By on August 3, 2011

Despite the fact that no transplant automaker has admitted to being in direct talks with the UAW, union boss Bob King told the Center for Automotive Research’s Management Briefing Seminar [via Reuters]

The vast majority of the assemblers here in the United States have at least agreed to confidential discussions. We’ve had productive discussions. The last thing we want is confrontation.

So, the issue isn’t that the transplants are all responding to the UAW’s overtures like Honda, which has said

Honda has had no dialogue with the UAW and has no interest in a discussion with them.

No, talks are happening with the “vast majority” of transplants… they just happen to be secret talks (which, at least in the case of VW, appear to be going nowhere). That in itself is strange, considering the UAW’s previous, highly-public approach to naming and shaming non-union transplant manufacturers. More likely: secret talks keep the union from losing face and the transplants from looking like “human rights abusers.” My how things change fast…

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15 Comments on “UAW In Top Secret Talks With “Vast Majority” Of Transplants...”


  • avatar
    Contrarian

    This infantile claim just shows that Bob King and the UAW are on the cusp of becoming irrelevant – and they know it, despite the national efforts of the Organizer-In-Chief.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      The UAW became irrelevant when they bargained their employers into bankruptcy and their members out of a job.

      Still, the employees should be allowed to choose (by secret ballot) if they want to unionize, or not. If they do, the manufacturer has underlying problems that requires collective bargaining to iron out.

  • avatar
    geeber

    Mr. King was elected to his position, and like all politicians, he exaggerates and paints the rosiest scenario possible to keep the troops (i.e., voters) happy. Nothing all that shocking here, really.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Mr. King was elected to his position, and like all politicians, he exaggerates and paints the rosiest scenario possible to keep the troops (i.e., voters) happy.

      That’s right. This thread will invariably work up some posters into a froth, but it’s just another marketing exercise.

      The quote above (“The vast majority of the assemblers here in the United States have at least agreed to confidential discussions”) is just weasel words. It isn’t clear what “at least agreeing” is supposed to mean, and that lack of specificity isn’t unintentional. They’re vague, and deliberately so.

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    Confidential discussions = The plant director did not put the phone on speaker when he took my call.

    Productive discussions = The plant director told me to Have A Nice Day after he said “Thanks, not interested.”

    Non confrontational = I agreed I wouldn’t come on the property, and he agreed that security wouldn’t throw me in a dumpster.

  • avatar
    Da Coyote

    With the exception of my beloved Ford Ranger, never again will a UAW machine enter my garage.

    Shove it, UAW.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Ultimately it is up to the buyer to decide to support, or not support, the UAW. We are truly fortunate to live in a country where we have so much choice as to what to buy and drive. Judging from the mass exodus of the past toward foreign-brand cars, I’d say the buyers have voted – with their feet and with their wallet.

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    The talks are so secret, they are probably secret to, and from, all parties except Mr. King himself.

  • avatar
    George B

    There is a reason that the non-union foreign brand manufacturers build completely new manufacturing sites out in the country far away from union strongholds instead of buying existing domestic brand facilities. Can’t give away a factory in Detroit or Cleveland. Mazda and Mitsubishi manufacture some cars like the Mazda6 and Outlander at UAW plants while the others avoid the UAW like the plague. How’s that working out?

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      It left Toyota holding the bag at NUMMI after GM declared bankrupture. Then Toyota sold the NUMMI plant to Elon Musk, got that albatross off their books, declared a huge tax loss, and actually came out ahead of GM.

      The big losers were the former UAW employees at the NUMMI plant who are now petitioning to force Elon Musk to hire them for his Tesla/RAV4(EV) venture with Toyota. Were it up to me I’d send them a courteous “Thanks! But no thanks”, with a cc to Bob King.

  • avatar
    don1967

    Note to Mr. King: There is a small but significant difference between “top secret” and “imaginary”.

  • avatar
    KeithBates

    What does a starting UAW member get paid these days? That would
    be a hell of a deal for the manufacturers, and probably a really
    bad deal for the “new” members… You think they’ll vote this in?

  • avatar
    AaronH

    “Can’t give away a factory in Detroit or Cleveland.”

    There must be 100s of empty but ready to go facilities above the Mason-Dixon that no car company will even look at. They rather build new facilities at huge costs in the USA South. That has to make you say “Hmmmm”. Right, Mr. King?

  • avatar
    damikco

    Say what you will about the UAW and its compensation but keep in mind other Unions abroad make even more money, southern plants in the US are only part of the picture.


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