Emboldened by the defeat of the United Auto Worker's attempt to organize a Volkswagen factory in Chattanooga, TN last week, right-wing, anti-union forces are set to go on the offensive to prevent unionization attempts at auto factories in the southern United States.
"Not only can you [defeat unions], but if you don't you're a weenie" - Grover Norquist
According to Reuters, the Center for Worker Freedom, an affiliate of Republican lobbyist Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform, has been pushing an agenda on factory workers that tied the unions to President Barack Obama and the Democratic party.
"Not only can you [defeat unions], but if you don't you're a weenie," Norquist (above) said in a phone interview with Reuters. In the case of Chattanooga, the strategy was clear. The UAW's confidence in winning a majority of the factory "meant we had to raise doubts as to what this is all about," Norquist said. "Hence the focus on the challenges with the UAW, with their political view; with how left-wing they are; how they give money to everybody who wants to steal your guns and do crazy things with your resources; how they treat you with contempt and how they'd destroy the city." According to Norquist, that same angle is set to be used if the UAW attempts any other unionization efforts in southern, non-union facilities.
Meanwhile, opposition to unions following the Chattanooga vote hasn't been limited to lobbyists. Nikki Haley, the Republican governor of South Carolina, has gone so far as to tell companies that use union labor not to invest in the state, which strikes us as a decidedly short-sighted move in a still-fragile economy.
"We discourage any companies that have unions from wanting to come to South Carolina because we don't want to taint the water," Haley said, according to Automotive News. "You've heard me say many times I wear heels. It's not for a fashion statement. It's because we're kicking them every day, and we'll continue to kick them."