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Workers arrive on final day of vote

Photo credit: GABE NELSON

The UAW election at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga was a topic of discussion on local drive-time radio programs this morning like "The Press," on WGOW, 1150 AM. A little bit before 8 a.m., as a line mostly comprised of VW Beetles, Passats and Golfs made its way from the highway to the Volkswagen plant, the hosts of the show said they seemed tired of seeing all the billboards and hearing the advertisements. One of the hosts wondered aloud how much has been spent.

"I can tell you: both sides are spending a tremendous amount with this station," his co-host replied.

Later, one of those political advertisements came onto the air.

"Workers don't need the UAW to build a works council, and VW doesn't need a works council to make cars," said the advertisement, paid for by Republican anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist's group Americans for Tax Reform. "Chattanooga is not Germany, or Detroit. At least not yet."

It did not seem like the UAW was buying any radio time. But a few minutes after the anti-union spot, came an ordinary ad for Village Volkswagen, the local dealership. It advertised sale prices for the Jetta, Beetle and "Chattanooga's kind, the Passat."

The vote on UAW representation continues throughout the day and results are expected later in the evening.

You can reach Gabe Nelson at gnelson@crain.com
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