Monopolistic Unionism Hurts Autoworkers
Union-Free Factories Help Make Tennessee an
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
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
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
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
“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)