Author: Chris Brooks

Chris Brooks, a native of Chattanooga, Tenn., is a former organizer for the Tennessee Education Association and currently a staff writer-organizer for Labor Notes in New York City. 

Class War by Other Means

Tennessee, Volkswagen, and the Future of Labor


In 2008, the governments of the city of Chattanooga, Hamilton County, the state of Tennessee, and the United States all collaborated to provide Volkswagen (VW) with a $577 million subsidy package, the largest taxpayer handout ever given to a foreign-headquartered automaker in U.S. history. The bulk of the subsidy package, $554 million, came from local and state sources. The federal government also threw in $23 million in subsidies, bringing the grand total of taxpayer money that VW received in 2008 to $577 million.