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The UAW and Southern Auto Plants


The United Auto Workers has tried to organize southern auto plants for more than 20 years. It has failed in every major campaign, sometimes even when the auto company is encouraging its workers to vote for the union. It’s not that unionizing workers is impossible in the South–there are southern union locals after all–but it has proven impossible in auto. But the UAW is back, filing for an NLRB election for the Canton, Mississippi Nissan plant. We will see. I’ve never seen racial demographic data for southern auto plants, but my assumption is that the UAW really struggles to win over southern white workers. If the Mississippi plant has more black workers, and it likely has more than the VW Chattanooga plant does just based on where it is located, then the chances go up. Just winning one of these big plants and getting a contract signed might open the doors to widespread victories. Let’s hope this is the time.

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