As I’ve often written, one of the primary articles of faith–and Leftism bears virtually all the characteristics of a religion–of the Left is its certainty no progressive policy, idea or desire can possibly be wrong. Imagine, then, gentle readers, the shock, no, the disbelief of the United Automobile Worker’s Union when their bid to unionize a Canton, Mississippi Nissan plant failed, and by a stunning margin, after years of organizing effort. The New York Times reports:
In a test of labor’s ability to expand its reach in the South, workers at a Nissan plant in Mississippi overwhelmingly rejected a bid to unionize, an election that the union quickly criticized.
Out of roughly 3,500 employees at the Canton-based plant who voted Thursday and Friday, more than 60 percent opposed the union. It was an emphatic coda to a years long organizing effort underwritten by the United Automobile Workers, which has been repeatedly frustrated in its efforts to organize auto plants in the region.
Unionization efforts focused on auto plants in the South have, for years, spectacularly failed, primarily because workers are not only paid good wages, they have equally good benefits and are treated well. In addition, they’re very appreciative of the companies that built plants where, in many cases, there were few well paying jobs, but many people willing and able to work hard.
The union accused the company of waging an unusually aggressive fight against the organizing effort. ‘Perhaps recognizing they couldn’t keep their workers from joining our union based on the facts, Nissan and its anti-worker allies ran a vicious campaign against its own work force that was comprised of intense scare tactics, misinformation and intimidation,’ Dennis Williams, the U.A.W. president, said in a statement after the vote.
Well of course! What other explanation could there be for the failure of a major organ of the Democrat Party?
The election campaign at the plant, where a large majority of workers are African-American, frequently took on racial overtones. Some employees alleged that white supervisors dispensed special treatment to white subordinates, a charge the company emphatically denied.
Oh. Of course. They’re Democrats. They had to play the race card at some point. So let me see if I get this Leftist logic: most of the workers are black, but they were racist against themselves to convince themselves they shouldn’t be racists and vote against the union? Right.
In the end, though, basic economics combined with a fear of change may have carried the day. Veteran workers at the plant make about $26 per hour, typically only a few dollars less than veteran workers represented by the union at the major American automakers, and well above the median wage in Mississippi.
Nissan also pays a roughly similar percentage of employees’ incomes into their retirement accounts as do the Michigan automakers.
Before coming to Nissan more than 14 years ago, ‘I didn’t have a 401(k), I had one week of vacation,’ said Marvin Cooke, a Nissan paint technician who was previously an assistant manager at a Shoney’s restaurant. ‘Now, I have four weeks’ vacation. I’m off on every holiday. Nissan has provided a great living for me.’ He voted against the union.
That couldn’t be why they voted against unionization, could it? I mean, making a good salary, great benefits and retirement, and a month of vacation in a part of the country with a much lower median wage couldn’t sway people to vote against the union? And all that without having to pay union dues. But why else would people vote against their own interests?
Over all, the union was hobbled in its ability to respond to the company’s message to workers. Beyond the question of its contributions to local groups, which the union said were similar to contributions it has made to civil rights and religious groups for decades, anti-union workers dwelled on the indictment last week of a former Fiat Chrysler labor relations official accused of skimming millions of dollars from a training facility to benefit himself and a former U.A.W. counterpart.
Any union organizing effort faces the specter of corruption, criminality and lockstep association with Democrats. But none of that could possibly be reason to vote against a union, could it?
Whatever its advantages, Nissan took no chances, pressing its case through the final days. This past week, it set up a huge tent outside the plant and invited every worker on each shift, even those ineligible to vote, for meetings in which senior plant officials made their closing pitch.
For Mr. Brown, the previously undecided worker, the meeting proved to be the final shove in the direction of the union. [skip]
A Nissan spokeswoman, Parul Bajaj, said that ‘employees were reminded of the significance of the election and encouraged to exercise their right to vote,’ and that human resources officials were available in the back of the room to take questions.
By contrast, Kinoy Brown, a 14-year veteran who works on engines, saw the meeting as an earnest attempt to unify the plant after a bruising campaign.
‘They were telling us,’ said Mr. Brown, who voted against the union: ‘Hey, let’s get this behind us. Let’s go build some cars and trucks. Let’s build people’s dreams.
I suspect the realities of the hatred of the elite for people like them, people that live in flyover country–they consider the deep South particularly deplorable–also played a part. Oh yes, the folks working at the Nissan plant know such things. Consider this from Fox News:
In February 2016 the National Review delivered their now infamous ‘Never Trump’ issue. One month later Kevin Williamson, their ‘roving correspondent,’ wrote about rust-belt, white working-class support for Trump:
‘The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they deserve to die. Economically, they are negative assets. Morally, they are indefensible. Forget all your cheap theatrical Bruce Springsteen crap. Forget your sanctimony about struggling Rust Belt factory towns… The white American underclass is in thrall to a vicious, selfish culture whose main products are misery and used heroin needles. Donald Trump’s speeches make them feel good. So does OxyContin.
Keep in mind Williamson and National Review are supposed conservatives, yet their hatred of President Trump and the people who voted for him, make them indistinguishable from the Leftist clique, of which unions are an integral part.
For millions of people in this country, it’s the overbearing and incompetent government bureaucracy that steals the future from people, sucking every ounce of hope from their lives. Mr. Williamson’s disturbing sanctimony did do one thing—exposed how disconnected even the ‘conservative’ establishment had become from the heart of this nation, and explains in part why we have President Trump and not President Jeb.
It’s no wonder we don’t want the so-called ‘elites’ controlling our health care, managing foreign policy or determining who gets in this country and why. Americans are now partisans for the country, their own families and the future, and a vote for Trump in 2016 is the result of that commitment.
Perhaps, just perhaps, the residents of Canton, Mississippi don’t want Leftist elites controlling their jobs and futures either. The Union’s disdain for its rejection will not tend to make future organizing efforts easier. Sore losers and ill-intentioned socialists: Southerners are more than smart enough to have nothing to do with them.