By Hunter Wallace
Sadly, this is how free trade deals work out in practice: management tells its American workers that if they try to form a union or agitate for better wages and healthcare plans that they will shutdown factories and ship all their jobs to a place like Mexico where they won’t have to put with taxes, unions or worker safety regulations:
“For nearly a decade, new workers hired at unionized auto plants across the country have started their jobs knowing a troubling fact: They made less than their colleagues, sometimes half as much. And no matter how hard they worked, they could never earn the wages of the people standing next to them on the assembly line.
This was the result of concessions the United Auto Workers (UAW) made in a series of negotiations with the Big Three automakers: General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler (now called FCA after being acquired by Fiat). Under the “two-tier” system, as it was called, new workers would never be able to make as much as longtime workers, even though they were often doing the exact same job.
Expanded in 2007, the two-tier system was, the automakers said at the time, the only way they were going to be able to continue to make cars in America. …
But then one of the employees told management about the union, Stannard said, and the company’s vice president flew down in Tennessee in a private jet, held a meeting with the workers, played a few anti-union videos, and told workers that the company would move the plant to Mexico if they unionized. At the next meeting, only one worker showed up, Stannard said.
We spoke at an organizing office the UAW has established in Smyrna, in a half-empty mall near an abandoned Jack-in-the-Box. Some Nissan employees speculate that the large number of temporary jobs at Nissan has had a chilling effect on the local economy, because the wages are so low. Efforts to organize this and other plants in the South have not culminated in elections.”
Free trade deals are best understood as the primary weapon by which manufacturers have hollowed out the American middle class. There will always be some peasant in a Guatemala willing to work for less than half of the wages paid to American workers. Half of working class Americans are now making less than $30,000 dollars a year.
Finally, before anyone makes a racial comment know that the negro autoworker in the image above works at a unionized GM plant in Texas, and as a result of this deal will probably be making more money than his White counterparts at plants in Tennessee. He will probably have greater job security, healthcare and vacation time too.
The non-unionized White autoworkers in Tennessee will have it better than all the unemployed Whites in Alabama, Arkansas and Tennessee who lost their jobs after their factories were shutdown and moved to China, Mexico or Vietnam. Since our comparative advantage with China is the export of scrap metal, you may have noticed some of them rummaging through junkyards or old barns in search of it.