By on May 20, 2012

It’s said that people do resemble their dogs. The UAW surely looks more and more like the GM of old. For years, the UAW has spent more than it took, forcing it to live off its savings. Once again, the UAW wants to change this – two years from now. Until then, it will happily go on making losses.

Said Bob King to Reuters:

“We are spending a lot of money, and we’re investing money in organizing. And we’re investing money in rebuilding the ability of the UAW to win good contracts and win good legislation for our membership.”

King told Reuters that in two years, the UAW wants to be cash-flow positive by adding members and managing costs.

In the five years from 2007 to 2011, the UAW sold $264 million in assets. In 2011, the UAW increased its membership by 1 percent. According to Reuters calculations, the union would have to increase its membership by 50 percent to break even, assuming the current rate of spending.

 

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

16 Comments on “The UAW’s Recipe Against Losses: Spend Some More...”


  • avatar
    dwford

    “We are spending a lot of money, and we’re investing money in organizing. And we’re investing money in rebuilding the ability of the UAW to win good contracts and win good legislation for our membership.”

    WTF does that even mean? Investing in the ability to win good contracts. Its a few guys sitting across the table from management. How much does that cost??

    • 0 avatar
      TonyJZX

      thats easy

      it means they need to expand membership so that the “few guys sitting across the table from management” have enough clout to get what they want

      globally unionism is on the slide, these guys are just living in denial

  • avatar
    peteo

    Give the UAW enough rope and they will hang themselves. I will bet that there is very little money going to recruitment of members and lots of money going into conferences in Las Vegas etc. With the support of the POTUS, the UAW and GM will continue to survive for a while but I bet that GM will be broke again in 10 to 15 years.Already the cars that GM is offering are beginning to fall behind the new products offered by Kia and Hyunda,BMW etc.Just look at the stock price of GM.

  • avatar
    lw

    Unions are great! Makes it easy to invest in a sector. Say you have 5 companies that you are looking at and four have labor unions, BINGO!

  • avatar
    Good ole dayz

    Hey, the UAW was one of the (and arguably THE) reason the domestic industry was run into the ground — much higher than market compensation, union-slacker attitudes and culture pervading the workforce, featherbedding via contractual work rules — all encouraging the domestics to lower quality to help offset the higher costs of having the UAW on the premises (e.g., spec’ing lower mean time to failure components at lower costs from suppliers).

    When the inevitable occurred, the UAW got the Bush administration to agree to a taxpayer bailout, and the Obama administration to reward the UAW with big ownership interests in the “new” GM and Chrysler (shouldn’t equity have gone 100% to the taxpayers / Treasury Department that paid for the equity???).

    Now the UAW and repeat the process in the coming years, eventually driving the domestic industry back to the brink, and has the taxpayer paid annuity of being able to sell-off its GM / Chrysler stock to fund operations during that period.

    The only tricky part for the UAW is timing the next industry crisis to occur during a Democrat administration.

  • avatar
    redav

    The UAW is a big business just like other big businesses. They have a product to sell, but they have to convince people that it’s worth buying–sort of like mowing your own yard or paying someone to do it for you.

    The problem I have is that their business model is dependent on management and labor not getting along. Thus, their long-term success is dependent on perpetuating that friction. As proof, we constantly see the UAW fight for better deals, even if the deal on the table is perfectly fair and advantageous to the workers, but if the union can’t get a better deal, they don’t serve a purpose.

    Often, I wonder: Who protects the workers from the union?

    • 0 avatar
      schmitt trigger

      “The problem I have is that their business model is dependent on management and labor not getting along. Thus, their long-term success is dependent on perpetuating that friction.”

      I think that, in that sentence, you accurately nailed the problem with unions in general….

      In the early days of the industrial revolution, the work conditions at most factories was truly appalling and many times dangerous.
      Unions fought tooth and nail to improve those conditions and obtain decent wages for their members.
      But once that you have achieved those goals, how can the Union justify its existence, how can they demand fees from the workers? By making additional demands to the companies of course….and once that you have got the basic benefits, you have to continue to ask for more ludicrous ones each time.

      Of course, the US automotive industry in general, and GM in particular, which essentially owned the market until the Arab Oil Embargo, just went along no problem. They could still sell all their vehicles.

      Then little vehicles from the Land of the Rising Sun started arriving and slowly taking market share. And the automotive market has never been the same since.

      It took the Detroit Big 3 a couple of decades to figure it out. It took the UAW a lot longer to figure it out….which eventually led to the 2008 bankruptcy.
      But apparently the lesson has been lost on them. And by the way, this problem does not apply solely to the auto industry…the Steel industry reached the point of no return many years ago.
      See the book: “And the Wolf finally came: The decline and fall of the American Steel Industry”

  • avatar
    highdesertcat

    I don’t resemble any of my dogs, and none of my dogs resemble me. But the question “Who protects the workers from the union?” really cuts to the heart of the matter.

    No doubt the UAW and its leadership will find some way to rewrite automotive history to show that the UAW did not collectively bargain many of their members out of their jobs and that the UAW did not collectively bargain their employers into bankruptcy.

    No doubt the UAW will take great pride in getting the other 94% of the tax payers to pick up the tab for the 6% employed in the auto industry, thereby allowing them to continue to live large on the taxpayer dime.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    Maybe to save money they could outsource stuff like payroll and other admin. Just kidding (I think?). I truly believe the union movement has had a great and positive impact on the ability for many people to enjoy a more prosperous (middle class) quality of life. I do think also that in numerous places they’ve bred a disfunctional culture in workplaces. I am, BTW, in a union. By my reckoning, it’s the best kind of union in that I never have any interaction or knowledge of it in my workplace. It does it’s thing with management and lets me get on with my job.

  • avatar

    When’s the next golf course. that’s what I want to know

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    [quote]The only tricky part for the UAW is timing the next industry crisis to occur during a Democrat administration.[/quote]
    It usually works out to about 1 in 3 administrations being the Democrats, due to the quality and credibility of their candidates.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    “No doubt the UAW will take great pride in getting the other 94% of the tax payers to pick up the tab for the 6% employed in the auto industry, thereby allowing them to continue to live large on the taxpayer dime.”

    The UAW can’t hold a candle to the farm industry or social security/medicare welfare industries. Uncle Sugar helps millions. You’ll need him too at some point in time if not already…

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Dave, the farm industry feeds people. The social security/Medicare welfare industries were initiated and enacted by the Democrats and actually take care of people. The UAW only takes and gives nothing in return.

      The UAW has damaged the US auto industry beyond repair and that’s why the transplants opened assembly plants in the South away from the UAW sphere of influence. Toyota and the other foreigners remembered the NUMMI plant in California and said “never again”.

      My dad was a union man but even he became disheartened by what the unions did to employers. There was a time for unions, but these days the government has so many regulations and mandates in effect that unions add nothing but expense to the bottom line.

      I’m already on social security retirement and Medicare. I paid for it, and now I’m collecting it. I hope to live long enough to see social security and Medicare go broke.

      • 0 avatar
        Juniper

        I thought you were lifer military, you aren’t on either. Or am I wrong.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        I was lifer military, paid my dues and now collect social security AND Medicare, as well as VA benefits for my war damages during Viet Nam and TriCare for life for my military retirement. Relax, it’s not much, and I pick up more each month in chump change hauling brick and tile and maintaining rentals for my wife’s dad.

        Even in the military we had to pay for all those embellished social entitlement programs like unemployment benefits, workmen’s comp, social security, medicare, military life and health insurances, but many never get to collect.

        Even though we paid for unemployment benefits, for instance, most states preclude a retired military vet from drawing unemployment benefits because they already have a retirement income. Ditto with workmen’s comp. And we can never qualify for food stamps or welfare, even though welfare recipients get more money than we do in our military retirement pay. Double standard there. We pay in but we can’t get it out.

        And for my wife it’s even worse. Her income was infinitely greater than mine, and in fact I actually get an amount equal to half her social security retirement each month added to my measly social security retirement check. No kidding!

        She gets the full amount she is entitled to and I get another half of her check added to mine so that we both get about the same. Even so, considering what SHE paid into the system for decades, we won’t even come close to getting it all back even if we both lived to age 150. How’s that for a pyramid scheme, eh?

  • avatar
    gslippy

    The UAW is cannibalistic; they’ll keep their upper officials in pay until Bob King turns out the lights, while the rank and file they claim to represent are devoured. With membership having shrunk 75% over 30 years, I’m amazed the peasants haven’t figured this out.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • Tycho de Feyter, China
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India