UAW Rejected in Tennessee Again

Monopolistic Unionism Hurts Autoworkers

Union-Free Factories Help Make Tennessee an ‘Automotive Leader’

As this Newsletter edition goes to press in early May, United Auto Workers (UAW/AFL-CIO) union bosses are embroiled in their latest bid to corral employees at the Volkswagen (VW) motor vehicle-assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., into a union collective. [UAW has since been rejected by VW employees.]

At the outset of this unionization campaign, Tennessee UAW official Steve Cochran flatly admitted that higher pay for production employees is not the goal.

Mr. Cochran’s early April admission to Ted Evanoff of the Memphis Commercial Appeal that foisting (productivity-squashing) Big Labor work rules on the Chattanooga facility, rather than raising compensation, is UAW militants’ focus should not surprise anyone in 2019.

Back in 2015, a careful comparative analysis conducted by the nonpartisan, Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Center for Automotive Research found that the total hourly compensation for union-free autoworkers employed by Daimler AG in Right to Work Alabama is higher than for all other autoworkers in the U.S.

Specifically, combined cash and noncash compensation for Daimler AG employees in Alabama is higher than for GM, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler autoworkers, all of whom are under UAW monopoly-bargaining control.

Big Labor-Impaired GM Is Shuttering Five North American Plants This Year

What is UAW operatives’ pitch, if it isn’t bigger paychecks?

Incredibly, they are suggesting that only their union, recently designated by a federal judge as a “co-conspirator” in a multi-year, multi-million-dollar scheme to loot a worker training fund, can ensure that the auto assembly jobs now located in Right to Work Tennessee stay there.

“Of all the factually challenged propaganda claims the UAW machine has churned out over the years, current assertions that the UAW hierarchy will be a ‘strong advocate’ for keeping VW jobs in Tennessee may be the craziest,” said National Right to Work Committee Vice President Mary King.

“This year, former ‘Big Three’ automaker GM is in the process of shuttering five of its North American plants, all of which employ or used to employ UAW-‘represented’ employees.

“Meanwhile, in Right to Work states like Tennessee, South Carolina and Alabama, union-free auto assembly and parts manufacturing facilities producing all kinds of vehicles and components have continued to be constructed and expanded in recent years.”

‘In [Right to Work] Tennessee, There Has Been a Wave of Good News’

Ms. King added that the connection between UAW-boss rule and auto-sector job destruction has been clear for many years:

“From 2007 to 2017, for example, according to the 2018 edition of Bloomberg Law’s Union Membership and Earnings Data Book, the nationwide total of unionized motor vehicle and motor vehicle equipment manufacturing jobs plummeted by 14.0%.

“Meanwhile, U.S. employment in union-free automotive manufacturing jobs, which are overwhelmingly located in Right to Work states, soared by 17.5%.

“This enormous job shift occurred at the same time that UAW-controlled GM and Fiat Chrysler, and the UAW itself, were the beneficiaries of multi-billion-dollar, taxpayer-funded bailouts granted by two U.S. presidents and Congress.”

As a January 17, 2019 news analysis by business reporters Lizzy Alfs and Jamie McGee for the Nashville Tennessean documented in detail, Volunteer State employees have benefited greatly thanks to the extraordinary success and international competitiveness of domestic union-free automotive manufacturing.

Even as the national news media focus on “restructuring, layoffs, turmoil and declining profits” at UAW-dominated companies, wrote Ms. Alfs and Ms. McGee, in Tennessee “there has been a wave of good news.”

The reporters cited data from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development to highlight the state’s “position as an automotive leader”:

“The state is home to more than 917 auto suppliers, with automotive operations in 88 of 95 counties . . . .”

“In addition to Right to Work protections, the fact that UAW bosses do not wield monopoly-bargaining control over the pay, benefits and work rules for most automotive-production employees has undoubtedly contributed to Tennessee’s outstanding record for job creation in the sector,” said Ms. King.

“Consequently, I do not expect a majority of VW employees to vote in favor of UAW ‘exclusivity’ at their facility if and when they get a chance to express their views in a free and fair election.”

(source: June 2019 National Right to Work Newsletter)

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