Home » OPINION » Editorials » MBJ Editorial: UAW foothold in Mississippi would be bad for business

MBJ Editorial: UAW foothold in Mississippi would be bad for business

Congressman Bennie Thompson held a news conference recently to say he supports workers’ rights for a union.
Well, we support that right, too.
But that doesn’t mean it will be a good thing for all of Mississippi if the United Auto Workers convinces folks to start a union at the Nissan auto plant in Canton.
Employees said they approached the United Auto Workers about starting a union at the Nissan plant.
The UAW has tried in the past to unionize workers at Nissan’s plant in Smyrna, Tenn., and at other foreign-owned auto plants in the South.
State NAACP president Derrick Johnson said his organization also stands behind workers’ right to unionize, “because it’s the right thing to do.”
To this point, however, there has been no petition has been filed seeking a union vote in Canton.
The average hourly person in Canton is probably somewhere near $25 an hour while the average manufacturing wage in Mississippi as of December, 2011 was $15.47. We doubt there is a shortage of demand for those Nissan jobs. Wages in Mississippi will naturally trend upward as the industrial base builds, but in the meantime the UAW has to try to sell itself on a 10 percent wage gap and that isn’t much ground to stand on.
It is the workers’ right to form a union, if they wish.
However, we all know a major part of the reason why the company came to the South, in general, and Mississippi, specifically, is because auto workers, for the most part, were not unionized, which meant more money in the pockets of owners.
Therefore, being for an auto workers union is to wave a red flag and tell other auto manufacturers to stay away.

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