Sen. London Lamar statement in support of Chattanooga VW workers voting in UAW election

‘Stand up, Chattanooga,” Senate Democrats chairwoman says

Tennessee Senate Democrats
2 min readApr 16, 2024


NASHVILLE — Senate Democratic Caucus Chairwoman London Lamar, D-Memphis, issued a statement in support of Volkswagen workers who are voting this week on whether to form a union with the United Auto Workers.

Sen. London Lamar:

“Auto workers in the South are ready to make history this week. Stand up, Chattanooga!

“Unlike Tennessee’s governor, we applaud Volkswagen workers for engaging in the democratic process and we would welcome the UAW’s expansion in Chattanooga.

“We aren’t surprised to see Gov. Bill Lee join with other anti-union states trying to tip the scales against workers. Lee, who inherited a company that made him a millionaire, has signed more anti-worker laws than any governor in Tennessee history.

“The sky is the limit for Volkswagen in Tennessee when workers have a seat at the table and share in the company’s success. A good job has always meant dignity and security for a family — and that’s worth fighting for.”

Gov. Bill Lee’s anti-worker record

Since becoming governor, Lee has signed a variety of anti-worker laws, undercut working families, and championed policies that boost profits for big corporations at the expense of workers.

  • In 2023, Gov. Lee signed a law restricting tax incentives for businesses that allow “card check” union elections.
  • In 2023, Gov. Lee signed a law barring school districts from offering paycheck dues deductions to teachers in a union.
  • In 2023, Gov. Lee signed a law that requires people who lost their job through no fault of their own to jump through onerous hoops to receive unemployment insurance benefits their work paid for.
  • In 2023, a state audit showed the Lee Administration had not met federal rules requiring prompt payment of unemployment insurance. Auditors said laid-off workers in Tennessee faced one of the longest payment delays in the nation.
  • In 2023, Gov. Lee signed a law barring local governments from prioritizing contract awards to companies that pay higher wages and benefits than their competitors.
  • In 2022, Gov. Lee served as an anti-labor spokesman for a constitutional amendment weakening unions that negotiate for better wages and workplace safety.
  • In 2021, Gov. Lee signed a law capping the number of weeks a laid-off worker can receive unemployment insurance at 12 — the shortest timeframe in the nation.
  • This year, Gov. Lee is expected to sign legislation that shields businesses from wage theft lawsuits after three years — even when the company stole from its workers.
  • Since 2014, Tennessee Republicans have rejected about $15 billion from the federal government for the purpose of providing health coverage to low-income workers who aren’t offered insurance at work. Gov. Lee is steadfastly opposed to Medicaid expansion.