific district?