By on August 5, 2010

I still don’t understand why they are picketing our dealerships when the dealerships have nothing to do with the workers. Our workers make the ultimate decision if they want to unionize or not and for the past 25 years they have said no… Our team members want to make cars for people to buy. They don’t like it when people try to stop you from buying.

Toyota North America’s Steve St. Angelo struggles to understand how the UAW’s tactic of picketing California Toyota dealerships will make Toyota workers anxious to join the union [via WSJ [sub]]. When asked if Toyota would allow the UAW into its US plants, St. Angelo replied in the negative, saying Toyota’s factories have a no-solicitation policy. But, as the photo above proves, this is the UAW we’re talking about, not the Mormons. With the future of the union effectively hanging on the UAW’s ability to make headway organizing the transplant factories, you’d better believe a fight is brewing.

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49 Comments on “Quote Of The Day: Organize This Edition...”


  • avatar
    200k-min

    Over twenty-nine years since that photo was taken and the UAW has done exactly what for your average dues paying member since then? Honestly, if someone can please tell me.

    Unions did a lot of good in getting employment law passed for things like the 40 hour week, OT pay and child labor laws. Today they do what? What’s their mandate? And I’m not talking about political party campaigning. What’s their next big battle – a French style 35 hour work week? Seruously, they stand for nothing right now. And don’t say higher min-wage, etc. UAW members do pretty well compared to many, even at the new $14/hr starting wages.

    I don’t think unions are at fault for the quality decline of domestic automobiles, but they clearly have outlived their effectiveness. Unions are yesterday’s news.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      This is a good point: they’re not doing anything. At all. They could, and should, but they’re as much a party to their decline as GM’s management was to the corporation as a whole.

      And yes, it’s certainly because they don’t have a good “cause”. They’ve more or less gone through the motions every few years, which is all well and good, but have utterly failed to branch out, champion more progressive causes and/or at all convince the rest of the middle and lower class that there is indeed a problem and that the union could help.

    • 0 avatar
      vento97

      Now for a public service message from the UAW:

      “Join Da Union – or we’ll break your legs…”

      We now return you to your regularly scheduled TTAC programming…

  • avatar
    Jimal

    I guess the $64,000 question is, are the employees of the Toyota plants in question interested in organizing but being prevented from doing so, or is this a matter of the UAW trying to enforce its will upon the workforce?

    • 0 avatar
      Silvy_nonsense

      The UAW has forced votes at many of the non-union auto plants in the southern states, in some cases multiple times at the same plant. Overwhelmingly, the workers at those plants have told the UAW to get lost again and again

      Instead of respecting the clear wishes of the workers at those plants, the UAW continues to harass them. If the union was truly concerned about the workers’ best interests as the UAW claims, the union would respect their wishes instead of repeatedly trying to force themselves on the unwilling. The UAW is to jobs what telemarketers are to a peaceful night at home: annoying, disrespectful and of little value.

    • 0 avatar
      Z71_Silvy

      Silvy_nonsense

      Wow, what a nice thing to do. I am honored you hold the truth in such a high regard that you would emulate my username. Thank you very much, I do appreciate it.

    • 0 avatar
      Silvy_nonsense

      @Z71 Silvy

      Based on your user name, you must be an F-150 fan?

      Just kidding. I used to be a Ford truck man, but if I was going out to buy one today, I’d get a Silverado. It was hard to get over the hump and accept that I prefer the Chevy, but that’s just the way it is.

      Side note: The died in the wool American car fans needs to stop attacking the idea of the Japanese being “perfect” or whatever, citing Toyota’s recent problems as evidence that they aren’t. The current Tundra (and every Titan ever) are good evidence that the Japanese can screw up royally just as well as anybody.

    • 0 avatar
      Z71_Silvy

      Well, the Silverado is the superior truck….even if it doesn’t have pencil whipped capability numbers.

  • avatar
    nmcheese

    If they want to intimidate, start with the American brands: Ford – the Fusion is Mexican. Or GM – the Aveo is Korean or Mexican, depending on the generation, or Buicks built in Canada and Germany.

    The point being, it probably isn’t about ideology, it’s probably about money – get more members, continue lack of business as usual.

    • 0 avatar
      02XC70

      Its absolutely about money. The UAW desperately needs fresh blood to pay into their retirement/health care trusts. The bene’s that have been promised will run out sooner than later, and that is becoming obvious.

      Unions have served their purpose, and in many ways are victims of their own success (middle class bene’s are common nowadays). But no young worker in their right mind would take a job on an assembly line so they can kick in dues for an older retiree who is making demonstrably more then they ever will.

      Organizing drives fail on a regular basis, across industries, for good reason. They don’t offer anything.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    With the future of the union effectively hanging on the UAW’s ability to make headway organizing the transplant factories

    Or they could, you know, try to grow their base by expanding into areas like service, where you have this vast poor of underpaid, uninformed and somewhat-exploited workers who really could do with a union to protect them from abuse at the hands of their employers, and who don’t have the resources to fight back effectively.

    That none of the unions, not the teamsters, steelworkers or UAW have tried to do this is astoundingly short-sighted. Sure, it’d hurt them in the short term and yes, it would make collective bargaining and arbitration more difficult, but it would also get them out of the public relations quagmire they’re currently in.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      All of the above have branched out to organize nontraditional areas, but to no real effect. The leadership is still stuck in the “we do X not Y” mentality, plus any meaningful progress toward broadening the membership quickly runs into turf wars with SIEU, etc.

      One could suggest that the UAW organize the Chinese auto industry, but we all know how that would turn out.

    • 0 avatar
      Zas

      Ugh, my brain hurts as I type this and try to remember the article on this website that points out succinctly that the Chinese auto workers are mostly unionized already, by a government-backed union, so, the UAW missed out on that one already! :)

      Can someone please provide the link to the strikes that were mentioned at the Honda and Toyota plants in China and the union blip that was posted about it?

      Thank you! :)

  • avatar
    ez3276

    I remember those days well. The Japanese all have plants here now and so do most of the other “Imports”. Honda just built more cars here than they did in Japan last month. Still the UAW whines. In truth they never cared about local content, all they care about is UAW representation.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    The UAW is like the man who can’t take “no” from the woman he fancies, and then he assaults her. Time to grow up and move on.

  • avatar
    Dimwit

    It’s over. The horse left that barn a looong time ago and they still don’t get it.

    The transplants will *never* unionize no matter how much posturing the UAW does. The big fight is now at Ford. I can see the UAW losing big if they try to take a tough stance against Ford and let GM and Fiatsler slide. Can you imagine the earthquake if one of Ford’s assembly plants tries to deunionize or even better, get out of the UAW?

    I’m sure the Teamsters or the Steelworkers would happily take their dues.

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      With all due respect sir..Let me tell you this. Toyota can and WILL go union.the rest of the transplants will fall like Dominoes.

      Robert Farago will open up a Buick dealership and hire “Garbage Motors” and “Rob Frinfrock” as salesmen,before Ford workers boot the UAW.

    • 0 avatar
      Silvy_nonsense

      Probably not, Mikey, using current trends as the indicator. According to the National Labor Relations Board website, in the most recent tracked year for which data is available, unions were de-certified in 201 out of 330 de-certification elections. That means that 61% of the union work groups in that period voted to LEAVE their union.

      Union membership is on the decline not just because of the economy and moving jobs to foreign lands but also because American workers are -choosing- to get out.

      How dumb is the UAW? They think they are going to organize Toyota assembly workers by attacking sales of Toyata products, potentially causing a decline in sales, potentially leading to lay-offs in the factories? That’s essentially blackmail – organize or we’ll try to run you out of a job by destroying your company’s business. If anything, the UAW is helping ensure Toyota plants in America will NEVER choose union representation.

    • 0 avatar

      Wow… I’m away for a few days, and now mikey has me selling Buicks? WTF? (BTW, it’s just one ‘r’ and no quotation marks necessary. Alas, I’m not using a pseudonym.)

      I personally think the UAW as a political force will die its long-overdue death before any of the transplants fall under its axis of corruption and graft.

      Before the bailouts, most Americans viewed the UAW as a necessary evil; now, we all know the UAW is not necessary. Public opinion is powerful. Just watch, it should be fun.

  • avatar
    mikey

    Coercion,intimidation,not so hidden threats,bribery. UAW/CAW tactics? I’m sure thats what the uninformed here at TTAC believe and embrace.

    Truth be known..all of the above is straight out of the “lets keep the union out of here” agenda practiced by that “perfect” car company,that builds perfect cars/trucks,that never break,and if they do thier fixed by perfect dealers.

    Cause afterall it is a perfect world, and we certainly don’t need unions eh?

    • 0 avatar
      Zas

      No mikey, they won’t unionize, not because of those things you’ve posted about in the last 2 messages (above this one) but because of what I wrote below (your message).

      UAW had been given equal access in the past, the workers voiced “NO UNION” so, don’t know where you’re getting your facts from. Read my post to understand why they WONT unionize.

      Have a nice day! :-)

    • 0 avatar
      Cammy Corrigan

      Mikey,

      I took up your challenge on parts for an Impala against a Camry and it didn’t go quite as I suspected. Your thoughts would be appreciated.

      http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/toyota-sales-decline-6-8-percent-in-july-honda-drops-5-6-percent/#comment-1646967

    • 0 avatar
      Silvy_nonsense

      “Coercion,intimidation,not so hidden threats,bribery”

      Mikey, you have just correctly described how the UAW operates.

      UAW protests at Toyota dealerships to try to stop the sale of Toyota products, if successful, will result in reduced demand causing lay offs at the Toyota plants. The UAW is threatening the Toyota workers by essentially saying “Join us or we’ll destroy your company and run you out of a job.” The UAW is just creepy.

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      @Cammy Corrigan:

      In fairness to Mikey, comparing upkeep costs based upon one part is an incomplete picture. A Malibu will certainly contain some parts that are cheaper than a Camry. I wouldn’t use VW as the import comparison, that’s for sure.

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      @ Cammy…your research is great, thats a deep discount parts supplier, and it is U.S. Having said that, I will concede to the facts, and damit… your right.

      At my junk yard job, excuse me, “Auto Recycle” job we sell used Toyota rads for a $100 CDN,and we can’t keep them on the shelves.

      @ Zas… The one reason,and the only reason Toyota has stayed non union is because they pay good wages and benifits. Now, with the domestics at parity,or dam close to it, the temptation for the tranplants to widen the gap,is certainly going to be there.

      Toyota will be UAW within five years..you heard it here first.

    • 0 avatar
      Silvy_nonsense

      “Toyota will be UAW within five years..you heard it here first.”

      Mikey, it’s more likely that Ford, GM and Chrysler assembly workers will begin to de-certify the UAW over the next five years. I can’t say “You heard it here first.” because de-certification has been on the upswing for years and isn’t exactly a new idea.

      When the UAW failed to protect wages and benefits during the “Great Bailout” the UAW pretty much put the nails in its own coffin. The UAW is dead and buried, we’re just waiting on the mason to finish the headstone.

    • 0 avatar
      Cammy Corrigan

      @gslippy

      That was a challenge issued by Mikey. I didn’t set the parameters.

      @Mikey

      I always like listening to your thoughts and I couldn’t pass up a challenge. Maybe that should be a TTAC feature? “Car Jackass”? We could have stunts like driving a Hummer at a hypermiling convention shouting “The more you save, the more there is for me to burn!”. Or walking into a Toyota plant and asking the managers that you want to unionise the workers!

      Which brings me neatly on to topic. I agree with Mikey that the only reason that Toyota (and the rest of the transplants) have stayed non-union is because they already dish out good benefits and pay. But to extend from that, what’s to say that the reason they give good pay and benefits is keep the unions at bay? The cynical part of me thinks that if the UAW disbanded, would Toyota and the rest be so generous?

      Which gives a good case for the UAW to continue existing. It keeps everyone else honest!

    • 0 avatar
      Zas

      @Cammy: the bigger picture in keeping them in line is the globalization of the automobile industry, and now it’s become super competitive in the last 10 to 15 years. Gone are the days of the “Big 3″ and we have companies like Toyota and VW who are becoming the globalized leaders. If anything, the foreign transplants understand the value of the dollar more-so than we give them credit for, and with the Yen being way stronger than the dollar, it makes more sense for the Japanese automakers to keep the dollars stateside versus exporting them back to their home country. Same goes for the Euro and VW (although they aren’t as big as the Big3 Japanese – yet).

      Although, with Toyota upping their package offering after the NO vote, perhaps you are right: keep the UAW around to ensure that the plant stays non-union with great benefits under the Kaizen management structure.

      I seriously need ice-cream now…

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      @mikey: “Coercion, intimidation, not so hidden threats, bribery.”

      Are you denying that these behaviors mark the UAW? If the UAW is as chaste as you imply, let’s get the word out to the rest of the country.

  • avatar
    Zas

    (warning: /rant on)

    Read: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaizen

    The Japanese automakers have used this philosophy since they set-up shop here more than 25 years ago.

    It’s not going to change either.

    Even with Toyota’s huge blunder, it won’t change their work ethic or philosophy (hence why the top dude stepped down “in shame”).

    UAW needs to understand that, and fast. The few times that Toyota and Nissan has both allowed the UAW to organize, the WORKERS voted against it, because they understood the Kaizen philosophy and how it can effect worker productivity.

    No one wants to work with someone on the line who is a lazy slob that doesn’t care about anything expect for the paycheck. American pride was lost when the UAW shifted focus in the 60′s to “Must Buy American or Else!” instead of the “Buy American because WE CARE!”.

    Talk to a union worker today who isn’t working and ask him/her “What has your union done for you to get you a job lately?” and see how angrily they will react to your questioning. Most will tell you that they won’t go back to the union and will look for a job on their own as a “private, independent worker who needs to put food on the table and make the mortgage payments.” The last thing on their mind is having dues taken out of their paychecks when the union that they were in has done nothing to help them.

    And if the NUMMI experience hasn’t taught them a hard lesson, wait until the next Presidential election. Many Americans are fed-up with the bail-out when they’ve lost their jobs and the government did not help their company; or when a jobless-UAW member hears about how the bail-out helped a lazy-ass worker at a GM plant keep their job, yet the one that was productive and didn’t have tenure lost it due to the obsolete and useless system the UAW has in place.

    Yeah, not saving 13000 UAW jobs for the “Greater good of the rest of the UAW constituency” must sound great for all those ex-Saturn employees. GO UNION!

    (/rant off)

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      Well-said. The UAW cannibalizes its own in order to survive. The 2-tier pay scale they recently agreed to is an example: http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1988653,00.html

      If they were truly principled, they would have not agreed to such an arrangement.

    • 0 avatar
      Silvy_nonsense

      “yet the one that was productive and didn’t have tenure lost it due to the obsolete and useless system the UAW has in place.”

      Many workers and managers like the seniority system because it is hard to fudge. If all the decisions about who gets what shift or who gets laid off are based on a verifiable fact (how long you’ve been there) the workers know that decisions are not being made based on favoritism, cronyism or the arbitrary whims of their co-workers or managers. The system avoids lots of conflict because the workers understand how it works, and can easily verify that the rules were followed.

      As a manager, seniority only annoyed me when I had to layoff a smart, highly productive employee and keep a dim-wit who’d been there longer. On the other hand, I avoided hours and hours of discussions and protests over shifts, vacation time and other issues because the employees who didn’t get what they wanted knew that there was no point in protesting outcomes based on a system that was clearly laid out and not subject to my influence.

      I don’t know how the non-union auto plants in the U.S. decide which workers get the “good” shifts and/or get to take the most desirable vacation slots, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that they use a seniority based system.

    • 0 avatar
      Zas

      @Silvy_nonsense: having worked in factories that were union and non-union based, I will agree with you on the seniority rules that were set at both plants. However, that being said, those were indeed, AMERICAN plants that I worked at, not the non-union Japanese plants that have followed Kaizen in their workplace. I do know of former UAW autoworkers who ended up working for Honda and Toyota who at first resisted the notion and idea that pay should be based on merit and accountability, until they learned the system and found that it actually helped the workers versus harming them, for the long term.

      That being said, I would suspect that a traditional, American-style “seniority rule” would not exist in a plant that has a Kaizen work ethic: it just doesn’t mesh and wouldn’t make any sense. I would suspect, if anything, that any “seniority rule” may be in place for sick/vacation/holiday pay-structure, but not in the traditional sense that we would know it in an American plant.

      @mikey – having worked at BOTH union and non-union shops, I will say this about observing workers and working conditions at both: the union plant, clean and somewhat tidy, usually had lots of fat and lazy workers who looked at the clock and didn’t care generally about what they were doing; whilst the non-union shop was dirty, questionably safe, yet had competent workers who knew the value of an honest day wages and worked hard throughout the day, knowing that productivity was important.

      As for Toyota, I will strongly stick to the belief that they will not unionize. The UAW has had plenty of chances to, only to be struck down by the WORKERS voting NO to the union leadership. I doubt that will change, if ever. Remember: the last time the UAW tried to unionize, they spent over $1mil in advertisements and campaigns, in and around Louisville, KY to get that plant to go union, and it still failed with more than 70% voting in keeping the plant union-free. After that vote, Toyota stepped up it’s package offering to the workers, to ensure that such future issues would not be a problem in running that plant in Louisville.

      One note, although this may go way off-topic: school districts are going to merit-based accountability pay structures, moving away from the traditional tenure-based seniority pay structure that they have long been under. Those teachers unions are getting it and finally moving into the 21st century to ensure that our kids get the best education that they can. I applaud those unions who have learned how to be progressive and realize the shortcomings of what they were instituting. Those new policies are getting rid of the dead-weight of teachers who are lazy and don’t care about teaching kids. It provides a level of accountability to educators to ensure that our kids have a BETTER level of education than those kids in the past 30 years. Hopefully, this will ensure that America will get back at least to the top 10 in the world for education and not be in the quagmire of being in the bottom half of the top 50 countries in the world for education. If only the UAW can learn from those teachers unions….

    • 0 avatar
      Silvy_nonsense

      “not the non-union Japanese plants that have followed Kaizen in their workplace.”

      I haven’t worked for a foreign company in the U.S. either. Does anyone know (have possession of facts or know someone who does) how the southern auto plants handle shift selection and vacation selection? I’m just curious.

      Zas, you and I are basically on the same page here. Keep in mind that adaptability is part of kaizen and the transplants initially tried to make the U.S. workers do it the “Japanese” way but over time made adjustments as needed to better suit the conditions at hand. Core concepts don’t change, but the specific implementation does based on what gets the best quality and productivity. In the pursuit of quality, anything must be possible or you have limited possible outcomes, including potentially positive ones. If seniority proves superior, it could be used. (Again, I have no idea if it actually is.)

    • 0 avatar
      Silvy_nonsense

      “If they were truly principled, they would have not agreed to such an arrangement.”

      Solidarity! All for one and one for all! Unless there’s a need to reduce overall wages! In that case just cut the wages of the new folks and let us keep our higher pay until we retire! Welcome to the brotherhood! We all look out for each other, except when we don’t!

    • 0 avatar

      “As for Toyota, I will strongly stick to the belief that they will not unionize. The UAW has had plenty of chances to, only to be struck down by the WORKERS voting NO to the union leadership. I doubt that will change, if ever.”

      Well the solution is obvious then: make those pesky democratic votes illegal.

      “Obama says he’ll ‘keep on fighting’ to pass ‘card check’ bill”
      http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/112613-obama-says-hell-keep-on-fighting-to-pass-card-check-bill

      Read section 2(a) of that bill. It takes away the employers’ right to request a secret ballot.

  • avatar
    mikey

    @Silvy_nonsense…. I just love reading comments from those that have actually set foot on a factory floor.

    • 0 avatar
      Silvy_nonsense

      Thanks. In the interest of showing respect for your point of view, I’d like to point out that I’m pro-worker. My poor view of unions is based on the decisions of union officers at both the local and national level. They are clueless and are causing more problems than they are solving, in my opinion.

      I’ve been in both union and non-union shops and there a plusses and minuses to both.

      The biggest enemy of unions isn’t “company management” it’s union leadership. The danger is coming from within and its the workers who are suffering. I think that at this point, the workers are better off without all the overhead, political skulldudgery, mob influence and 1,000 other problems that come with a modern union bureaucracy.

      Those auto workers down south have solid jobs paying good wages and I don’t see the UAW being of any help down there. If anything, the UAW will make things worse for everybody and call it “progress”.

      Summary: Workers=Good, Unions as a concept=Neutral, Unions in practice=Bad, UAW=Really bad.

  • avatar
    Tommy Boy

    Here’s the “inside baseball” for those not familiar with union organizing tactics.

    It appears that the UAW is adopting SEIU organizing methodology. The term is “corporate campaign” (Google this and you’ll find info), and a good book about this was written by Professor Jarol Manheim (called “Death of a Thousand Cuts”).

    The post in the last few days on TTAC re: UAW boss King’s (no pun intended, but there is a certain irony there) and his statements about a “new” UAW and a “code of conduct” for targeted transplant factories. That was the tip-off — there’s a lot of innocuous-sounding terms and phrases used in corporate campaigns intended to mask what’s really going on.

    What he’s really talking about is a “neutrality agreement” in which is an agreement between the targeted employer and the union for, in essence, the employer to put in place a “gag order” in which it will not defend against the union organizing drive, nor educate its employees on the downsides on unionization and/or that particular union (this is what the union misrepresents as “derogatory” or “threatening” conduct by the employer).

    Typically the unions also want an employer to agree to “card check” recognition, which the unions euphemistically refer to as “majority sign-up.” The practical effect is that the employees are deprived of an NLRB supervised secret ballot elections, and instead are subjected to union organizer intimidation (such as visits to the employees’ homes, since as part of neutrality the union “persuades” the employer to also provide employees’ home addresses and such to the union). Once the union gets 50% +1 signatures (however obtained, through honest desire for unionization, threats, peer pressure or false promises made by union organizers), that workplace is unionized.

    As you’d imagine, no sane employer would voluntarily agree to this — both for their own interests and the interests of their employees, denied the opportunity to hearing both sides and a secret ballot election.

    So the “corporate campaign” resorts to mob-like protection racket techniques. The union doesn’t try to organize the employees, but the employer (i.e., to “persuade” the employer to agree to neutrality and card check). So the union essentially ignores making its case to the employees and instead goes after the employer with a campaign of generating bad publicity against the employer (whether true or false), filing frivolous / harassing complaints (OSHA, EPA, EEOC, DOL), and political pressure via sympathetic politicians (e.g., the DOT withholding release of info exonerating Toyota on acceleration issues?).

    Understand this, and you understand why they are picketing Toyota dealerships and King’s allusions to other actions that will also come. Union thuggery, plain and simple.

    • 0 avatar
      Zas

      Unfortunately, with the recently new HIPAA laws regarding employee data and confidentiality, I would seriously doubt that any foreign transplant company would be willing to give up such data to ANY organization, regardless of threat or innuendo, in fear of being sued by not only the employees, but by the Feds as well. I certainly would sue my company if they gave that info out to some union crack-head who wanted to come to my house and extol the virtues of being in the union, regardless of if I liked the rhetoric or not. Then I would turn around and sue the union for obtaining my information illegally and ask the Feds to come in to see if the RICO statute would apply.

      So, yes, understanding this “corporate campaign” is important, I agree. Also understanding that no company in their right mind would willingly violate the HIPAA laws passed by Congress this past decade and be sued out of existence: it just won’t happen.

      I need a brain break, my cerebral cortex hurts… (sarcasm)

    • 0 avatar
      Silvy_nonsense

      This sounds scary and nefarious because, well, it is! On the other hand, unions in general and the UAW in particular are about as ineffective and bureaucratic as organizations can be. The Corporate Campaign is a great plan, but to work it has to be executed effectively and if there’s one thing that I am absolutely sure of based on experience, it’s that union leadership and the front line union organizers are about as effective in aggregate as the Keystone Cops. Having a plan is one thing, executing to plan another. By the time the UAW gets it’s act together, SkyNet will have become sentient and its the robots we’ll need to worry about.

      On the other hand, the SEIU is an exception. They know what they’re doing. If you employ a bunch of low wage workers in poor working conditions and the SEIU shows up, you better get serious real quick. The Coporate Campain works well for them because they are good at organizing folks you tend to feel sorry for (fruit pickers, hotel maids, etc.). These workers are doing tough jobs for little pay, can live a tough life and it’s easy to whip up support for them. Corporate Campaigns don’t work as well for auto workers and Boeing engineers, for example. They make a crap load of money, have good benefits and most folks are not too sympathetic to their plight when they find out what these professionals make.

      You’re right, this is a concern, but I’d be astounded if the UAW could stop in-fighting and navel gazing long enough to make it work.

    • 0 avatar
      Zas

      @silvy, oh come on, navel gazing can be fun! when’s the last time you got to see lint-strings sticking out of one??? (couldn’t help it, sorry if this is off-topic!)

  • avatar
    Silvy_nonsense

    @zas

    I don’t know what law supercedes what regulation, nor does half of Congress or most labor law attorneys because labor law is as goofed up as the tax code. HIPAA may overrule everything (I don’t know if it does or not), but you’d be -very- surprised to find out what is and is not allowed by workers, companies and unions when there is an organizing campaign or contract negotiation going on. You’ll feel like you’ve left the United States and entered Bizzarro Land.

    For example, NLRB regulations specify how much violence is allowed by workers when they are on strike. Although its hard to believe, the answer isn’t “none” even though that’s what the answer would be in any other situation. Much of it is slanted toward the workers. It’s not “fair” or “balanced” but then neither is Fox News, even though its supposed to be.

    I absolutely guarantee you that every union contract (which is a private contract between the workers and a company) specifies that employee data including home address be given to the union. If the workers vote for the contract and that’s what the contract says, then the workers have given the company permission to turn it over. The union needs and wants to check up on you and they want to do it the easy way. I don’t know what the NLRB says about a company giving out worker data during an organizing campaign, but the NLRB regulations are bizarre in some cases so I wouldn’t be surprised by any answer even if it is contrary to “the law” in any other situation.

    • 0 avatar
      Zas

      My understanding of the HIPAA law, especially the more recent addendum’s that were attached, require that the employer get implicit permission from it’s employee(s) to have their personal information given out. This goes in conjunction with an NLRB statue regarding dissemination of employee data to an outside source. So, HIPAA can effect a company that’s not in the healthcare industry if it doesn’t follow proper NLRB procedure. So, with HIPAA and the NLRB procedures set in place, it will be difficult for any foreign transplant to willingly give out employee information to any third-party outside of their company. This is at least my understanding of the law. I am not an attorney, nor do I profess to being one. It is just MHO.

      That being said, I personally, wouldn’t allow my employer to disseminate any information about me to anyone outside of work, in fear of having my identity stolen or worse. God knows I get enough real spam and spam e-mail as it is, I wouldn’t certainly want some num-nuts calling me right before 9pm every night trying to sell me whatever “plan” that that company might be trying to extol on the employees at my workplace.

      I hope that clears things up. I seriously need ice-cream!

    • 0 avatar
      Silvy_nonsense

      If there is no contract in place and the workers have -not- voted for a union, the company probably can not be compelled to give out the data.

      Once a contract is in place HIPPA no longer applies whenever the contract specifically requires the company to hand over specific data because the the workers collectively have said they want/agree that to happen. Individual workers may not like certain parts of the contract, but when you bargain collectively that’s how it goes.

  • avatar
    Mailbox20

    Anybody willing to guess the number of jobs lost at Toyota plants during the downturn? Bueller, Bueller? How about ZERO. Hard to believe that that was managed without the UAW forcing Toyota’s hand.

  • avatar
    rcdickey

    Just my 02. I work in a non Japanese non union transplant. I’ve been here over 13 years. 7 years were spent working on the assembly line. I’m now in a skilled job. There is no way the majority of my coworkers would vote for a union. That includes myself. Most of us have been in union jobs and many have lost jobs partly due to unions. At one time unions were strong here in this state. When the cost of labor got too high the companies moved their production out of the country. The plants were shut with as little notice as allowed by law and there was nothing the unions could do. Oh yeah there were guarantees of rehire in the contracts if layoffs happened. However, any agreements about job security were out the window when the contracts expired and the companies closed the doors.

    My pay and benefits are so good that there is little a union could offer. Granted, the pay and benefits come because of unions. That isn’t enough of a reason for me to consider paying dues that would provide little if any benefit to me between now and retirement. Job opportunities are posted for all in the plant to see. If it is a non skilled job seniority is the rule. If it requires certain skills or education the most qualified gets the job. All other things such as shifts, buyouts, special assignments and so forth are done by seniority. My particular shop lost a guy with great skills during the buyouts back in 2008 because he didn’t have enough seniority. Though the leadership in my section tried to get around it the HR department wouldn’t budge. No favoritism. The temporary workers went first then the lowest in seniority. Nobody left without some kind of severance pay including the temporaries. Our pay wasn’t cut but hours went down till business went back up. We are actually back to working overtime. We haven’t had raises in two years but I’m okay with that up to this point because of the economy and uncertainty of the current time. That is how dead set I am against unionization. Business has been so good we are already being told to expect a very good bonus this year. We are expecting a raise this fall. So what could a union offer me Mikey?

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    I don’t think unions are at fault for the quality decline of domestic automobiles

    If not mostly at fault, certainly lots of blood on their hands (along with the bean counters, executives, etc).

    Pretty incredible book…..

    http://www.amazon.com/Savage-Factory-Eyewitness-Industrys-Self-Destruction/dp/1438952945/ref=sr_1_29?s=STORE&ie=UTF8&qid=1281067269&sr=1-29

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    The union folks I know seem to rally around the principle that “rights for works = human rights.” Well, China has workers. Those workers don’t have anywhere near as much rights as our workers. It’s an expanding business, and many more Chinese workers will be oppressed. The more you desperately try to organize non-auto workers, the more you’ll infringe on the territories of SEIU, AFSCHME, AFL-CIO, Teamsters, NEA, etc. And once you do that, the canard of union solidarity will be even more obvious.

    You have one place to go UAW…To the Far East.


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