By on June 23, 2011

Uh-oh: The UAW has reached out to unions representing workers of Chrysler and Fiat in other countries. They want to form a “global network.” The group will not collectively bargain with the companies, King told reporters from Reuters. The group will be just an innocuous clearing-house for information.

Officially, the group will share information on worthy issues such as worker safety, better ergonomics for workers, better work practices and how to ensure the production of quality vehicles. The new group agreed on a set of principles that includes the freedom of workers to organize in unions, to protect the rights of workers around the world including children and women workers. Now who can possibly be against that?

I’m sure the occasionally quite rabid Italian union has some hot tips.

Similar global union networks were established at Ford and GM. So far, Ford and GM ignore these groups.

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7 Comments on “UAW Launches United Nations Of Chrysler And Fiat Unions...”


  • avatar
    V572625694

    Wait’ll the UAW finds out about the two-hour siesta Italian workers get every afternoon.

    • 0 avatar
      Tommy Boy

      The UAW has that now. Occasionally the Detroit area TV stations run exposes in which they’ve followed UAW workers / officials around, including filming them during their two-hour lunches at bars.

      My favorite was one involving a UAW shop steward at a Ford transmission plant. They filmed him stopping at convenience stores picking up beer, and at a bowling tournament … his time cards indicated that his bowling tournament was submitted to Ford as overtime for union business. In fact, he had something like 1,000 hour of OT that year.

      Our taxpayer bailout dollars at work (though the expose was pre-bailout, it’s still the same old UAW at GM, Ford and Chrysler).

    • 0 avatar
      Tommy Boy

      They already have it: the two-hour lunch break at a bar.

      Detroit TV stations have run exposes in which they secretly film UAW workers “working.”

      My favorite was one with a UAW shop steward at a Ford transmission plant filmed during mid-afternoon buying beer at a convenience store on his way home, and participating in a bowling tournament. As to the latter, the expose showed that he concurrently put in for overtime pay … “union business” you know. In fact, they exposed that he’d put in for something like 1,000 hours of overtime for the past year.

      This is what our taxpayers bailout dollars went to bailout!

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    The UAW announced something like this 10 years ago, and, afterward, I don’t recall hearing anything more about it.

    This is a topic area that I only follow casually, so I could be wrong, but it has always seemed to me that the national unions in Europe had no real interest or incentive to cooperate trans-nationally.

    Could it now be that the unions realize that they have been outmaneuvered and are subject to whipsawing? News over the last year makes it seem Marchione has been threatening italian unions with moving their business to the US to keep them compliant.

    Problem is, that with no growth in the US or EU auto markets, and the possibility to produce vehicles in Right-to-Work states (US), or soft-union countries in eastern Europe, or to import vehicles from non-union (here I use “non” to also mean any unionized plant that allows for a marginally-greater fully-accounted profit margin) countries in Asia (or anywhere), the unions are facing a zero-sum game in that if they are not cooperative and competitive, it has never been easier (not to say that there won’t be an initial cost to pay all the buy-outs) to move the work elsewhere.

    Given that zero-sum scenario, I’m not sure that cooperation will be all that useful, and even if the unions get weaker, the more-likely talk of trans-national consolidation would seem to provide no sustainable strategic advantage vis-a-vis the OEM’s.

  • avatar
    probert

    I always thought cars were excreted from the ass of glowing blond angel with a come hither look. The shock that workers construct them has given me the vapors. Another Julip Sam and make sure you’re wearing your gloves.

  • avatar

    Volkswagen already seems to have that (c.f. document in German http://www.volkswagen.de/content/medialib/vwd4/de/Volkswagen/Nachhaltigkeit/service/download/corporate_governance/Charta_der_Arbeitsbeziehungen_Volkswagen/_jcr_content/renditions/rendition.file/charta_der_arbeitsbeziehungen_volkswagen.pdf).

    This paper (Charter on Labor Relations within the Volkswagen Concern) talks about an “Europäische Konzernbetriebsrat” (European Workers Council), and even an “Weltkonzernbetriebsrat” (World-Wide Workers Council).

    Don’t know whether this is just a piece of paper or whether it actually works, and how.

    Theoretically, such an approach would make sense in multinational enterprises. But I don’t know how an UAW would fit into a multinational union concept.


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