Governor Says VW Incentives Not Tied To New UAW Deal

Governor Says VW Incentives Not Tied To New UAW Deal

By Phil Williams. CREATED Jul 17, 2014

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said Wednesday that his administration is giving Volkswagen almost $180 million in incentives -- regardless of any deal it might work out with the United Auto Workers.

That marks a major reversal of policy.

Earlier this week, Haslam and Volkswagen officials announced a deal to expand the company's plant in Chattanooga, adding 2,000 new jobs.

But our NewsChannel 5 investigation had discovered a confidential document where another incentive offer a year ago was made contingent upon the Haslam administration's "satisfaction" with the company's deal with the UAW.

At a news conference, NewsChannel 5 Investigates asked the governor, "Are there any strings attached to this deal?"

"Zero, zero," he insisted. "We've been in on-going conversations really since March or April with Volkswagen. Never has the union been part of the discussion or been a factor in the equation about the discussion."

The UAW has begun a new organizing effort at the Volkswagen plant.

Union leaders said they expect they'll soon become part of a workers' council that helps run the plant.

Back to NC5 Investigates: Tennessee's Secret Deals
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Phil Williams

Phil Williams

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Phil Williams is chief investigative reporter for NewsChannel 5's nationally award-winning investigative team. His investigations have earned him journalism's highest honors.