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Another defeat down South: UAW running out of gas

| Friday, Aug. 18, 2017, 11:00 p.m.
A UAW supporter sings as she tries to beat the hot sun outside an employee vehicle entrance at the Nissan vehicle assembly plant in Canton, Miss., on Aug. 4. The vote for union representation of line workers concluded that evening, with the UAW losing, 2,244 to 1,307. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
A UAW supporter sings as she tries to beat the hot sun outside an employee vehicle entrance at the Nissan vehicle assembly plant in Canton, Miss., on Aug. 4. The vote for union representation of line workers concluded that evening, with the UAW losing, 2,244 to 1,307. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Employees' overwhelming rejection of the United Auto Workers at a Nissan plant in Mississippi stung the UAW so badly that the vote had barely ended when the union filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board.

But even in the unlikely event that the NLRB forces another vote at that plant, the UAW won't likely be revving up its sputtering organizing at foreign-owned auto plants in America's right-to-work South.

This was the UAW's third failure to organize a Nissan facility, after attempts in 1998 and 2001 at a Tennessee factory. And this time, the UAW lost by a far bigger margin — 2,244 to 1,307 — than it did in its 2014 attempt to organize a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee.

And the NLRB is less likely to order a re-vote than it would have been during the Obama administration. Two Trump administration nominees are expected to join the NLRB before it hears the UAW's anti-Nissan complaints, according to the Detroit Free Press — which also notes that “unions historically perform worse, not better, when a second election is held.”

A likely factor in this latest UAW defeat — federal prosecution of former high-ranking UAW and Fiat Chrysler officials who allegedly diverted training funds illictly — isn't going away: “the Free Press has learned that other former UAW officials are likely to be charged.”

Simply put, it's past time for the UAW to take “no” for the answer to its quixotic, down-South organizing quest.

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