Alabama law punishes employers friendly to unions

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (photo, left) signed a law penalizing employers in her state who accept unions, Huffington Post reported on Tuesday, May 14, 2024 (read story here).

It yanks state economic incentives, grants, loans, and tax credits away from any company that recognizes a union instead of forcing a vote. She claims the law will “protect our Alabama jobs.”

Speaking ahead of a uni0n election at Mercedes-Benz plant near Tuscaloosa, she declared “Alabama is not Michigan. Huntsville, Tuscaloosa — they’re not Detroit.”

They sure aren’t. Alabama ties with Louisiana for America’s lowest wages and is among the poorest states. And the union lost.

“We want to ensure that Alabama values, not Detroit values, continue to define the future of this great state,” Gov. Ivey continued. Her values don’t include prosperous working families. She presides over a state with high crime and poverty rates. Some “values.”

Michigan, whose primary industry is union auto plants, beats Alabama on every one of these metrics. Why Alabama’s governor thinks her state is better than Michigan is a mystery. It’s certainly not about free enterprise; if she believed in that, she wouldn’t sign a law that interferes with businesses deciding their best interests.

Unions created America’s middle class. Companies with union workers have done well for managements, workers, and shareholders. It’s not a zero-sum game where workers doing better hurts someone else; a rising tide lifts all boats.

Republicans’ hatred of unions isn’t based on economics, and certainly isn’t about workers’ rights, as the misleading phrase “right to work” insinuates. It’s driven by ideology and viewing unions as political enemies (not least because they’re a major source of funding and votes for Democrats). It’s about politics, not economics. But with Republicans, isn’t everything? Because nothing they do makes rational sense.

Return to The-Ave.US Home Page

Comments are closed.