Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee) says that Tennessee attracted thousands of auto industry jobs because of its right-to-work laws. This
This reminds me of a White House state dinner in February 1979, when I was governor of Tennessee. President Jimmy Carter said, "Governors, go to Japan. Persuade them to make here what they sell here."
"Make here what they sell here" was then the union battle cry, part of an effort to slow the tide of Japanese cars and trucks entering the U.S. market.
Off I flew to Tokyo to meet with Nissan executives who were deciding where to put their first U.S. manufacturing plant.
... In 1980 Nissan chose Tennessee, a state with almost no auto jobs. Today auto assembly plants and suppliers provide one-third of our state's manufacturing jobs. Tennessee is the home for production of the Leaf, Nissan's all-electric vehicle, and the batteries that power it. Recently Nissan announced that 85% of the cars and trucks it sells in the U.S. will be made in the U.S.— making it one of the largest "American" auto companies and nearly fulfilling Mr. Carter's request of 30 years ago.
This is directly applicable to today's battle between the NLRB and Boeing, over whether or not Boeing can open a production line in a right-to-work state.