Republicans and the Tea Party in Alabama thought that unions were dead and buried six feet deep in the union graveyard. Not so fast my friends! Because a plant in Piedmont voted to unionize with the United Auto Workers union. The employees at Commercial Vehicle Group Inc. in Piedmont voted 89-45 to join the union. The UAW said the reason why the employees wanted to join their union is because of the low pay ($9.70 to $15.80 per hour) for production workers, high health care costs, and the increasing use of temporary workers. Cue the explosions!
Some on the right think this might be the beginning of a union comeback in Alabama. And I am sure someone in the Alabama Legislature will try to make it harder for unions to come to Alabama. But for now, let’s enjoy this small victory! Commercial Vehicle Group Inc. will respect the employees wishes, and after review by the National Labor Relations Board, the United Auto Workers will have a small victory in Alabama. Now, would you like to wonder why the UAW has come to NE Alabama, I mean you need to know why!
While other parts of Alabama have experienced economic growth, NE Alabama has been left behind. Huntsville has attracted thousands of jobs, Auburn and Tuscaloosa are some of the best run metro areas in America, Mobile just saw Airbus opening, and Birmingham continues to do well. What about Anniston and Gadsden? Piedmont is located near these two cities. And these metro areas in NE Alabama have been in a lot of trouble.
Gadsden has lost a lot of manufacturing jobs, and continues to struggle. Anniston has also lost a lot of manufacturing jobs, and was named the worst small performing metro area in America in 2014. While much of Alabama has seen victories in the form of lots of new well paying jobs, the people in Anniston and Gadsden have been left behind. This is the biggest reason why the employees at Commercial Vehicle Group Inc. voted to go union. I am sure they are tired of the low performances and pay they are getting, and I hope they get treated better!
If you don’t want more employees at the plants here in NE Alabama considering to join a union, where are our leaders to attract and bring economic growth to Etowah and Calhoun counties? You are seeing it across Alabama, but not here. Oh well, people around here do not like being left behind, and want as much success as other people are seeing in Alabama. Get with it leaders in Alabama!