Union organizing campaigns are often stressful and consist of exaggerations from both sides. But a recent attempt by the United Auto Workers to organize a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee was unique. Plant management not only didn’t oppose the organization effort, it gave the union access to the plant and workers.

 You’d expect, then, that the UAW would be successful because opposition to the union was coming only from outside the company. German-owned Volkswagen’s business structure is designed around a union environment, so it would undoubtedly be easy for it to accept a union within the plant. But the union failed.

To continue reading, click here: Is this a death knell for unions?

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6 thoughts on “Is this a death knell for unions?

  1. Unions, as they currently exist, have outlived their usefulness. Sadly, a “united” workforce is as critical as ever.

    For Unions to say that bad decisions not high wages crushed Detroit is, at the least, disingenuous and a case of denial. No business person is gong to build cars for $50 per hour when they can build the same car in Cheaponesia for a $4 per day. Yes, I am generalizing.

    They will rise again when the “robber barons” start taking advantage of the “average joe” again….it will happen…..its like the scorpion and the turtle. When asked why the scorpion stung the turtle after the turtle carried the scorpion across the river on its back, the scorpion relied; “Because its my nature.”

  2. One area where some unions have done a good job is in driving safe practices in mining and tunneling. In addition, there are some unions that run comprehensive apprenticeship programs to provide well trained workers to industry. When unions don’t do these things, I have questions about their contribution to the strength of the country.

  3. I think you’ve over-simplified this by not discussing the role of the Tennessee government. It wasn’t just that the workers rejected the UAW and that VW didn’t oppose the union – the story is incomplete without pointing out that the State government was threatening workers/the plant with political actions that could have forced the plant to close if the UAW got a foothold in the state. This story is as much about the political pressure that was put on the workers as it was about the worker’s choice.

    Perhaps some of the workers were anti-union, but maybe some of them were scared that Tennessee Republicans would follow through with threats and they would lose their jobs altogether.

    1. Valid point and a big problem. The “Sean Hannity’s” of the world are not journalists yet a far too significant percentage of the “people” treat them as such.

      Left or Right they are driving an agenda and that makes it near impossible to derive an educated opinion on much.

      And, respectfully, major networks don’t do nearly the journalistic job that they used to.

      I love Dan Rathers new show because it reeks of the 60 minutes of old and seems non-biased and thorough but try finding it on your tube!

    2. I don’t think I left out the politics portion–as I said that was a big reason they union lost.

      Regardless of the politics, this is a HUGE DEAL. I don’t think you’ll find another example of where the company management didn’t oppose the union and the union still lost.

      1. I mean, you mentioned politics in the context of ‘the workers disagreed with the Union’s political donations’ and not ‘there was political pressure from the State government.’ I think those are different things – I can disagree with my Union giving money to the Democrats in any state. But here Tennessee politicians were were basically a third-party opposing the Union. I think there’s a distinction between disliking that the Union gave money to Candidate A and thinking that Senator B is going close down your workplace if you vote to unionize.

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