UAW Southern Organizing Effort Remains in Planning Stages

A public drive to unionize workers at foreign auto plants in the south remains stuck in neutral. The UAW president started the year saying he hoped to kickoff such a campaign in 2011.

UAW president Bob King has gone as far as to say he doesn’t see a “long-term future” for the union without representing workers at transnational companies, like Nissan or Volkswagen.

The organizing effort is still in the works. King says it’s just not moving as fast as once hoped.

“I mean, we’re still working as hard as we can to make it happen. Will it happen this year? I don’t know or not. We’re going to keep trying. We’re moving forward. We’re making some good progress.”

The UAW still intends to target a transnational automaker. The union has just been busy with other duties like negotiating contracts with Detroit’s Big Three. Those contracts resulted in new jobs coming to GM Spring Hill. At the announcement last week, UAW president Bob King made his plug for unionizing.

“If anybody questions the value of collective bargaining today, they should look at the success of the General Motors and UAW, and Ford and UAW, and Chrysler and UAW bargaining.”

The union has been careful to make clear it isn’t looking for a fight, but the UAW has trained activists to picket dealerships or even a company-sponsored golf tournament. However, King has said satisfactory discussions with workers at various plants have made it unnecessary to pick on a single automaker at this point.

The UAW does have its sights set on Volkswagen in Chattanooga, but so far no formal organizing effort has begun.

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