UAW boss Bob King is taking the fight abroad, visiting Fiat’s Italian plants in order to take a look at the World Class Manufacturing system that apparently has not yet sufficiently taken hold at Chrysler’s plants to be viewed there. But the visit isn’t purely social. King tells Reuters that
We’re going to be pitching to suppliers that they should come and locate here in Michigan.
Because clearly everybody wants to do business with the UAW. Heck, American supplier firms are falling over themselves to move production to Michigan, but King just thought it would be nice to give the Italians a first crack. On the other hand, Italy hasn’t exactly been free of auto-sector labor strife itself. At least King can pitch Italian suppliers by explaining that, as majority stakeholder in Chrysler, the UAW makes Fiat-Chrysler’s US labor environment a lot less complex: all you have to do is keep the union happy. So much for Marchionne’s “culture of poverty.”