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Kay Ivey, five governors unite against UAW’s expansion into the South

On Tuesday, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, along with the governors of Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas, issued a joint statement amid a coordinated organizing push by the United Auto Workers (UAW) across the Southern United States.

On Monday, it was reported that UAW’s top official, Shawn Fain, made comments ambitious about the prospect for his organization to capitalize on unionization votes at the Chattanooga Volkswagen plant, after previous failed efforts, and the Mercedes-Benz manufacturing facility in Vance, Alabama for the first time.

“I truly believe we’re going to see a huge shift this year. I think we’re gonna win in the South,” Fain reportedly said.

Governor Ivey, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, and Texas Governor Greg Abbott said that would “threaten our jobs and the values we live by” — and has been “driven by misinformation and scare tactics that the UAW has brought into our states.”

“The reality is companies have choices when it comes to where to invest and bring jobs and opportunity. We have worked tirelessly on behalf of our constituents to bring good-paying jobs to our states. These jobs have become part of the fabric of the automotive manufacturing industry. Unionization would certainly put our states’ jobs in jeopardy – in fact, in this year already, all of the UAW automakers have announced layoffs,” the alliance of governors wrote.

RELATED: Union boss escalates attacks on Governor Kay Ivey in tirade at North Carolina rally

“In America, we respect our workforce and we do not need to pay a third party to tell us who can pick up a box or flip a switch. No one wants to hear this, but it’s the ugly reality. We’ve seen it play out this way every single time a foreign automaker plant has been unionized; not one of those plants remains in operation. And we are seeing it in the fallout of the Detroit Three strike with those automakers rethinking investments and cutting jobs. Putting businesses in our states in that position is the last thing we want to do.

“The experience in our states is when employees have a direct relationship with their employers, that makes for a more positive working environment. They can advocate for themselves and what is important to them without outside influence. The UAW has come in making big promises to our constituents that they can’t deliver on. And we have serious reservations that the UAW leadership can represent our values. They proudly call themselves democratic socialists and seem more focused on helping President Biden get reelected than on the autoworker jobs being cut at plants they already represent.

RELATED: State Sen. Arthur Orr says his bill intends to ‘prevent coercion’ in Alabama unionization votes

“We want to keep good paying jobs and continue to grow the American auto manufacturing sector here. A successful unionization drive will stop this growth in its tracks, to the detriment of American workers.”

The UAW announced earlier this month that a “supermajority” of workers at the Mercedes-Benz factory in Vance signed a petition for a union election, with the goal of holding a vote in early May. However, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has yet to schedule the election.

Grayson Everett is the state and political editor for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @Grayson270

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