For more than a year, the United Auto Workers have publicly said their mission is to organize the non-union transplants in the South. The original goal, if I remember correctly, was to have already unionized a plant by the end of this year. That obviously isn’t happening.
A lot of what they have been doing is behind the scenes so it is based on rumors in many cases but it was well documented that their first target was the Hyundai plant in Montgomery. Not sure how they came up with that choice, but workers had little to no interest and the union was sent looking for greener pastures.
They made their way north to Chattanooga and the brand new Volkswagen plant. The thought process behind this strategy was a little different. They reached out to VW’s unions in Europe hoping that the culture of unionization on that continent would help them in Tennessee. Not so much, but they haven’t given up.
Their next target? According to an article in USA Today, Nissan. According to a union leader, it became “crystal clear” that Nissan would be a target following discussions. Nissan has two plants- the one in Canton along with one in Smyrna, Tennessee. Petitions have been filed at that plant before, all unsuccessful.
And here’s a fun little piece of information to go along with this story: The UAW has given Bennie Thompson $83,500 over the course of his career making that union his seventh largest contributor.