With one win in his pocket, United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain has stepped up the war of words over organized labor's attempt to unionize southern auto producers. Now that the UAW has achieved a historic union vote victory, at Chattanooga's Volkswagen plant, Tuscaloosa County's Mercedes-Benz plant is next on Fain's list. With a union vote set for next month in Vance, the aggressive union president has gone on the offensive.

In an interview with The Guardian, a British daily newspaper, Fain rejected a joint anti-union statement from Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey and five southern governors whose states are home to non-union auto plants. In the letter the chief executives referred to the UAW's southern union push as outsider influence and stated, “The experience in our states is when employees have a direct relationship with their employers, that makes for a more positive working environment. They can advocate for themselves and what is important to them without outside influence. The UAW has come in making big promises to our constituents that they can’t deliver on.”

“We are seeing in the fallout of the Detroit Three strike (last year) with those automakers rethinking investments and cutting jobs,” the statement said. “Putting businesses in our states in that position is the last thing we want to do.”

“They’re liars. The people who are doing the misleading are them,” Fain told The Guardian. “These politicians are showing that they’re just puppets for corporate America, and they don’t give a damn about working-class people. They don’t care about the workers being left behind even though the workers are the ones who elect them.”

With the energy sparked by the VW vote Fain told the British newspaper he is sure the Mercedes workers want a union, “At the end of the day, I believe that workers at Mercedes definitely want a union,” he said, “and I believe a big majority there will vote in favor.”

The governors of Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina Tennessee and Texas wrote that the union could put an end to the economic growth the south has experienced since foreign auto makers began building massive non-union plants across the south.

“Protecting our right-to-work status and reputation as a business-friendly state is crucial to our state’s continued economic success and prosperity,” S.C. Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Bob Morgan said in a newsletter published last week.

Mercedes employees pushing for the union claim they’re looking to unionize after working long hours with little pay while the company makes billions of dollars in profits.

The Mercedes union vote will run from May 13th through the 17th.

More From 95.3 The Bear