Citing a record year for production, jobs and auto sales, assembly lines at Alabama’s big three auto manufacturers went dark Monday night so that workers could stay home and watch the University of Alabama play in the BCS National Championship Game against Notre Dame. Hyundai closed its Montgomery plant for all three shifts. The Mercedes Benz plant in Tuscaloosa County, home of the university, closed for its night shift and Talladega’s Honda plant gave its night shift the day off, although those workers made up their shift last Friday as a part of a new production schedule.
The United Auto Workers (UAW), the union which represents auto workers throughout the country, and which was heavily involved in last month’s violent anti-right-to-work protests at the Michigan state capitol, could not comment, because Alabama’s auto manufacturers are non-union, and can therefore give their employees a night off without a contract dispute.
“We certainly understand our commitment to our customers, but with this flexible schedule we’ve gone to, now we can realize that commitment and allow our associates time off to enjoy the evening,” said Honda plant spokesman Ted Pratt.
Alabama won the game easily, 42-14 to win it’s third BCS National Championship in four years.