COMMENTARY | The effort by the United Auto Workers at a Volkswagen Plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee has fallen short. There are a number of reasons for this which organized labor should take to heart if it wants to prosper.
First, it seemed that the auto workers at the German owned car plant objected to the idea of union dues being used to finance political claims, according to an analysis in Hot Air. It is well know that union money and muscle buttresses the Democratic Party. The Tennessee auto workers did not care to be forced to pay to elect politicians with whom they disagree.
Second, it appears that VW is giving its employees everything that the unions claim only they can provide; a generous salary with good benefits and safe working conditions. Why, them, should VW workers have to put up with the hassle of being represented by a union?
It also should not pass beyond notice that the VW workers voted on the matter of whether or not to be represented by a union via a secret ballot. That removed the opportunity to use fear and intimidation tactics to boost the pro union vote..
Private sector unions have been on the decline since the 1960s, largely because the industries in which they were most powerful have been in the decline. Automation combined with outsourcing has combined to decrease the numbers of union jobs. It could be said that union demands have far outstripped the market value of union labor, incentivizing companies to cut costs in other areas. This likely did not escape the notice of the VW workers too. A lot of foreign and domestic auto plants in the south are not union shops and are thus prospering and creating actual jobs, unlike factories in Detroit and other places in the rust belt.
The major takeaway from all of this is that so long as companies are generous, within reason, to their employees, there is no need for them to organize. Private sector unions, thus, are increasingly becoming a relic of a bygone age, irrelevant and in the decline.