An utter failure
About a two-hour drive north of Atlanta, there was a vote last week that those who follow such things called pretty significant.
About 1,500 workers at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga voted against creating a United Auto Workers union there.
It was a fairly close vote, 712-626. But the ramifications are still ongoing. Major media outlets are saying the UAW spent somewhere around $5 million in the two-year effort to represent the workers. And that the vote was pretty much a major blow to the union.
UAW officials already are threatening legal action. They accuse U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, who was mayor of Chattanooga during the wooing of Volkswagen, of making false allegations and creating fear. Those allegations are that Corker told the news media his sources at Volkswagen said they’d add a future production line if the workers rejected the union.
Company officials said they made no such claim, but union officials remain up in arms that a senator doesn’t want a union. Of course, we’re sure the UAW didn’t make any outlandish claims either.
The truth is, the UAW flat out lost. Plant management did not fight union organizers and, in fact, allowed them access to the plant. They had their chance and blew it. And that says a lot.
It says that the union needs to do a major readjustment — focus on workers and staying out of politics. They obviously don’t know how to read tea leaves. The UAW is quite vocal in its support of abortion rights, gun control and other liberal causes. That might get them votes up North, but Southerners like their guns and can pretty much make up their own minds thank you very much.
That last point played a key role. There were plenty of interviews with workers who said VW plant management listened to them. That they felt they had a say in what went on at the plant.
In addition, Chattanooga workers are on par, salary-wise, with union shops. So why give up a nice chunk of one’s salary for union dues? Management listens. They are paid well. Working conditions are best-in-class. What else could a union offer? Workers decided nothing.
And maybe they took a glance way north to what has become the utter destruction of Detroit, once the car-making capital of the world. Where are all those factories? Gone to other countries or to our own South because the UAW refused to budge.
Thanks to the UAW, Detroit is a ghost town. And people are beginning to see the real union. Let’s face it, any organization that has gone from 1.5 million in 1979 to less than 400,000 today isn’t doing something right.