Vinnie Vernuccio Says New Attempt to Unionize the Chattanooga Volkswagen Plant Seems to be ‘Failing’

Vinnie Vernuccio, president of the Institute for the American Worker, said workers’ latest attempts to unionize the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga appear to be “failing.”

On Monday, the United Auto Workers (UAW) announced that a group of Volkswagen workers in Chattanooga filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board for a vote to join the labor union.

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UAW Expands Strike Against GM Hours After Reaching Deal with Rival Stellantis and Ford

The United Auto Workers (UAW) union on Saturday expanded its strike against General Motors (GM) after it reached an agreement with its competitors on Wednesday and Saturday, the union confirmed in an X post.

The UAW and Stellantis (formerly Chrysler) reached a deal similar to the four-year agreement reached on Wednesday between Ford and the UAW, which provides a 25 percent pay increase and cost of living adjustments, as well as the ability to strike over plant closures. It was expected that GM would also make a deal with the union after Stellantis on Saturday, but instead employees at a Tennessee GM factory received orders to expand the company’s strike, the local union posted on X.

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Worker Freedom Group: There Are Protections for Auto Workers Who Don’t Want to Strike

Striking UAW workers

As Big Labor-bought President Joe Biden made his trip to Detroit on Tuesday for a photo-op stop on the United Auto Workers (UAW) picket lines, a worker freedom organization reminded those swept up in the UAW action that there are protections for workers who don’t want to strike. Nearly two weeks in, the UAW strike against Detroit’s “Big Three” automakers has grown to include 38 parts distribution plants in 21 states and more than 18,000 workers walking off the job. The union is targeting facilities and, at this point, is not calling its 145,000-plus auto workers to strike. A Reuters/Ipsos poll last week found 58 percent of respondents support the striking workers in general. “There may not be anyone who agrees with us right now, but I think if this [strike] goes as long as we think it might, there may be people who say, ‘I just can’t afford’ [the strike],’” said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation. Every work stoppage has employees who don’t follow the union line, in this case, demands for a 40 percent wage hike, a 32-hour workweek at full 40-hour pay, and retirement and health plan enhancers. The powerful…

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Neil W. McCabe: Trump’s Decision to Skip the Second Debate and Go to Michigan Has Democrats ‘Freaking Out’

National political reporter Neil W. McCabe shares his insights and political acumen as a new week in presidential politics unfolds on Wednesday’s episode of The Tennessee Star Report. Host Michael Patrick Leahy, along with all-star panelists Crom Carmichael and Carol Swain join in to discuss Donald Trump’s latest decision to skip the second debate and instead, go to the striking UAW auto workers – and sending Michigan Democrats into a tizzy.  TRANSCRIPT Michael Patrick Leahy: 7:20 a.m. – in-studio, original all-star panelist, Crom Carmichael; all-star panelist, Carol Swain. On the newsmaker line right now, the best national political correspondent in the country, our good friend, Neil W. McCabe. Neil, good morning. Neil W. McCabe: Hey, Michael, Crom, Carol, good to be with you. Michael Patrick Leahy: So we have some counterprogramming going on again from Donald J. Trump. We had the Tucker Carlson interview in the first debate of the Munchkins, and now there’s going to be a second debate at the Reagan Library Donald Trump is not going to go there. Tell us where he’s going to go and why. Neil W. McCabe: I’ll tell you, Donald Trump is brilliant. He is a showman and he is going…

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$700 Million in Pandemic-Era Loans Was Not Enough to Save Yellow Corp. Trucking

Trucking company Yellow filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Sunday after receiving more than $700 million in COVID-19 pandemic program loans from the federal government, according to a press release from Yellow.

The 99-year-old company ceased operations of its more than 12,000 trucks on July 30, ending its less-than-truckload business, a shipping service that does not require a whole truck to be filled and was utilized by companies like Walmart, Amazon and small businesses that did not have enough freight to ship in a full truck. The bankruptcy follows a history of financial trouble, with the company receiving $729.2 million in pandemic-era loans from the Trump administration in 2020, and had a total debt of $1.5 billion, according to The Associated Press.

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Wisconsin Congressman Scott Fitzgerald Introduces Bill Taking on National Education Association’s Political Clout

U.S. Representative Scott Fitzgerald (R-WI-05) introduced a bill that would check the power of the National Education Association (NEA).

The Stopping Teachers Unions from Damaging Education Needs Today (STUDENT) Act aims to reform the NEA’s federal charter and “rededicate the organization to the pursuit of increased student learning and quality education in schools across America,” according to the congressman.

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Michigan Construction Group Opposes Democrats in Union Fray

A statewide association serving Michigan’s commercial and industrial construction sectors on Monday announced their strong opposition to Democrat-sponsored legislation to repeal the state’s 2011 Fair and Open Competition in Government Construction Act.

Shane Hernandez, president of the Associated Builders and Contractors of Michigan, told The Center Square that the effort announced by House Democrats last March would undo protections for 85% of the state’s construction workers who don’t belong to a union. The current law prohibits union mandates for workers on government building contracts.

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Commentary: SEIU Resorts to More Influence Peddling in Pittsburgh

Two years ago, hell-bent on getting its hooks into the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) –  the largest private workforce in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania –  SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania effectively bought the Pittsburgh mayor’s office.

In November, the union intends to pay more than twice as much to consolidate its monopoly over the region’s chief executives by adding the Allegheny County executive’s office to its collection. And it’s employing the same winning strategy to do so: spending bucketloads of someone else’s money.

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National Right to Work Foundation Files Amicus Brief in Michigan Union Lawsuit

The National Right to Work Foundation filed an amicus brief at the Michigan Supreme Court opposing a strategy used by a Michigan union.

The brief, filed Friday, says the union officials of the Technical, Professional, and Officeworkers Association of Michigan “weaponizes” the grievance process to force nonmember public employees to pay fees to the union.

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Philadelphia Home Depot Employees Overwhelmingly Reject Unionization

Philadelphia Home Depot employees voted overwhelmingly to reject joining what would have been the first store-wide union at the hardware store.

Out of the 266 employees in the Pennsylvania store, workers voted Saturday evening 165 to 51 against being members of Home Depot Workers United, according to the local NPR outlet. This means less than 20% of the stores’ employees voted in support of being in the union.

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Commentary: Trust Teachers to Make Their Own Decisions Regarding Union Membership

American’s respect for teachers is high coming out of the pandemic, according to a new EdChoice poll — placing them among doctors and members of the military as some of the most respected professionals in the country.

A whopping 70 percent of Americans respect the men and women who teach our children — yet across the nation, teachers are prevented from making their own decisions when it comes to key aspects of their job: their membership in a teachers’ union.

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Minneapolis Teachers Union Contract Calls for Layoffs of White Teachers First

A Minneapolis teachers union contract stipulates that white teachers will be laid off or reassigned before “educators of color” in the event Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) needs to reduce staff.

After the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers (MFT) and MPS struck a deal on March 25 to end a 14-day teacher strike, the two sides drew up and ratified a new collective bargaining agreement complete with various proposals.

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Commentary: Four Years after Landmark Janus Decision, Connecticut Teachers’ Unions Membership Dropping

Mark Janus

While the media breathlessly covered the final two weeks of this year’s term at the U.S. Supreme Court, an important anniversary quietly came and went — the fourth year of freedom from forced union participation by public-sector employees.

On June 27, 2018, the justices banned mandatory union membership, dues and fees for government employees, overturning more than 40 years of court precedent that required government employee union participation as a condition of employment.

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Democrat Gubernatorial Candidate JB Smiley Jr. Receives Endorsement from AFSCME Local 1733

 AFSCME Local 1733 endorsed Democratic candidate JB Smiley, Jr. on Monday to be the next Tennessee governor. 

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) is the largest trade union of public employees in the United States. The group “believes that every person working to sustain their community deserves respect.”

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Socialists Offer Six-Week Training for College Students to Unionize for Social Justice

This summer, Young Democratic Socialists of America (YDSA) is conducting a six-week summer session that trains college students to unionize for social justice in their workplaces.

Titled “Red Hot Summer,” the training will give “give young workers the tools to organize their workplace and discuss how the labor movement can play a role in winning fights against racism, sexism, homophobia, climate change, and imperialism,” according to the YSDA website.

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Commentary: The Outcome if Government Unions Get Control of an Entire State

Chicago Teachers’ Union protesting

Chaos. Disruption. Uncertainty.

The Chicago Teachers Union provides a real-world example of what happens when a government union has too much power.

CTU has gone on strike three times in three school years. In the latest work stoppage, over 330,000 schoolchildren missed five days of school. Parents were notified of the walkout after 11 p.m. on a school night, leaving them just hours to develop a back-up plan after the union decided not to show up.

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Arizona Could Stop Cities from Seeking Union Labor Preferences Before Granting Permits

New legislation in Phoenix would keep cities from nudging private businesses and others into a union shop before giving permission to build.

Although explicitly requiring union labor is illegal in Arizona, an amendment to Senate Bill 1191 would block cities from limiting a zoning permit, zoning variance, rezoning application, general plan amendment or other permit or land use requirement to those who promise to use union labor or only use contractors paying union wages. If enacted, it also would ban public works projects from having similar requirements or disclosing union ties in a bid.

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Labor Board Orders New Union Election at Amazon Warehouse

Amazon warehouse in Maryland

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ordered a new unionization election at an Amazon warehouse in Alabama, ruling that the company violated federal labor law during the first election.

“Today’s decision confirms what we were saying all along – that Amazon’s intimidation and interference prevented workers from having a fair say in whether they wanted a union in their workplace – and as the Regional Director has indicated, that is both unacceptable and illegal,” Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) President Stuart Appelbaum said in a statement Monday.

“Amazon workers deserve to have a voice at work, which can only come from a union,” he continued.

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After Eight Weeks of Strikes, Kellogg Company Says it Will ‘Hire Permanent Replacements’ Where Appropriate

The Kellogg Company said it plans to replace plant workers who have been on an almost eight-week strike. In a series of statements covering the ongoing dispute, the cereal giant said that after a lengthy discussion with The Bakery and Confectionery Workers International Union of America (BCTGM), negotiations fell apart.

“We will continue to run our plants effectively with hourly and salaried employees, third-party resources, and temporary replacements, and now where appropriate, hire permanent replacements,” the statement read.

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Amazon Warehouse Workers in New York Set to File for Union Vote

Amazon warehouse workers in Staten Island, New York City, announced plans Thursday to file for a union election before the National Labor Relations Board next week.

Amazon Labor Union, which represents 2,000 Amazon workers, signed union authorization cards and announced plans to petition for an election, according to Vice. If the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) approves this request and the unionization vote succeeds, the workers would be the first Amazon employees to successfully unionize.

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Rieth-Riley Workers Win Settlements Against Union for Illegal Strike Retaliation

Rieth-Riley Construction paving a parking lot

Michigan Rieth-Riley Construction Company employees Rob Nevins and Jesse London won settlements against the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 324 union.

The settlements order IUOE union bosses not to discriminate against London and Nevins for leaving the union and pay $364 to London for owed health insurance premium.

The settlements stem from charges of retaliation the workers filed during the strike IUOE union bosses ordered in mid-2019. London and Nevins ended their union memberships and chose to keep working.

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Largest Health Care Union to Fight Mandatory Vaccine Requirements for Workers

Doctor giving vaccination to patient

The president of the largest union of health care workers in the U.S. says it will fight companies requiring its members to have mandatory COVID-19 shots as a condition of employment.

The announcement came one day after Houston Methodist announced that 153 employees had been fired or resigned for refusing to get the shots as a condition of employment. Those suing argue requiring employees to receive a vaccine approved only through Emergency Use Authorization violates federal law. After a recent court dismissal, their attorney vowed to take the case all the way to the Supreme Court.

George Gresham, president of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, is weighing the organization’s legal options.

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Commentary: Federalism is Key to Surviving a Divided Nation

We live in a divided nation. Our politics have become not just polarized, but toxic. For a country founded on the principles of individual liberty, democratic choice in representative government, and republican protection of natural rights, America has seemingly lost its way. American politics have devolved into a zero-sum game power struggle between two wings of the same establishment—with the prize being the privilege of exploiting the American working class. We are a long way, both figuratively and literally, from the raging fires of liberty that opposed the crown’s Stamp Act in 1765. 

Like all empires, America’s decline, or “transformation” in the words of our 44th president, was the result of poor decisions by both elected leaders and the citizens who elected them. Corruption on the part of a rent-seeking elite and apathy on the part of the citizens have delivered us to our present situation. Although it is important to understand the mistakes that we made along the road to our failing empire, the real question we should be asking now is what are we to do about our current predicament. 

In David Reaboi’s essay in the Claremont Institute’s The American Mind, he discusses the importance of ending traditional America’s favorite pastime of arguing the same ground with the political opposition over and over again—as if minds are not already made up and just one more pithy tweet or witty meme would finally produce a tidal wave of political defections. Instead, he states, we should consider the work we must do in order to salvage some form of republican society that appreciates and protects the founding principles of America’s charter and our way of life. 

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Commentary: Biden’s Union Agenda Betrays American Workers

Man in safety vest, working during the day.

The consequences of Democratic control of Congress and the White House are just beginning to be felt, as one of the most disruptive pieces of legislation in American history quietly moves from the House of Representatives to the Senate, where only a successful filibuster may prevent its passage. H.R. 842, also known as the Protect the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act) goes a long way towards completing America’s transition into a corporate oligarchy. Because it will also make the elite captains of big labor more powerful than ever, they don’t care.

The PRO Act, like the more visible H.R. 1, is an example of disastrous legislation that is packaged and labeled as advancing the interests of the American worker, when in fact they are designed by special interests to destroy democracy and deny upward mobility. The new operative theme is simple and tragic: in America, big labor, big business, and big government no longer engage in healthy conflict. Rather than checking and balancing each other, on the biggest issues they display a corrupt unity.

Here are some of the provisions of the PRO Act:

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Teachers Union Gave Nearly $20 Million to Dems Before Influencing CDC School Reopening Guidance

American Federation of Teachers

The teachers union in the middle of a scandal for influencing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s official school reopening guidance gave nearly $20 million to Democrats in the 2020 election cycle, filings show.

Federal election filings reveal that the American Federation of Teachers and its local affiliates spent $19,903,532 on political donations during the 2020 cycle, with nearly all of the funds going to Democrats and liberal groups.

Last year’s AFT donations include $5,251,400 for the Democrats Senate Majority PAC and $4,600,000 for the Democratic House Majority PAC, according to data compiled by The Center for Responsive Politics’ Open Secrets database.

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Michigan Think Tank Asks U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Union Agency Fee Case

The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation submitted a writ of certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court Monday for Rizzo-Rupon v. International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

The Midland-based foundation seeks to extend First Amendment protections to employees who have been unionized under the Railway Labor Act, which covers railway and airline employees.

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Commentary: Removing President Trump Before January 20 Would Imperil the Union

House Democrats are proceeding apace with their plans to impeach President Donald Trump before his term ends on Jan. 20 when Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States, accusing Trump of inciting insurrection after the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 following the Save America Rally he spoke at challenging the outcome of the 2020 election.

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Ohio City Worker Sues Over Administrative Fees Related to Union

A city employee in southwest Ohio says a union continues to collect money from his paycheck after deciding he did not want to be a part of the organization.

Timothy Crane, a city of Hamilton employee, filed a federal lawsuit against both the city and the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 20, claiming compulsory fees taken from his paycheck violate his First Amendment rights, according to a news release from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.

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Commentary: Democrats’ Forced Labor Unionization Bill Threatens Jobs and Workers’ Rights

The Protecting the Right to Organize Act of 2019 (PRO Act) is a great illustration of just how radical and out-of-touch today’s Democrat Party is. The bill, which has 179 House Democrat cosponsors and 40 Senate Democrat cosponsors, would force millions of workers into unions they oppose and destroy jobs while lining the pockets of liberal fat-cat donors. Just when some workers finally begin recovering from the Great Recession is no time to be killing jobs in the franchise industry and the gig economy. For these and other reasons, the bill must be rejected.

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Commentary: A Deep-Dive into the Other Deep State – Public Sector Unions

by Edward Ring   When government fails, public-sector unions win. When society fragments, public-sector unions consolidate their power. When citizenship itself becomes less meaningful, and the benefits of American citizenship wither, government unions offer an exclusive solidarity. Government unions insulate their members from the challenges facing ordinary private citizens. On every major issue of our time; globalization, immigration, climate change, the integrity of our elections, crime and punishment, regulations, government spending, and fiscal reform, the interests and political bias of public-sector unions is inherently in conflict with the public interest. Today, there may be no greater core threat to the freedom and prosperity of the American people. In the age of talk radio, the Tea Party movement, internet connectivity, and Trump, Americans finally are mobilizing against the uniparty to take back their nation. Yet the threat of public-sector unions typically is a sideshow, when it ought to occupy center stage. They are the greatest menace to American civilization that nobody seems to be talking about. Ask the average American what the difference is between a government union, and a private sector union, and you’re likely to be met with an uncomprehending stare. That’s too bad, because the differences are profound.…

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Labor Union Representing Lordstown Auto Workers Rocked By Scandal

The labor union solely responsible for the future of Ohio’s Lordstown Auto Complex was blasted Wednesday in Tennessee for the myriad of scandals that have plagued the organization over the past several years. The International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace, and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, commonly known as the United Automobile Workers, or UAW, is one of the largest international labor unions in the country. For more than five years, the union has been lobbying for the unionization of a Volkswagen plant, based in Chattanooga. The plant currently employs more than 3,500 workers. In 2014, the plant held a vote among eligible workers on the weather on not they should unionize. The vote failed by a total of 712-626. On April 29th and 30th, a new vote will be held and the UAW has been heavily focused on ensuring that the plant votes for unionization this time. In response to this, a nonprofit organization ran a full-page ad in the Detroit Free Press blasting the UAW, citing statements made by the U.S. Department of Justice and a local law professor, noting, among other things, the union had “…a culture of corruption among senior leadership….”. The ad doesn’t directly acknowledge the upcoming…

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Last of Lordstown Auto Parts Manufacturing Ends Two Months Early: More Layoffs to Follow

The last manufacturing orders left for the rapidly shuttering Lordstown Auto Plant finished up on April 5. The project – metal stamping replacement parts for the Chevy Cruze – was slated to last until June, ensuring work for those few employees still not laid off.  With the job wrapping up early, the workers are facing an uncertain future. As previously reported: Since its opening in 1966, Lordstown, Ohio has been the backbone of the local economy. Providing plentiful high-paying jobs, working at the plant ensured, at a minimum, a direct entree to the middle-class regardless of education level. Thousands of workers were employed by the plant at its peak. Over time those numbers dropped to below 2,000. In 2019 alone, 1,633 Lordstown auto workers and 72 members of the facilities support staff have been laid off. The majority of these layoffs occurred between March and April. There are currently less than 100 workers still active at the plant but with the completion of this project, it is likely that they will be laid off in the coming weeks as well. According to UAW Local 1112 president Dave Green, the work that is being done is mostly administrative. “We are going through and cleaning…I’m currently working in material handling.…

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Columbus Civil Servant Sues Union Over Forced Payments

A city employee of Columbus, Ohio has filed a class action lawsuit against her local labor union for forcing her to pay union fees, despite the practice being ruled unconstitutional. Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) was one of the most impactful Supreme Court rulings in recent history. As reported: The landmark court case Janus V. AFSCME, ruled on last year, made it illegal for unions to compel non-union employees to pay “agency fees,” overturning a 1977 decision that affirmed this right. The decision, despite being met with resounding condemnation by national unions, was celebrated by many workers. In addition, Janus ruled that a union can’t deduct any fee from a public employee without their “affirmative consent.” Shortly after this ruling, Columbus city employee Connie Pennington, a dues-paying member of Communication Workers of America (CW) Local 4502, her formerly mandated union representation, decided that she would not continue her involvement with the organization. She resigned her union membership and revoked the forms authorizing her union to deduct their dues from her paycheck. According to a press release provided by her legal defense:  …CWA union officials refused to honor her revocation, instead claiming that she could only stop union dues payments at the…

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After 50 Years, Ohio’s Lordstown Assembly Complex Ceases Production

COLUMBUS, Ohio– On Wednesday, with dignity and uncertainty, the workers of Lordstown Assembly Plant assembled their last vehicle. The plant will still make certain parts but the Chevy Cruze, which had been produced and assembled at the plant since 2011, will no longer be produced in Ohio. As previously reported, in November of last year General Motors, the plant’s current operators, announced that five plants across America would be permanently shut down, or, as they referred to it in their public statement:”unallocated.” The plan was met with immediate backlash. President Donald Trump personally decried the decision, demanding that GM find a way to keep these plants open. After months of failed negotiations between GM, the federal government, the Ohio state government, labor leaders, national unions, and other car manufacturers, GM officially began their mass layoffs on February 5. Wednesday, Lordstown became the first of the five plants to cease operations. Almost all of the 1,700 employees have been, or will be, laid off. GM maintains that the plant will remain in a “state of readiness” should they find cause to reopen it for a new operator. However, this remains unlikely. GM has made it clear that its future with the plant is over. The Lordstown plant workers are currently represented by…

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Is One Labor Union Killing the Ohio Lordstown Plant?

An ongoing feud between one labor union and an automaker may cost thousands of jobs in Lordstown, Ohio. The Lordstown Assembly Complex in Lordstown, Ohio has been the lifeblood of that town since 1966. Currently, the factory is owned and operated by General Motors, while the workforce is represented by the United Automobile Workers, an international worker’s labor union. In late November, GM announced that the factory, along with four others in the US, would close in 2019. In the months following the announcement, there has been a furious battle to save the plant in any capacity. Very early on in the effort, then-outgoing Governor John Kasich, made it clear that the future of the plant would be with an “alternative” to GM. This statement seemed to make it clear that that was no chance GM would keep the plant open while indicating that the only future for the facility would be with another company. Kasich then began reaching out to Tesla Motors CEO; Elon Musk who expressed interest in Tesla acquiring the plant. For months, this was as far as the public knew negotiations had gone. Then, in January, GM CEO Mary Barra revealed that there were no ongoing negotiations with Tesla for a…

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