The United Auto Workers (UAW) won a big victory in Tennessee last week, with workers at a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga electing to join the union.

The next stop on UAW's unionization push into the South is Alabama. Mercedes-Benz workers in Vance will vote from May 13 to May 17 on whether to join the UAW.

"The workers there are fired up. They're fed up. They want a union. We have already filed for an election in Alabama and that election is set for mid-May. By mid-May, we believe those workers are going to vote strongly for a union also and they're going to win justice for themselves," UAW president Shawn Fain told NPR's "Morning Edition" on Monday.

He continued, "The governor in Alabama has been a lot more vocal and some of their political leaders, the Chamber of Commerce." 

"It's the same story. At the end of the day, it comes down to this, these people are nothing but puppets for corporate America and for the billionaire class and they're the reason why workers aren't getting their fair share. How politicians can say they represent the people and can stand there and say that workers don't deserve the fair share of the fruits of their labor, that doesn't work," Fain said.

Gov. Kay Ivey and other southern governors issued a joint statement in response last week to the UAW's efforts, saying, "We the governors of Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas are highly concerned about the unionization campaign driven by misinformation and scare tactics that the UAW has brought into our states. 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."

"In fact, this year already, all of the UAW automakers have announced layoffs," the governors continued. "In America, we respect our workforce, and we do not need to pay a third party to tell us who can pick up a box or flip a switch," the governors added. "No one wants to hear this, but it's the ugly reality. We've seen it play out this way every single time a foreign automaker plant has been unionized; not one of those plants remains in operation."

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