In South Carolina, Boeing workers dealt a stunning defeat to labor unions. While the event took place a couple of states away, it has already sent a huge message against similar unionizing efforts that would attempt to gain power in Southern states like Alabama.
Charleston’s Post and Courier reported Wednesday that the International Association of Machinists lost a bid to organize after 74.2 percent of workers rejected the plan. Considered a long-shot from the start, the vote took place ahead of a scheduled visit from President Trump.
The defeat is significant for Alabama, as a victory in the Boeing plant would have emboldened efforts to unionize in other states.
Not that such a move would be welcome in Alabama; voters continue to favor pro-business leaders and policies. In November, an amendment to the state constitution was approved that solidified the state’s “right-to-work” status. Additionally, Alabama’s business-friendly labor laws have continued to attract new business to the state.
In October, GKN Aerospace announced that it would relocate 300 jobs from its unionized facility in St. Louis, Missouri and bring them to Tallahassee, Alabama. The union blamed the Yellowhammer State’s right-to-work status for the company’s decision.
While the union remains bitter about the decision, it’s not the first time that Alabama has gained new economic development opportunities thanks to the state’s labor policy. Airbus is a prominent example; since relocating to Mobile, the company has created thousands of jobs. Likewise, gun manufacturer Remington has pointed to Alabama’s protective laws as a reason for bringing 2,000 jobs to the Huntsville area.