Monday, May 28, 2012 0 comments

Foreign automakers keeping UAW out of plants

While labor unions have done well at organizing work forces at United States-based automakers, they've struggled to get into foreign automaker facilities in the United States. According to a recent MSNBC story:

While the UAW continues to represent Detroit’s Big Three manufacturers, it has all but completely failed to gain representation rights for the so-called transplant lines now run by virtually all the major foreign-owned automakers, from BMW to Toyota to Volkswagen.

UAW president Bob King sees these efforts as crucial to the survival of the labor union, warning "If we don't organize these transnationals, I don't think there's a long-term future for the UAW, I really don't". Last year, it was reported the UAW was considering going after Volkswagen and Daimler plants and now is reportedly looking at attempting to organize a Nissan plant in Mississippi. But the track record of organizing these companies plants isn't good.
Tuesday, May 1, 2012 0 comments

Major union effort in SC Midlands fails

In one of the largest efforts in recent years by labor unions to organize a South Carolina workplace, workers handily rejected an effort by union organizers to organize workers at the Intertape Polymer Group plant in Columbia

The union lost the vote with 142 employees voting against the union, 97 voting for the union and 3 challenged votes. This rejection is another moment in what has been a long and contentious relationship between the company and the United Steelworkers Union

In watching labor union activity in South Carolina in recent years, union organizers have typically sought to score easy wins by focusing on small employers, usually with less than fifty workers, and overwhelm them. While some of these efforts succeeded, larger efforts, such as this one and the effort to organize the first Charleston Boeing plant, have gone badly for labor unions in recent years.