On the day some 6,000 Mercedes Benz employees began voting on a proposal to unionize the company's Vance and Woodstock plants, Gov. Ivey lobbed another salvo at the United Auto Workers (UAW).

Speaking in Huntsville at a Chamber of Commerce overview of the just ended 2024 legislative session Ivey told attendees the union's agenda does not meet Alabama standards, "Alabama is not Michigan, Huntsville … Tuscaloosa … they’re not Detroit. We want to ensure that Alabama values, not Detroit values, continue to define the future of this great state.”

Ivey did not mention it, but a union drive is already underway at the Montgomery Hyundai plant. The organizing effort there has not reached the status of requesting a union vote with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) at this point.

Friday, the governor signed into law Senate Bill 231 which was approved by the legislature last week with most Democrats against and Republicans for it. The new law prohibits economic incentives being granted to a company if it voluntarily recognizes a union or if the union does not hold a secret ballot during an election. The law will not impact the Mercedes vote because it does not go into effect until January 1, 2025.

By signing the legislation Ivey claimed SB231 will “further protect our Alabama jobs,” and ensures that “every vote is counted.”

“My message is clear: I am standing up for Alabamians and protecting our jobs,” Ivey said. “We will not let this threat from Detroit deter our progress, deter our hope and deter our folks’ prosperity.”

Mercedes is just one of 13 non-union automakers in Alabama and across the south being target by an aggressive $40 million dollar union organizing campaign.

The vote overseen by the union friendly NLRB will end Friday with the results expected to be announced shortly afterward.

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