Like on many other issues, the North and the South have historically been on opposite sides of the union issue. For many Southerners, there was no need to have a person speak for them and take money earned from their paycheck. But as big business has moved from its Northern homes, unions have found it increasingly difficult to get a foothold. But, it is not just the different mindset of the Southerners causing this problem. Many politicians in Southern states are fighting to keep the unions out. One such Governor is Nikki Haley.
Volvo’s choice of right-to-work state South Carolina for its $500 million assembly plant puts the Swedish car maker on a collision course with the United Auto Workers, but Gov. Nikki Haley predicts the union will be the latest labor organization to find itself unwelcome in the Palmetto State.
As I earlier reported, this is not the first time that Haley has chosen to call out the unions. She has been very outspoken about her opposition to the unions coming into South Carolina. She has already successfully campaigned against unions entering the businesses in her state.
Haley, whose efforts have brought major investments from companies including Continental Tire and Boeing, recently went toe-to toe with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, which sought to organize 3,000 workers at an aircraft plant she helped lure in 2011 with a $450 million package of tax incentives. The union suspended its effort to organize the Boeing plant after a rocky start.
Now with Volvo coming to South Carolina, the battle seems to be set and both sides has already begun the rhetoric.
Williams'[President of UAW] comments followed his recent remarks to a Swedish publication in which he criticized Volvo’s choice of South Carolina.
“When you look at Volvo in the history of car manufacturing, they are very conscious of human rights and civil liberties,” Williams told Dagens Arbete — or “The Day’s Work” — magazine. “South Carolina is one of those states in the United States that has a long history of violating people’s rights. So I am surprised.”
“We have been successful in attracting some of the world’s top corporate citizens and paving the way for expansion of the businesses we already have because our right-to-work law strengthens the direct relationship our employers have with employees,” Haley said. “Our best advice to the UAW is to ask the IAM about how South Carolina workers view unions.”
The facts are on Haley’s side. The car companies of America have been historically sluggish because of the failure to shake off big labor. Many of the foreigne car companies are more successful because they have yet to succumb to the sandbags of the unions. If history is any indicator, UAW will be the next union to leave South Carolina with its tail between its legs.