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UAW Ready to Pick Target in Bid to Organize Non-Union “Transplants”

by on Mar.24, 2011

Workers celebrate during the dedication of the Nissan plant in Canton, Mississippi, in 2003. But will they embrace the UAW if given the chance?

The United Auto Workers Union is close to picking the automaker that will serve as the target of what it vows will become the largest consumer boycott in the history of the global economy — all part of its effort to organize workers at non-union plants in the Southeastern corner of the United States,

However, UAW president Bob King suggested there may be a way around the threatened confrontation.  The union is having discussions with a number of transnational makers operating non-union plants in the Southeast to see if it can coax them into abiding by a set of principles that would open the door to organizing drives on company property. The principles would insure the campaigns would be free of the corporate intimidation that has marked past UAW drives, King said.

“This is the UAW of the twenty-first century. We can help them improve their quality and efficiency,” he insisted. “We can help them compete successfully in the global economy just as we have at Ford,” he said.

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The union is prepared to back up its push with a substantial global campaign to punish automakers which don’t want to accept the union’s offer, said Dennis Williams, UAW Secretary Treasurer, who is attending this week’s national union convention.

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Why Kia Bet on Georgia

Incentives only part of the reasons for first U.S. assembly plant.

by on Nov.30, 2009

Eventually, Kia hopes to employ 2,500 workers at its new assembly plant in West Point, Georgia.

Eventually, Kia hopes to employ 2,500 workers at its new assembly plant in West Point, Georgia.

Just over three years ago, I attended the ground breaking ceremony for the new Kia factory in West Point, Georgia. The weather was soggy and damp and there wasn’t much to see beyond a hilly, 2,100- acre site that the Korean automakers promised to turn into one of North America’s assembly plant – a heck of a stretch for a company long known for building econocars using cheap labor.

But just a few weeks ago, as I turned off the specially constructed exit ramp and turned onto Kia Avenue, I had another chance to visit the site where my first glimpse revealed  an ultra modern, pristine automotive manufacturing campus gleaming in the warm sun. Three years had brought changes. Major changes.

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The factory was finished, the production line running, stamping presses installed, welding operations opened, paint shop ready and training of first employees had been completed.  The new, $1 billion factory was warming-up the production line to produce the new, 2010 Kia Sorento crossover vehicle.  Since my latest trip to Georgia, the facility has gone from prototypes to market-ready versions of the Sorento

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