Haslam: No Threat Implied in VW Incentive Offer

ERIK SCHELZIG | Associated Press

NASHVILLE (AP) – Republican Gov. Bill Haslam says making a $300 million incentive package to Volkswagen subject to labor talks concluding to the state's satisfaction was not a threat but a "statement of reality."

Haslam stressed to reporters Wednesday that any grants and tax credits offered to encourage the German automaker to build a new SUV in Chattanooga rather than in Mexico would have to be approved by the Republican-controlled Legislature, where its fate would be uncertain if the United Auto Workers won representation.

Workers at the Chattanooga plant in February narrowly rejected UAW representation, though the union is challenging that outcome on claims of outside interference from Republican politicians.

WTVF-TV first reported this week that the state made its August 2013 incentive offer contingent on the labor question.

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