Tennessee U-S Senator Bob Corker did not plan to make any more public comments in advance of V-W workers voting on whether or not to have a union.
The senator's opinion changed dramatically, at a news conference in downtown Chattanooga. He says, the United Auto Workers union, is trying to use his own words against him.
Senator Corker is particularly upset because of a reference in an email, sent to news outlets over the weekend.
In it, UAW Region 8 director Gary Casteel is quoted as saying that "other politicians should follow the lead of Senator Bob Corker and respect these workers' right to make up their own minds." He's talking about unionization.
"We had concerns that, potentially they were using my words inside the plant to make it look as if I actually as supportive of what the UAW is doing," Corker says.
"Nothing could be further from the truth," he maintains.
He says, the UAW's main purpose in trying to organize at Volkswagen, is because VW workers have good salaries, without a union. The senator says, the union needs to tap into those salaries to collect dues, to sustain itself.
"What (the possible VW unionization) about?" he says. "It's about one thing.. it's about money and it's about power."
Although Corker says, not all of the woes of a bankrupt Detroit are the fault of the UAW, workers at VW need to know the culture of how the union management works, and how that contributed to Detroit's decline.
"The UAW officers a month ago, were talking about fighting, combat and those kinds of things," Corker says. "If that's the environment (VW workers) want, the UAW's certainly the people for you to choose."
The senator went on to say he has empathy for the VW workers having to make what he calls, a difficult choice.
Corker went on to say that the unionization of V-W workers will hurt the standard of living in Chattanooga, because outside businesses will not want to locate here.
Workers at the plant begin voting on whether or not to join the U-A-W tomorrow, and will continue voting until Friday. The results should be known soon after.By Calvin Sneed