Southern governors whose states are home to non-union auto plants are throwing down the gauntlet in a united front against unionization efforts.

Brian Kemp from Georgia, Tate Reeves of Mississippi, South Carolina’s Henry McMaster, Bill Lee of Tennessee and Texas' Greg Abbott joined Alabama's Kay Ivey in issuing a statement voicing their concern about the UAW's $40-plus million organizing campaign across the south.

The non-union Mercedes, Nissan, Subaru, Hyundai, Toyota, Volkswagen, BMW, Tesla  and Honda auto plants have been the catalyst for job development and industrial growth in the south and the governor's joint statement made I plain they are not going to allow unions without a fight, “As governors, we have a responsibility to our constituents to speak up when we see special interests looking to come into our state and threaten our jobs and the values we live by,”

A union vote is already scheduled for the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga tomorrow and Thursday and the UAW claims a majority of the workers at the Tuscaloosa County Mercedes-Benz plant have asked for a union vote to be scheduled in Vance. On their website, the UAW writes, "Mercedes workers in Alabama just filed for their election. And non-union autoworkers across the South are getting ready to stand up and join them."

During a recent address to Mercedes workers pushing for the union, UA President Shawn Fain took a shot at the company and Ivey, "The company, the Governor, and the Business Council are trying to make you afraid to stand up, because you are so close to realizing a life many thought wasn’t possible. Mercedes is using fear, uncertainty, and division because they are afraid."

Workers seeking to unionize Mercedes claim the company has been pursing illegal union-busting actions and have filed a suit against the company. The governors allege in their statement that they are, “highly concerned about the unionization campaign driven by misinformation and scare tactics that the UAW has brought into our states.”

The governors threw a little fear of their own into their statement, warning that foreign auto plants that have poured billions into the southern economy since the 1980s could close if union drives are successful.

The UAW has failed in previous unionization attempts but last year's successful strikes against Detroit's "Big Three" automakers have reenergized the union and served as a spark for renewed efforts across the south.

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