Posts Tagged ‘corporate welfare’

UAW Shows the Ugly Face Behind Its Friendly Mask

UAW Shows the Ugly Face Behind Its Friendly Mask

News broke yesterday that the United Auto Workers has begun aggressively bullying workers at the General Motors plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee. The union released a list of “scab” workers and called on union members to confront those workers to get them to fall into line.

According to the Washington Free Beacon, the statement that accompanied the list of names read as follows:

“The following individuals are NON-dues paying workers. They have chosen to STOP paying Union Dues and still reap the rewards of your negotiated benefits,” the sign says. “If you work near one of these people listed please explain the importance of Solidarity and the power of collective bargaining.”

While this is unsurprising given the UAW’s history, these tactics prove that the only way the union can bilk money from workers is to use force and intimidation. And it’s using its own members as its henchmen. This disgusting display should be brought to an immediate end by the GM plant’s leadership.

This further shows that workers at the Volkswagen Chattanooga plant better watch out. We’ve been sounding the alarm that the UAW will stop at nothing to fund its radical political agenda. While it may try to mask its true intentions at the Chattanooga plant by creating a voluntary, dues-free union, what is happening in Spring Hill let’s us see the ugly truth behind that mask.

-Justin Owen

October 8th, 2014 | Beacon Blog, Recent News

Is “Nashville” TV Show Worth the Cost?

Is “Nashville” TV Show Worth the Cost?

This week, the city of Nashville approved a grant of $1 million in taxpayer money, doubling its previous grant, to keep production of ABC’s hit TV series “Nashville” in Music City. Claims by ABC that production of the third season of the popular series may relocate to Georgia or Texas has sparked action by Tennessee officials.

This $1 million incentive grant by the Metro Council, coupled with a $5.5 million incentive grant  from the state of Tennessee according to the Nashville Scene, should cause us to question why our government is funding a TV series that makes millions of dollars each season and does little in return to help the average Tennessee taxpayer. Is it the responsibility of Tennessee state and local governments to incentivize private industries? And if we allow taxpayer dollars to be frivolously spent on “Nashville,” where do we draw the line in the future?

Proponents of the incentives claim that Nashville and Tennessee benefit tremendously from keeping production local—through increased job opportunities, major spending in the area, and “immeasurable” marketing benefits, as viewers around the country are exposed to the exciting music scene of Nashville on their TV screens each Wednesday night. However, these proponents fail to realize that economic development incentives, particularly in the film industry, are often irresponsible investments from which taxpayers rarely see the benefits. Critics have noted that in many states, film industry incentives have at most a 30 cent return on the dollar, an “investment” that no person would make with their own money. It is unjust and unreasonable to expect Tennessee taxpayers to fund the production of a highly profitable show, especially when many do not even tune in on Wednesday nights.

-Kate Cavenaugh

September 20th, 2014 | Beacon Blog, Feature, Recent News

Not-So-Free Enterprise and VW Jobs

Not-So-Free Enterprise and VW Jobs

Beacon CEO Justin Owen had a Letter to the Editor published in the Wall Street Journal yesterday. The letter discussed the UAW, VW Chattanooga, and corporate welfare.

Regarding your editorial “The Chattanooga Jobs Payoff” (July 15): Yes, we are honored that the company chose our income-tax-free, low-regulation and business-friendly state for its new SUV. And it’s a welcome announcement for the 2,000 people who will now become Volkswagen employees. But it didn’t come without a cost, and taxpayers may pay an even bigger price if the United Auto Workers has its way.

While you note that Volkswagen “will invest $900 million” in the Chattanooga expansion, you fail to note that at least $230 million of that will come from state and local taxpayers in the form of handouts. Tax credits and job training grants could eventually balloon to as much as one-third of the entire investment, at a cost to taxpayers of at least $115,000 per job.

While it is also great that VW Chattanooga employees sent the UAW packing in February, the union only took a temporary detour. The UAW’s establishment of a dues-free, voluntary union just four days ahead of the expansion announcement was certainly Kabuki theatre. But it raises the question: Will VW workers, who soundly rejected the union in February, be able to withstand the union’s rejuvenated pressure to garner majority support? That may be tough now that the UAW has months to wear down and intimidate employees in their own workplace based on what it calls a “consensus agreement” with VW management.

We must hope that the company will refuse to capitulate to the UAW, or else the union’s dream of organizing the South may well come true, financed by none other than Tennessee taxpayers.

Justin Owen

CEO

Beacon Center of Tennessee

Nashville, Tenn.

July 22nd, 2014 | Commentary, Feature

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