Beshear To Transplants: Kentucky Is Not Tennessee
Unlike his Republican counterparts down south, Kentucky governor Steve Beshear says his state is not like Tennessee as far as attracting transplants go.
Associated Press reports those remarks were first made during a recent recruiting trip to Germany and Sweden, the latter’s Volvo considering a factory in the Bluegrass State. Beshear reaffirmed his stance upon returning home:
I’m not trying to tell Tennessee or any other state how to handle their economic development efforts. I can just say that in Kentucky we would welcome either type of situation, either companies with unions or without them. We have an open-door policy and welcome companies no matter what their desires may be in terms of labor-management relationships. We don’t try to dictate what that relationship should be. We think that’s up to the company and to the employees.
The comments come after Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and his administration, as well as U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, did their best to persuade Volkswagen to reject the UAW’s offer to represent the transplant’s workforce in Chattanooga, including a $300-million incentive package that would be paid if labor talks were “concluded to the satisfaction” of the state’s interests.
Beshear adds that Kentucky can best attract economic development — whether from the auto or other industries — by not getting the middle of the labor negotiation process, noting that said lack of interference is “a positive sales point” for the state.
Well with Kentucky not being a right to work state and actually a fairly interesting study in quasi-liberal economic democrats holding state-wide office. They're a state dominated by coal that was/is unionized but also heavily southern in many attitudes and positions but also midwestern. It should be interesting to see if transplants opt to go there because there is a far greater likelihood of unionization in Kentucky than other deeper Red states (as Kentucky is safely purple in all but presidential elections though that may be coming up for grabs in 2020 or 2024). Still, taking a hands-off approach is the best position regardless because the ideological purity arguments put forward by Republicans is a dying breed that without capturing the next presidential election will see the supreme court swing away from them and essentially establish a pro-labor court willing to dismantle much of Taft-Hartley and the rest of the anti-NLRA rulings.
This just in—Ohio not Nebraska. Film at 11.
Does this mean that Kentucky isn't going to bribe automakers with tax incentives and the like (corporate welfare)? Methinks doubtful on that one.