Shocking Loss For Unions At Volkswagen Factory Stops Their Hopes For March Into The South
It wasn’t even close. In a Valentine’s Day gift to the free market, workers at a Tennessee Volkswagen factory voted against organizing under a union, and stopped their attempt to march into the South.
Workers voted 712 to 626 to hand a stunning defeat to the United Automobile Worker’s Union – that’s 53% to 47%, respectively.
The loss is an especially stinging blow for U.A.W. because Volkswagen did not even oppose the unionization drive. The union’s defeat — in what was one of the most closely watched unionization votes in decades — is expected to slow, perhaps stymie, the union’s long-term plans to organize other auto plants in the South.
A retired local judge, Samuel H. Payne, announced the vote results inside VW’s sprawling plant after officials from the National Labor Relations Board had counted the ballots. In the hours before the votes were tallied, after three days of voting at the assembly plant, both sides were predicting victory.
And this presents a huge setback for union interests that are still reeling from losing Wisconsin to Republican Governor Scott Walker:
The U.A.W. lost the unionization campaign even though it took place with one highly unusual — and highly favorable — circumstance. Unlike most American companies, Volkswagen pledged to remain neutral, in some ways offering quiet support to the union.
A sad tweet from a pro-union reporter sums it up:
If unions can’t win with company support in the South, there’s not much chance you’ll get very far anywhere else.