By on March 6, 2013

The UAW is stepping up their organization efforts at Nissan’s Canton, Mississippi plant by taking their campaign to…Geneva?

Automotive News took a look at the UAW’s bizarre effort at flying Nissan workers from Canton, along with members of the Mississippi Alliance for Fairness at Nissan (MAFFAN), which is apparently “…an organization representing clergy, elected officials, civil rights activists and students”, to help hand out leaflets and raise awareness about the efforts to bring collective bargaining to Canton.

Rather than brand the campaign as simply a UAW organizing drive, MAFFAN is engaging in some serious hyperbole, with MAFFAN member Reverend Melvin Chapman describing the campaign as

 “…the civil rights fight of our time – the right to have a free and fair election process, one without fear. We are bringing Mississippi to Geneva to let Nissan know that what is happening in Mississippi is unacceptable.”

Aside from the myriad causes that one could conceivably argue as being “the civil rights fight of our time”, depending on one’s political leanings, the UAW’s attempts to organize Canton are ultimately a local issue, particular to American labor relations. Yet the UAW decided to spend what must be an excessive sum (and I know this having gone to Geneva to cover the Auto Show in the past. Bertel and others who have gone can also vouch for this) to send UAW staffers, union organizers and “…a small number of Canton, Miss. employees…” to Geneva to engage in a protest that is inconsequential to nearly everyone attending the show. Meanwhile, the cost of flights (expensive), hotels (insanely expensive, if one can even be found), meals (a cup of coffee will run $7-$8 alone), rental cars and any other expenses incurred will undoubtedly add up to a hefty bill.

This may not be the last of it either. According to AN the Geneva protest “…underscored how the union intends to hound Nissan at international venues…”, suggesting that jet-set junkets under the guise of social justice campaigns may be the new normal for the UAW and their allies. Then again neither is it UAW President Bob King’s first foray into silly publicity stunts or international labor matters. I can’t imagine that many UAW members are too thrilled about where their dues are going, nor is a world tour for King and his cronies a great recruiting tool to organize transplant employees.

But as one of TTAC’s chief union sources has long maintained, the union leaders are ultimately politicians. And we all know that profligacy, entitlement and indulgence come with that territory.

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38 Comments on “What Is The UAW Doing In Geneva?...”


  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Nothing to see here, Bob King was just looking for an excuse for a skiing holiday on the “company” dime.

  • avatar

    Maybe they’re were in need of a vacation. Or an international workers’ solidarity movement is in the making.

    Recently the UAW was in São Paulo: http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/uaw-brazil-has-it-better-than-america/

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    Someone should point out to the useful idiots recruited by organized crime in the Nissan shop parking lot that $8 Cokes are the natural result of successful unionization. Meanwhile, Nissan should be free to fire anyone that played a part in this farce.

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      “Meanwhile, Nissan should be free to fire anyone that played a part in this farce.”

      Yes, firing people for their political views is something we should all encourage in a free society.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Firing them for not appreciating their jobs and working to harm their employers is for good cause in my book, but that isn’t required in a right to work state. As reasons for kicking people to the curb go, this one’s pretty great. Maybe they should administer an IQ test during the hiring process so this sort of thing can be avoided.

        • 0 avatar
          probert

          You are a walking billboard for why unions are important.

          Your call for “intelligence testing” has so any levels of unintended irony. Kudos.

          • 0 avatar
            redav

            “Intelligence testing” is the de facto universal qualification for hiring someone. Otherwise, there’s no reason to bother with interviews.

    • 0 avatar
      bill mcgee

      I have a feeling the “$ 8 Coke ” in Geneva has a lot more to do with the value of the Swiss franc than with the power of the Swiss unions . The price of everything in Switzerland is and usually always has been ridiculous compared to everywhere else – now more than ever due to the declining Euro . Prices were unbelievably high thirty years ago when I stayed in Geneva for a few weeks – I think even back then a Coke was over $ 5 – could be more than $ 8 by now . The friend I stayed with there got tired of the high prices and transferred to Paris , partly because it was much cheaper .

  • avatar
    Summicron

    “social justice”

    Like “Peace, Land and Bread” and “Stab in the Back”, thugs love a good slogan.

  • avatar
    don1967

    If this is the “civil rights fight of our time”, then we’re living in pretty cushy times.

    What’s next for the UAW? Rising up against the oppressive tyranny of the employee lounge Coke machine, whose coin mechanism is lubricated with the blood of the proletariat?

  • avatar

    I can absolutely confirm that Geneva is obscenely expensive during normal times, during Auto Salon times it is hard-core pornographically expensive. It is so expensive that even when I was the chief of an advertising agency that was raking it in, I stopped going after one truly shocking visit, and I sent my partner alone.

    Before MAFFAN finds out itself, I also caution that the ladies of Geneva triple their price during Auto Salon.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    “the right to have a free and fair election process, one without fear”

    1. I’d like to hear testimonials of people who were threatened by their employers. Given the overwhelming “no” votes, there must be many who could testify.

    2. Elections are only free and fair if the proper side wins. That’s what losers think, anyway. If the UAW got in, they’d quit worrying about free and fair elections.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      To the UAW a free and fair election involves Card Check, where they are free to single out no voters and then fairly beat them to death. No fair keeping voting secret! A group of thugs big enough to coerce everyone without knowing who the holdouts are wouldn’t come free!

  • avatar
    Hummer

    UAW seems to be in need of more cash, since they spent hundreds of mils trying to prevent their home states from becoming right to work states.
    Sweet irony.

    As long as Nissan stands strong against this bullying/thuggery then they will definately be a first stop when searching for a vehicle.

    UAW is fading to oblivion since the internet came out, their number of useful idiots is becoming fewer and fewer as the people wake up to what’s happening.

  • avatar
    Waterview

    When I thought the whole issue was about increasing membership and dues, it simply didn’t make sense. Now that I understand that it’s a “human rights crusade”, it falls under the heading of “we’re on a mission from God”. That’s an entirely different thing.

    I’ve already suggested that it might be time for the UAW to, oh let’s say, “CHANGE YOUR BUSINESS MODEL!” Your competition (non-union shops) are giving the same or better wages and benefits without all the hassles. Perhaps a focus on providing value for the dues dollar (in the eyes of the dues payer) is in order.

  • avatar

    In this Swiss City, there are a lot of International Unions that have there World Headquarters there,like the Metal Workers etc, maybe the UAW is asking for World Wide support?

  • avatar

    Bob King’s a dink.

    He should just bring back the UAW golf course.

  • avatar
    Good ole dayz

    >>I can’t imagine that many UAW members are too thrilled about where their dues are going …

    Odds are few know, or will know. Rank and file UAW will only hear what the union tells them (not much!).

    Similarly, most union rank and file would be outraged if they knew that AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka was a member of Joe Biden’s gun ban task force, and is out flacking for amnesty for illegal aliens (whose ever growing ranks of cheap labor inevitably has a downward pull on wages overall — after all, supply and demand works with labor compensation too).

    But they won’t hear about Trumka’s activities in union communications (except perhaps by vague euphemisms that won’t actually provide any details or objective information).

  • avatar
    Xeranar

    Everytime I see these articles I cringe but I know you’re a small government corporate shill who’s just anti-union. You have ties to the republican party and tea party operations so your views are clearly bias. Thanks for the read, good to know my enemy’s views.

  • avatar
    50merc

    “jet-set junkets under the guise of social justice campaigns”? Hey, for the UAW honchos, that’s not a bug, it’s a feature!


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