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Volkswagen workers begin 3-day union vote in Tenn.

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TNES102 BC-US--Volkswagen-Union-ref Volkswagen workers begin 3-day union vote in Tenn. FILE - In this March 21, 2012, file photo, workers walk by the Volkswagen AG plant in Chattanooga, Tenn. Workers at the plant will decide in a three-day vote Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, whether they want to be represented by the United Auto Workers union. (AP Photo/Erik Schelzig, file)

TNES102
BC-US–Volkswagen-Union-ref
Volkswagen workers begin 3-day union vote in Tenn.
FILE – In this March 21, 2012, file photo, workers walk by the Volkswagen AG plant in Chattanooga, Tenn. Workers at the plant will decide in a three-day vote Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, whether they want to be represented by the United Auto Workers union. (AP Photo/Erik Schelzig, file)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Workers at Volkswagen’s lone U.S. plant in Tennessee are kicking off a three-day election about whether they want to be represented by the United Auto Workers union.

If the union succeeds, the Chattanooga plant would become the first among foreign automakers in the South to unionize. The election begins Wednesday.

That’s a prospect dreaded by Republican politicians in the state, who say they worry about losing a competitive edge in drawing future business to Tennessee.

Republican U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, a former Chattanooga mayor who played a key role in bringing Volkswagen to Tennessee, has been among the most vocal critics of the union drive.

Corker on Tuesday called the vote a “quickie election” because it wasn’t announced until last week and said the UAW was “stacking” the balloting in its favor.

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