United Auto Workers lost their push at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, TN. But could the union push south be coming further past the Mason–Dixon?
"Over the next several months, the International Association of Machinists will try to unionize workers at the plants of two commercial jet giants — a Boeing plant in South Carolina and a still-in-construction Airbus plant in Alabama [...] In 2009, Boeing was deciding between the South Carolina plant and its plant in Everett, Wash., to build a second 787 Dreamliner assembly line. Both plants at the time were unionized.
Workers in South Carolina eventually voted to decertify with the IAM, and ultimately landed the assembly line.
Now the South Carolina plant works with the unionized Washington state plant to build 787s, but has been plagued with production issues. Washington state workers have blamed the issues on the non-union South Carolina workers.
Recently Governor Nikki Haley, on the subject of unions in South Carolina, told The Greenville News:
“It’s not something we want to see happen [...] We discourage any companies that have unions from wanting to come to South Carolina because we don’t want to taint the water.”
In the above video from USA Today Haley states that, "we don't have unions in South Carolina because we don't need unions in South Carolina...". But there are indeed unions in South Carolina, International Longshoreman's Union at the Port of Charleston, and the Communications Workers of America just to name a couple.
And as this piece over at The Huffington Post points out, that SC's right-to-work law makes it illegal to discriminate against workers who chose union representation as well as those who don't.
It is hereby declared to be the public policy of this State that the right of persons to work must not be denied or abridged because of membership or non-membership in a labor union or labor organization.
So, unions are legal in South Carolina but just not encouraged by state politicians and local business. On average, a union worker makes about $200 more a week than non-union workers, that's $10,400 extra a year for the union worker. South Carolina workers could sure use that.
Thanks to politicians, and businesses wanting to increase profits union membership has fallen dramatically over the last 30 years.