The United Autoworkers Union is struggling – and it is the first to admit it. With its membership dwindling after three decades of workforce cuts by Chrysler, Ford and General Motors, the union has pinned its future on organizing one of the transplants. Efforts to convince workers at Japanese-owned plants, like the Nissan factory in Smyrna, Tennessee, have fallen on deaf ears in the past, but there's now hope that the UAW might succeed at one of the newer German-owned plants.

According to Reuters, the union is targeting the Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, and the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga. The UAW's strategy reportedly involves seeking assistance from IG Metall, the powerful German labor union that helped the UAW organize a VW plant in Pennsylvania in the 1970s. Reuters says the German union has a vested interest in helping the UAW, in that it does not want non-unionized workers at the German-owned plants in the United States to be able to undercut it on labor costs. If IG Metall can pressure the German carmakers not to oppose the UAW, the American union would have an easier time getting workers to vote for it, or at least that's the thinking.

Yet even with IG Metall's help, the UAW faces a historic challenge in organizing in the South, where the word "union" is regarded about the same as it was during the Civil War. And time is running out, according to the report, which says the UAW has been dipping into its strike fund since 2006.


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  • 61 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        spy4
        • 3 Years Ago
        You must not be aware of the stance of the new Obama National Labor Relations Board. In South Carolina, they VOTED NO to the union by a wide margin. Boeing built a factory, was prepared to offer great jobs to those workers, and BAMB. the NLRB stepped in and said NO. NO union, no factory. Even Nancy Pelosi said it was better to shut the factory down if it's not union. http://blog.heritage.org/2011/10/31/pelosi-south-carolina-boeing-plant-should-unionize-or-shut-down/
      imoore
      • 3 Years Ago
      The UAW has already tried unionizing Mercedes in Alabama twice, and failed miserably. I don't think the third time will be the charm. They're wasting their time here, they're not welcome and they know it. King Bob (yes, you read it correctly) is a fool for thinking Alabama's work force will bow down to him. Volkswagen, on the other hand, is a different story. Everybody knows that Dr. Piech is a Union man through and through, so the UAW won't have much of a problem here, unless the work force decides otherwise. I predict an epic battle in Tennessee.
      EJ
      • 3 Years Ago
      "....faces a historic challenge in organizing in the South, where the word "union" is regarded about the same as it was during the Civil War. " -Best quote ever.
      spy4
      • 3 Years Ago
      This big question is, will Nancy Pelosi and her thugs at the National Labor Relations board start targeting the south even more? http://blog.heritage.org/2011/10/31/pelosi-south-carolina-boeing-plant-should-unionize-or-shut-down/
      Rob
      • 3 Years Ago
      Zee Germans will not be happy.
      uaw.sucks
      • 2 Years Ago
      The uaw is a mafia. It is a bunch of crooks. They only care about numbers. The uaw international are useless lazy scum. They have no problem taking your union dues,but when it comes to doing there job good luck. I'm a uaw member that will be supporting right to work here in Michigan. I can't wait til they hand me a list of candidates they want me to support so I can vote opposite. Burn in hell you uneducated garbage. My opinion! My experiences have caused me to feel this way. Only lazy trash that don't work or don't show up needs a union to protect them. If your union don't contribute to VCAP either.
      DawgByte
      • 3 Years Ago
      Brilliant, lets infect overseas companies with our lazy labor unions, so they can pack their bags and go manufacture somewhere else. There's a reason why the Southeastern United States is thriving and the rust belt is dying - no mob labor unions!
      Chris Brown
      • 2 Years Ago
      And how many of you work inside VW?
      Mike Kilpatrick
      • 3 Years Ago
      Also in case you don't know when American workers make more money they spend it. This makes the entire economy better. resurants, movie theaters. Employees everywhere benefit even if they don't have a union job. this was how the US was from 1945-1975. during this "Union" period americans enjoyed their highest standard of living. Since unions came under attack from morons like you the standard of living in this country has dropped, for everyone not just union workers. guys do your damed homework.
        Big Rocket
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Mike Kilpatrick
        I like how you call people on the other side morons, then you trot out the same tired old cliches to defend the institution you so blindly believe in. The US manufacturing base was robust and healthy in the 1940's, 50's, and so on because foreign competition had not caught up yet. European and Japanese manufacturing was recovering from the devastation of WW2 in which industrial centers were bombed into oblivion. Now, decades later, international competition has more than caught up, and American companies can no longer afford the high cost of unionized labor. And let me preempt another tired old cliche that you might want to bring up: What about unionized labor in Germany and Japan? The best way I can explain that is with another question: Why do you think there are so many transplant facilities in the Southern States with non-union labor? Practice what you preach, and do your own homework.
        IOMTT
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Mike Kilpatrick
        Your argument is flawed. Can you distinguish causation from correlation? Or did you not do your homework in science and statistical methods? By the way, I save excess income.
      Mike Kilpatrick
      • 3 Years Ago
      So Fazzster you only watch FOX news and now you hate Americans who work for a living so much that you don't want then to have what every german worker already has huh? Why are republicans so anti-american? Why do they hate americans so much that they want them to have lower wages, poor working conditions.
        Big Rocket
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Mike Kilpatrick
        Lower wages? Poor working conditions? If any of that was true, why did VW have to turn away 83,000 applicants for 2,500 job openings at Chattanooga? A better counterpoint to your post would be: Why do liberals want to create joblessness by destroying the manufacturing base here in America?
          TelegramSam
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Big Rocket
          Just because people want the jobs, does not mean wages should be at an all time low. The Conservative Right, has certainly done it's part to make sure people are unemployed to keep demand for jobs high, while wages get driven lower.
          Big Rocket
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Big Rocket
          @Telegram Sam: And just because everyone wants a nice cushy job with a nice fat salary, it doesn't mean American companies can afford them. The Liberal Left in the pockets of Big Labor has certainly done its part to destroy American competitiveness to keep joblessness high.
        IOMTT
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Mike Kilpatrick
        Easy there Trotsky!
      Mike Kilpatrick
      • 3 Years Ago
      Diuz your a moron. The UAW has represented workers in the States since the 1930's . Are you saying GM and Ford weren't successful in the 1940's, 50's 60;'s &70's? Do your homework before you make a fool of yourself again.
        Pj Taintz
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Mike Kilpatrick
        no we are saying that unions had a reason back than, in todays nanny state, the conditions of the 20s and 30s could never happen and the union has a much less important, in my mind absolutly unneeded roll in todays world, like the horse and buggy
      Mike Kilpatrick
      • 3 Years Ago
      kevsflanagan yup your a moron. American workers are the most productive in the world. You've been fed a lot of FOX news lies.Again do your ******* homework and you won't look like such an idiot next time. LOOK IT UP!
        razorpit
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Mike Kilpatrick
        Sounds like you watch a lot of Fox News to know so much about it. Maybe you should spend less time worrying about Fox News and read some books on the 70's since you seem to think they were so great. While I was relatively a youngster back then some of the worst crap to ever come out of Detroit occurred in that decade. Twenty-ton Thunderbirds, Cordoba's, Pintos, Mustang II's, Chevette's, Vega's, and just about every AMC product come to mind.
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