Of 4,589 eligible workers participating in the vote, 3,103 voted against the union, according to company and union officials.
The vote was a setback for the union, since industry analysts said a victory at Smyrna could have opened the door to UAW inroads at other foreign-owned plants (see Nissan Workers to Vote on Union ). The UAW has yet to gain a foothold at a foreign-owned auto-assembly plant in the South a growth region for the auto industry.
Try, Try Again
Wednesday’s defeat was the fourth for the UAW at the Smyrna plant, consistently cited as one of the most productive in the United States. A previous vote to organize the non-union plant failed by a margin of two to one a dozen years ago, while two other union drives, in 1997 and 2000, fell apart after the union failed to garner enough support for a vote, according to Reuters.
Foreign automakers have built most of their plants in Southern states, where unions have traditionally held less sway. About 9% of Tennessee’s workers are unionized, compared with 21% of workers in Michigan.