By on July 12, 2010

We have made a decision at the UAW that to do the best job taking care of our membership we’ve got to be out there in the streets fighting for social and economic justice

Newly-minted UAW President Bob King kicks off a “Jobs, Justice and Peace” campaign with Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition, by feeding the Freep some seriously idealistic rhetoric at a news conference announcing a march commemorating Martin Luther King’s Freedom Walk. But, as King confirms to Automotive News [sub], the best way to live up to these high-minded ideals is to demonize Toyota.

Confirming his decision to target the best-selling foreign brand in America, he says “bannering” of Toyota dealers is taking place in California and New York… despite the fact that the UAW has been going after Toyota, since 2007, and has had access to at least one Toyota plant since December of last year. Meanwhile, the facts that GM first doomed the NUMMI plant (while Toyota footed the bill) that inspired the California protests, and is generally turning away from the UAW for coveted “green jobs” is allowed to go unprotested, because the UAW’s VEBA account needs to make money on the GM IPO. For more of King’s breathtaking ability to wrap venal self-interest in the cloak of unselfish ideals, check out this recent interview with Democracy Now.

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27 Comments on “Quote Of The Day: Jobs, Justice And Peace Edition...”


  • avatar
    Cammy Corrigan

    How can the UAW have had access to a Toyota plant since “December of this year”, when December of 2010 hasn’t happened yet?

  • avatar
    FleetofWheel

    “We’ve got to be out there in the streets fighting for social and economic justice.”

    Bob King and the UAW working hard to ensure an Iron Rice Bowl for the People.

  • avatar

    We’ve got to be out there in the streets fighting for social and economic justice

    Stick’en to THE MAN! that’s my boyz.

  • avatar
    Dukeboy01

    Wow. After years of decline it appears that the UAW is determined to go out with a bang with this clown in charge. Should be cool to watch.

  • avatar
    werewolf34

    While the unions hurt the younger workers (tiered access, voting, dues, lavish HQ), I don’t think the corporate overlords will look out for the common man

  • avatar
    healthy skeptic

    That’s what Toyota gets for being “Law Brekers”.

    Guess they must have really mistreated that giant rodent.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    We’ve got to be out there in the streets fighting for social and economic justice

    And when you start doing that for everyone—notably those who don’t pay union dues and work for marginal pay and no benefits—I think you’ll get a modicum of respect.

    Organized labour really needs to figure out what it wants to be. If it’s going to be a political force, fine, but tying itself to the globalist left is not going to advance it’s mission one bit.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    Widespread “injustice” in non-organized plants is impossible with the free flow of information, OSHA standards, and worker mobility.

    He should substantiate his claim of worker suppression in non-union plants with actual worker testimony. I think actual facts will show that Toyota workers take home roughly the same pay as GM workers who pay the UAW tax, and I don’t hear Toyota workers complaining that their First Amendment rights have been squelched.

    The survival of the remaining 23% of UAW membership since 1970 has come partly at the expense of the other 77%; the UAW has self-cannibalized in order to survive at all. They obviously aren’t very good at protecting jobs.

    When the UAW boils down to one member, he’ll be making millions and be griping about how the other guys don’t have fair wages. Gimme a break.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      “….I think actual facts will show that Toyota workers take home roughly the same pay as GM workers who pay the UAW tax, and I don’t hear Toyota workers complaining that their First Amendment rights have been squelched….”

      One could make a successful argument that the reason that Toyota paid as well as it did was to keep the UAW out. Should the union disappear entirely, what is to stop wage erosion?

      Regarding “The Rat”, the last one I walked by was inflated by a Honda powered generator. I asked the union protester about it and asked him if that wasn’t being hypocritical, you know not being American made. He gave me a blank stare and walked away…

    • 0 avatar
      toxicroach

      Fear of a new union?

      Really, as far as I can tell, the best thing that can happen to an employee is to work at a non union plant in a unionized industry. They get paid more for fear of them organizing, but they also get to work for a company that is more likely to be competitive and profitable, unlike the unionized companies.

      IMHO the big problem with organized labor in this country is that it seems to fail to understand the symbiotic relationship between the company and the employees, and tend to drive their parent companies into the dirt for short term gain. And relying on management to do the long term thinking for them— well, we’ve seen how that works out.

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      I am a white-collar worker, non-unionized. My leverage comes from possessing a certain set of skills combined with market demand for those skills.

      This is how it works for everybody, unless you have a union to tip the balance in favor of unskilled workers being paid by companies that don’t need them.

      I was once unemployed for 8 months due to a down economy in my field, and my company could not afford to keep me and many of my colleagues. No union forced them to retain me – or hire me – nor would I have wanted them to do so.

      What the UAW doesn’t recognize is that their members are ultimately subject to the same market rules of employment as everyone else, which is why their membership has dropped so dramatically. Companies simply won’t pay for griping, overpriced labor.

  • avatar
    rcdickey

    Being from a non union plant and a blue collar worker I can say that I have no problem with my pay, benefits, or working conditions. True what we have now is because of the unions’ past work. However, in the current environment I would not vote for membership in any union. (Some machinist union tried to start an organization drive here after UAW failed)

  • avatar
    YotaCarFan

    Hypocrites. The black sedan with the union sign taped to the window looks like a Japanese import to me. I wonder if all the protesters are exclusively wearing union made jackets and clothes. After all, if I’m supposed to buy union made products, perhaps they should too.

    • 0 avatar
      LectroByte

      I think that is a Honda of some sort driving by, but the sign “in the back window” is actually being held by someone there at the protest, and you are just seeing through the windows of the car as it drives by.

  • avatar
    Tommy Boy

    Seems a perfect fit.

    In this corner, we have the UAW, that (with Comrade Obama) has recently shaken-down secured creditors of Chrysler and GM, and simultaneously shook-down the taxpayers for billions.

    In that corner, Jess Jackson shakedown artist extraordinaire.

    Both have harmed, not helped, those they claim to represent.

    The only one missing from this effort is Hugo Chavez, then we’d have a real Marxist trifecta!

  • avatar
    mikey

    Guys!..Guys….Have I gott’a draw you a picture? Mr King is ,first and foremost, a senior politician. Like every politicion he has to tell the folks,what they want to hear.

  • avatar
    Invisible

    breker?

    Anywho…This is actually good news for Toyota. Most people despise the UAW. This is like free advertising for Toyota that they are now UAW free!

    Kudos Toyota for kicking the Detroit Mafia to the curb, and sticking to your convictions.

  • avatar
    wsn

    Not surprising to see president Obama in the photo.

  • avatar
    oboylepr

    “Regarding “The Rat”, the last one I walked by was inflated by a Honda powered generator. I asked the union protester about it and asked him if that wasn’t being hypocritical, you know not being American made. He gave me a blank stare and walked away…”

    Reminds me of the CAW sponsored ‘made in Canada matters’ and ‘buy domestic’ stickers all over local GM cars where I live. Most of them are not made in Canada and many of them were not made in North America even. I did as you did and asked one of these geniuses who pulled into the parking space in his Chevrolet Optra with several of these stickers on it, if he knew his car was made in Korea. He answered “so what”, “where was your Toyota made, Japan?”. When I told him it was made in Ontario he just grunted and walked away. I would prefer that they were at least a little bit honest about it and say “Union made matters” and let Canadians decide if it does or not. But that would be telling the truth and we cannot have that!

  • avatar
    oboylepr

    Toyota got a kick in the butt all right but it was from a combination of government gangterism and union thuggery. The recent hoopla over Toyota is over nothing worse than what ALL other automakers do/havedone/will do. Toyota’s worst sin was to be the biggest non Detroit 3 seller. BTW, Toyota have and continue to build and sell very reliable and good quality cars and as geeber said very few Toyota owners are unhappy with their cars. Also, they are in fact, laughing at the UAW, their pet rats and their inability to spell simple english words.

  • 0 avatar
    SomeDude

    Well, I don’t see anything really Marxist going on here – basically business as usual. But Toyota does need a little kick in the butt. Actually, a good kick is long overdue. If they did their job right all along, which is supplying good, reliable cars, everyone would be just laughing at the UAW and its inflatable rodents. Instead, they (Toyota) got crowds of angry, disgruntled customers to answer to, who are likely to side with the UAW regardless of what is really behind their campaign.

  • 0 avatar
    geeber

    The few people unhappy with their Toyotas (sorry, but the number of disgruntled Toyota customers has been blown WAY out of proportion) don’t care about the UAW.

    And I seriously doubt that they believe unionizing the company’s U.S. plants will bring about improved quality.

    If they are really that unhappy with their Toyotas, they will simply buy a Honda or a Hyundai.


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