Haley, Norquist Vow To Block Organized Labor From The South

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon
haley norquist vow to block organized labor from the south

Days after the United Auto Workers found themselves outside the gate at the Volkswagen plant in Chatanooga, Tenn., South Carolina governor Nikki Haley and Republican lobbyist Grover Norquist have vowed to do all they can to ensure that the Southeastern United States will never see unionization in the region’s auto industry and beyond.

The Greenville News and Reuters report Norquist outlined an anti-union strategy meant to empower fellow Republicans, such as Gov. Haley, in their ongoing war with unions with the ultimate outcome resulting in lowered campaign financing for their opponents running for office.

His group, the Center for Worker Freedom, battled the UAW’s efforts to unionize the VW plant in Tennessee for nearly a year before finding victory in the worker’s rejection of representation during the National Labor Relations Board-overseen three-day election last week. In turn, Norquist is directing the group toward other targets for unionization throughout the South using rhetoric — and funding from unknown sources — to drive the point home:

Everybody who wants to steal your guns is funded by the unions. Everybody who wants to raise your taxes is funded by the unions. Everybody who wants to borrow too much money is funded by the unions. Whatever center-right issue you care about, the unions are on the other team. Unions aren’t good at anything.”

Meanwhile, Gov. Haley’s goal for labor relations in South Carolina is to head off the unionization drive at the pass, shutting out companies with organized labor as well as those who would “taint the water” with organization for as long as she remains governor:

They’re coming into South Carolina. They’re trying. We’re hearing it. The good news is it’s not working.

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.

Haley’s statement reflects a battle between her state and the NLRB in 2009 over Boeing’s desire to build a factory for the aerospace company’s Dreamliner in North Charleston, which the NLRB believed was done in retaliation over past union-led strikes in the company’s native state of Washington; the complaint was later dropped.

South Carolina is home to non-union transplants, including BMW, Michelin and Boeing, though Haley’s Democratic opponent in this year’s gubernatorial race, State Senator Vincent Sheheen, would welcome companies such as Ford and General Motors — and their organized labor — if it meant more jobs for the state:

We need good, high-paying jobs in South Carolina. Part of leadership is putting ideology and partisanship to the side when there’s something that could be good for South Carolina.

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  • Art  Vandelay Art Vandelay on Feb 23, 2014

    I am not a fan of the modern mega unions like the UAW, but the relationship between an employer and an employee is between that employer and employee to include if one side decides they wish to be represented. I don't really see a government role here.

    • Thornmark Thornmark on Feb 24, 2014

      If you see no role for government, then there should be no labor law. The people of TN elected people to represent their interests, which includes their investment in the VW plant. I don't think labor law can silence a US Senator or State governor. And w/ management working w/ the UAW against what we now know is the majority of voting workers, isn't it nice that someone stood up for that same majority? Basically the UAW wanted no opposition from the locals. "Labor lawyers said there is little precedent for the NLRB to consider objections to organizing elections based on third-party interference. Typically allegations of meddling are aimed at the company, said Art Schwartz, president of Labor and Economics Associates, Ann Arbor, Mich., consultants. "It will be a tough one to win. How do you tell public officials they can't speak on this subject?" Mr. Schwartz asked. "In reality it wasn't the company they had to worry about. It was the overall attitude of the community toward unions." http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304914204579397313637583416 Little noted is a certain politician who bailed out the UAW-organized auto industry against the wishes of the public, making remarks, such as accusing those opposed to the UAW at VW as being more interested in German shareholders than their own constituents. "Obama weighs in on contentious union vote at Volkswagen plant" http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/14/us-autos-vw-election-idUSBREA1D1DP20140214

  • Its me Dave Its me Dave on Feb 24, 2014

    While I've grown up sympathetic to workers' rights, I really don't mind all the recent hate on unions. However, I really wish the politicians and "job creators" would realize that there are only 2 possible conditions that will allow a union drive to be successful: bad (incompetent) management or bad (evil) management.

  • Max So GM will be making TESLAS in the future. YEA They really shouldn’t be taking cues from Elon musk. Tesla is just about to be over.
  • Malcolm It's not that commenters attack Tesla, musk has brought it on the company. The delivery of the first semi was half loaded in 70 degree weather hauling potato chips for frito lay. No company underutilizes their loads like this. Musk shouted at the world "look at us". Freightliners e-cascads has been delivering loads for 6-8 months before Tesla delivered one semi. What commenters are asking "What's the actual usable range when in say Leadville when its blowing snow and -20F outside with a full trailer?
  • Funky D I despise Google for a whole host of reasons. So why on earth would I willing spend a large amount of $ on a car that will force Google spyware on me.The only connectivity to the world I will put up with is through my phone, which at least gives me the option of turning it off or disconnecting it from the car should I choose to.No CarPlay, no sale.
  • William I think it's important to understand the factors that made GM as big as it once was and would like to be today. Let's roll back to 1965, or even before that. GM was the biggest of the Big Three. It's main competition was Ford and Chrysler, as well as it's own 5 brands competing with themselves. The import competition was all but non existent. Volkswagen was the most popular imported cars at the time. So GM had its successful 5 brands, and very little competition compared to today's market. GM was big, huge in fact. It was diversified into many other lines of business, from trains to information data processing (EDS). Again GM was huge. But being huge didn't make it better. There are many examples of GM not building the best cars they could, it's no surprise that they were building cars to maximize their profits, not to be the best built cars on the road, the closest brand to achieve that status was Cadillac. Anyone who owned a Cadillac knew it could have been a much higher level of quality than it was. It had a higher level of engineering and design features compared to it's competition. But as my Godfather used to say "how good is good?" Being as good as your competitors, isn't being as good as you could be. So, today GM does not hold 50% of the automotive market as it once did, and because of a multitude of reasons it never will again. No matter how much it improves it's quality, market value and dealer network, based on competition alone it can't have a 50% market share again. It has only 3 of its original 5 brands, and there are too many strong competitors taking pieces of the market share. So that says it's playing in a different game, therfore there's a whole new normal to use as a baseline than before. GM has to continue downsizing to fit into today's market. It can still be big, but in a different game and scale. The new normal will never be the same scale it once was as compared to the now "worlds" automotive industry. Just like how the US railroad industry had to reinvent its self to meet the changing transportation industry, and IBM has had to reinvent its self to play in the ever changing Information Technology industry it finds it's self in. IBM was once the industry leader, now it has to scale it's self down to remain in the industry it created. GM is in the same place that the railroads, IBM and other big companies like AT&T and Standard Oil have found themselves in. It seems like being the industry leader is always followed by having to reinvent it's self to just remain viable. It's part of the business cycle. GM, it's time you accept your fate, not dead, but not huge either.
  • Tassos The Euro spec Taurus is the US spec Ford FUSION.Very few buyers care to see it here. FOrd has stopped making the Fusion long agoWake us when you have some interesting news to report.