Unions were made to help workers do their jobs better but with better pay and more friendly conditions. This was the goal of auto factory workers in Tennessee and other states, but it seems their government doesn’t support this gathering.

Essentially, the governors of six Southern states told workers that joining the United Auto Workers union would threaten jobs. It is also against “the values we live by.” As expected many are confused by the joint statement, while others are furious at the governors. 

The Statement Came Before A Volkswagen Factory Joined A Union

This statement came from Southern state Governors after noticing that a Volkswagen factory was about to join the United Auto Workers union. They claimed that this was a bad idea and could ruin the industry’s job market.

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It’s worth noting that this factory was merely a day from voting to join this union for better working standards. If they joined, other factories may follow suit, which may destabilize the state’s economy, according to the governors.

A Closer Look At The Statement From The Governors

The statement from these governors doesn’t directly say these companies can’t join the union. In fact, they acknowledge their autonomy. The governors are just worried that the decision will gravely affect jobs in the state.

Source: REUTERS/Nick Carey

In their own words: “The reality is companies have choices when it comes to where to invest and bring jobs and opportunity. [However,] Unionization would certainly put our states’ jobs in jeopardy.”

‘This Is A Good Sign’

The comments from these governors went viral and left citizens in the states puzzled. But not the UAW. They see the government’s attempt to discourage joining the union as a sign that it’s a good decision.

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UAW strategist Chris Brooks even remarked on social media, “They’re scared” after reposting Alabama’s government’s take on the situation. UAW expects the votes to continue and result in the Volkswagen factor joining the union.

Does Joining A Union Actually Ruin The Job Market?

So many people found the governors’ comments strange. This is because unions are known to help workers earn higher wages and even receive extra benefits like medical care and paid vacation.

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Workers in a union also get legal protection during strikes, which prevents their employers from fighting back. Ultimately, joining a union seems to be an excellent idea because workers get to do their jobs in a more favorable environment.

Experts Also Find The Statement ‘Unprecedented And Shocking’

The statement from the different governments shocked the public, and some experts shared the same opinion. One economist studied the attempts to un-unionize the South and he called it “unprecedented and shocking.”

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Stephen Silvia explained: “It implies that the governors fear that the UAW will prevail in the upcoming union recognition election and that UAW success could upend their economic models built on relatively low pay and minimal worker voice.”

Tennessee Republicans Have Been Against Unionizing The Volkswagen Factory

The recent statement by the Government wasn’t the first attempt at un-unionizing the VW factory. Further investigation shows that Tennessee Republicans have helped to thwart union attempts.

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They did it twice. One in 2014 and the other in 2019. Their opposition only became apparent as they became more vocal. One recent example is Gov. Bill Lee’s visit to Chattanooga where he said joining the union would be a big mistake.

‘The UAW Endorses President Biden’

Gov. Bill Lee also gave some interesting remarks about the UAW. He claims that the union endorsed President Biden and has very strong ties to the democratic party. This may be an attempt to deter them against UAw since southern states most share conservative views.

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The governor said in a statement: “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 auto worker jobs being cut at plants they already represent.” 

‘We Do Not Care!’

All the “drama” surrounding the Volkswagen factory’s decision to join the union may feel annoying. In a recent interview, some of its workers expressed their frustration against these governors.


In simple terms, they want politicians out of the matter as it should be left to the employees. The states have nothing to fear since these workers will continue their jobs. They just want to be paid what they’re worth, which many agree to be quite fair.

The Problem Seems To Be From Republicans

Some political commentators are pointing out that Republicans are the only ones not in support of unionization. This becomes more apparent seeing that some Democratic politicians have shown support for the UAW.

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What’s more interesting is that these politicians are from the same southern states that are against the VW factory joining the UAW. Nevertheless, these democratic politicians took to social media, especially Sen. London Lamar. He posted: “Autoworkers in the South are ready to make history this week. #StandUp, Chattanooga!”

Kentucky Governor Is Proud Of The UAW

The support for the UAW continues with Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear. He pointed out that the union extended their efforts into his state, especially with a Toyota factory in Georgetown.

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He explained on social media that he was “proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder” with the UAW. Why? Apparently, the union raised the workers’ standard of living, which is always their primary objective.

How Will Unionization Threaten Jobs?

Back to the Government’s collective statement. How will joining a union threaten the auto industry job market? The best explanation by experts is Increased Cost. Essentially, employers will have to now pay more because of increased wages and benefits.

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These governments also argue that joining a union could create a less flexible market. If this happens, it could discourage investment that would have created more jobs and opportunities.

Counter-Arguments From Unions

While unions could cause increased labor costs, they argue that it’s necessary. The new cost is actually what these workers deserve. So, unions like the UAW fight to stop employees from getting “legally robbed.”

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These supporters also explain that failing to give workers their fair compensation is nothing short of slave labor. So, it’s actually healthy for a healthy work environment.

The Governors Are Greedy

So far, the commentary from different political commentators shows that these Republicans may just be greedy. Stopping the VW factory from unionizing only prevents them from paying the workers their fair share.

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Also, their fears of a ruined job market are dispelled by  Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear. He’s happy that unions have improved wages for workers. The job market didn’t collapse, and businesses are doing “just fine.”