lashes out at Republicans on Volkswagen-union organizing fight
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[February 15, 2014]
CAMBRIDGE, Maryland (Reuters) — President Barack Obama on Friday waded into Washington's war of words
over a union organizing election in Tennessee when he accused
Republicans of trying to block labor's efforts at an auto plant in that
state, according to a Democratic aide who heard the remarks.
A Democratic aide said that Obama, speaking during a closed
meeting with U.S. House of Representatives Democrats, said everyone
is in favor of the United Auto Workers representing Volkswagen
workers except for local politicians who "are more concerned about
German shareholders than American workers."
House Democrats were winding up a three-day retreat in the small
town on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay, about 85 miles east
of Washington. Obama briefly spoke to the Democrats about a range of
issues while reporters were present.
The Democratic president then held a closed session during which he
made the remarks about the election that ends on Friday in
Chattanooga, where union organizers are hoping to win representation
of auto workers at a VW plant in that city.
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Earlier this week, Republican Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee caused
a stir when he lashed out against the UAW and said he had had
"conversations" leading him to believe that if the union effort
failed, VW would announce the production of a new line of SUVs at
the Chattanooga plant
(Reporting by Thomas Ferraro and Richard Cowan;
editing by James Dalgleish)
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