The Wall Street Journal editorial board dismissed United Auto Workers (UAW) president Shawn Fain’s complaints about Mercedes-Benz’s anti-union tactics as a “classic excuse” after a majority of workers in Vance declined to join the union last week. 

In a National Labor Relations Board private election that began on Monday and ended Friday morning, 56% of workers voted against joining the union. The final tally showed 2,045 workers voting for joining and 2,642 workers voting against joining UAW.

Fain said on Friday Mercedes-Benz engaged in “egregious illegal behavior” against their workers to stop the unionization effort.

Members of the Wall Street Journal said on Sunday that UAW’s loss in Alabama was due to the organization’s progressive politics and workers “not interested in what the union is selling.

“Shawn Fain, the tough-talking UAW president, accused Mercedes of intimidating workers and engaging in illegal behavior, which is the classic excuse after a union loses an election. 'This loss stings,' Mr. Fain said. 'There are more than 2,000 workers at Mercedes in Alabama who want to join our union. They aren’t going away.' But neither are the 2,600 Mercedes workers in Alabama who didn’t want the UAW,” the Wall Street Journal editors wrote. “There’s no blaming poor turnout or worker apathy, since about 4,700 ballots were cast, out of 5,100 eligible employees. The UAW could and no doubt will try again, as it did with the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., where the union succeeded in April on its third try in a decade.”

The editors continued, “Still, it’s apparent that many workers aren’t interested in what the union is selling, which is less about job security than progressive priorities that extend well past the workplace. Mr. Fain presents himself as the vanguard of left-wing politics, as when he denounced Israel’s effort to destroy Hamas in Gaza. The UAW 'has been calling for a ceasefire for six months,' he said recently. Why should line workers in Tuscaloosa pay dues for that?”

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