Sen. Corker's UAW Smears Go Unchallenged In Fox Interview

Fox News gave Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) an uncritical platform to continue pushing anti-labor falsehoods about a recent attempt to unionize a Volkswagen (VW) plant in Chattanooga, TN.

On February 14, the VW plant in Chattanooga voted against joining the United Auto Workers (UAW) union by a vote of 712-626. Prior to the vote, Corker and third party anti-labor groups like Grover Norquist's Center for Worker Freedom (CWF) waged an anti-UAW publicity campaign that threatened workers with claims that unionizing would hurt jobs and the economy of Tennessee. Days after stating that he believed it was not “appropriate” to make public statements about the unionizing effort, Corker issued one anyhow, telling workers that if they rejected the union, VW would reward the plant with a new product line:

I've had conversations today and based on those am assured that should the workers vote against the UAW, Volkswagen will announce in the coming weeks that it will manufacture its new mid-size SUV here in Chattanooga.

But VW AG rebuffed statement, saying “There is no connection between our Chattanooga employees' decision about whether to be represented by a union and the decision about where to build a new product for the U.S. market.”

On the February 19 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom, co-host Bill Hemmer interviewed Corker, who repeated the claim that the vote to unionize was tied to decisions about new product lines for the plant. Remarkably, Hemmer failed to push Corker on this point or even note that VW directly rejected his accusations.

Hemmer also neglected to question Corker's unsupported implication that UAW was a “job-destroying entity” responsible for the near-collapse of the American auto industry or the fact that Corker's so-called “community voices” were in fact special interest groups funded by Norquist, the Koch Brothers, and the like.

Chattanooga's unionization attempt sent Fox into a frenzy of anti-union coverage and commentary. The network repeatedly covered up Corker's tactics and erroneously accused an MSNBC contributor of injecting racism into the debate after he referenced a civil war analogy originally made by Norquist's CWF.