Race card fails in UAW’s push for union at Nissan

Landslide vote against union at Nissan is a win

for Nissan workers and also for Mississippi

On the Monday after the Saturday when workers at the Nissan plant in Canton overwhelmingly rejected the United Automobile Workers attempt to unionize, The Wall Street Journal called the vote “another humiliation” for the UAW. The editorial noted the UAW spent heavily to win the unionization vote and enlisted supporters such as Sen. Bernie Sanders, Democratic National Chairman Tom Perez and actor Danny Glover. Of course, the UAW was supported by Mississippi’s own congressman Bennie Thompson, the state NAACP and Jackson’s new mayor, Chokwe Lumumba. I had previously been told about 65 percent of the workers at the Nissan plant are black, but the WSJ said more than 80 percent of those who voted were African Americans. Of course, the UAW tried to exploit racial politics before the vote. Socialist Sen. Sanders said the UAW supporters were “connecting workers rights with civil rights.” Fortunately for the Nissan workers and future industrial development in Mississippi, playing the race card did not work for the UAW and its supporters like Bennie Thompson, longtime radical Danny Glover and Mayor Lumumba. The WSJ editorial was right on target when it said “race-baiting fell flat in Canton.” Most workers at the plant make $24-26 per hour. What do you think most of them would be making elsewhere? The WSJ also noted, and I assume the Nissan workers were also aware, a week before the vote a deceased UAW vice president teamed up with an official at Fiat-Chrysler to allegedly steal millions of dollars from a fund that was intended to train auto workers. The wife of the late UAW VP and the Fiat-Chrysler official have been indicted. UAW leaders often live high off the hog compared to the workers they represent. It is no wonder during the past 35 years the UAW’s ranks have shrunk by more than 75 percent. The Center for Union Facts also estimates during the past 10 years big labor unions have used more than $1 billion in member dues to donate to the Democratic Party and other left-wing special-interest groups. While workers at Nissan were voting 2,244 to 1,307 against joining the UAW, Toyota and Mazda announced they will spend $1.6 billion to build another assembly plant in the South. The plant is expected to have 4,000 jobs, a huge prize for whatever southern state is the winner of the competition to build the plant. That competition will be very stiff and Mississippi may be a longshot to win the plant, but one thing is very clear – if Nissan had lost the vote to the UAW, Mississippi would have zero chance to secure the economic development prize.

Correction and apology to Clarion-Ledger columnist Billy Watkins

In the August 2 WeidieReport, I commented that popular radio talk show host Bo Bounds noted a disclosure lapse at the Clarion-Ledger in Jackson. In that post I was incorrect when I wrote that veteran Clarion-Ledger columnist Billy Watkins had written several

columns about the NCAA investigation of Ole Miss but had failed to disclose that his brother is the personal attorney for former coach Hugh Freeze. The “several columns” comment was an error on my part and for that I apologize to Watkins. After four emails from Watson, some I would call nasty in tone, Watkins pointed out he had written one, not “several” as I wrote, about Ole Miss, and his column “wasn’t about the NCAA or Hugh Freeze.” He said the July 28 column was about the “mood” of football season as it quickly approaches. The column was entitled “Ole Miss football can’t come fast enough.” The inference was pretty clear. After all the issues surrounding the NCAA investigation of Ole Miss football and the sudden resignation of Hugh Freeze, Ole Miss and Rebel supporters are ready to move on to prepare for the 2017 season. The July 28 Watkins column said the NCAA allegations case “hangs over Oxford like a paper-mill stench.” The same Watkins column also mentioned how Freeze was forced to resign because of a pattern of personal behavior. Again, no disclosure that Watkins’ brother is the personal attorney for Freeze. On July  29 Josh Peter of USA TODAY sports wrote a column entitled “Who is Hugh Freeze?” Billy Watkins, along with the Ole Miss beat writer for the Clarion-Ledger, and two others were listed at the end of Peter’s story as “Contributing” to the story. Watkins says that Peter chose to lift a quote from Watkins’ story of July 28 and thus had to give attribution to Watkins for what Peter “borrowed” from Watkins. Remember that the Watkins column ran July 28 and the Peter story appeared on July 29.

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