WASHINGTON — After a stinging defeat in Tennessee, organized labor is ready for another fight in the South. Or two.

Over the next several months, the International Association of Machinists will try to unionize workers at the plants of two commercial jet giants — a Boeing plant in South Carolina and a still-in-construction Airbus plant in Alabama.

The labor world will be watching IAM closely to see if it can succeed in the South, especially after the United Auto Workers lost a contentious election at a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, one the results of which the union is still challenging.
The IAM hasn’t yet set a timeline for either plant, but at Boeing there are employees already filling out union cards. The union does not know, and will not say, how many cards have been filled so far.

Ahead of their own battles, the IAM is looking at what the UAW did wrong to try to shore up their own game plan. In Tennessee the opposition was loud and clear. Sen. Bob Corker and Gov. Bill Haslam to Grover Norquist and state lawmakers all chimed in during the final hours to squash the union. The problem, Larkin argues, was that there weren’t enough outside voices trying to counter the opposition.
The Next Two Big Battles Over Unions Are In Alabama and South Carolina