By on October 1, 2013

VW-11-1786-450x301 (1)

A group of workers at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga, Tennessee plant is circulating a petition aimed at stopping the UAW’s attempt to organize the plant.

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, paint shop employee Mike Burton, the man behind the petition, said

“We’ll report the percentage of team members who are with us. I have no doubt it will be over 50%,”

Burton is one of seven Chattanooga employees who launched a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board over the UAW’s “card check” process, where workers sign cards claiming that they want the UAW to represent them. However, this has been controversial, as some workers, including Burton, allege that the card process was misrepresented to them. They say that the cards were pitched as a way to get more information about the UAW, not a way to approve of the UAW representing them. Workers also reported that those who asked for their cars back were directed to a UAW office to recover them.

Labor representatives in Germany are pushing for Volkswagen to establish a works council at Chattanooga, however US law would require union representation for this to happen. Along with the United States Volkswagen plants in China and Russia do not have works councils at all, or in the case of Russia, they are not integrated with Volkswagen’s global labor organization.

 

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

106 Comments on “Workers At Chattanooga Start Anti-UAW Petition...”


  • avatar
    philadlj

    Silly Chaattttaannooooggaans! (Whoops, too many letters there…or was that not enough?) You can either supposed to be all FOR UAW organization or all AGAINST it. You can’t have some workers in favor and some against. That’s just INSANITY!

    One side needs to get in line with the other, preferably the majority bending to the minority’s will. Otherwise, the factory shuts down, and all of VW’s national parks will be closed. Then how will little Billy see Volkswagen’s Articles of Incorporation?

  • avatar
    Sceptic

    Why did VW build Chattanooga at all? What was the perceived benefit of building cars in the US? Importing from China and boosting Mexico production would have been easier and just plain better way of increasing US sales.

    • 0 avatar
      Carrera

      Well, lets’s see…because the South has a highly motived and skilled workforce for one. Shipment costs probably lower than in Mexico for parts and for the assembled product.

      • 0 avatar
        billfrombuckhead

        Skilled? Skilled at what? Sucking up to the Koch brothers?

        The only reason anyone moves to the south is rock bottom wages, little regulation and heavy government subsidies.South still leads the nation as a region for unemployment because of poor education and lack of work ethic.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      “Why did VW build Chattanooga at all? ” It has been long anticipated that a Free Trade agreement between Europe and the US will be approved and adopted.

      Were that to happen, it is cheaper for European manufacturers to build in the US and then ship them to Europe under this FTA.

      It is similar to what NAFTA did for US manufacturers who relocated to various NAFTA-member countries to produce there for export to the US.

      One benefit of all this should be that the dreaded “Chicken Tax” would be abolished.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    Total (worker organization) n00b here so be gentle. Just trying to figure this out.

    As I read this, German labor representatives are ornery and want VW to force Chattanooga to form a German style labor representation? And if VW makes this happen, they must first invite in an American Union? Am I right so far?

    1) Why would German labor care? VW needs plants worldwide to be competitive. I cannot see how it affects them.
    2) Why does an American Union need to be involved? (regardless of what union)
    3) Did VW not foresee this before establishing this plant? If they did see it coming was it just arrogance assuming they could have their way no matter what?

    Looking forward to some informative answers. Thanks

    • 0 avatar
      Carrera

      Well, I could probably venture an answer to one of your questions. I don’t think the German union, IG Metal, likes it when VW opens factories in other countries. If they are to open, they would like them to be not too successful. If the plant is too successful, VW could get the wild idea to move more manufacturing there. Next thing, they could shut down a production line back home and take work away from German union workers. IG Metal wants to even things out and make all factories be as (un)successful and as (un) profittable as the ones at home. At least, that’s how I see it.

    • 0 avatar
      jpolicke

      1. German labor cares because they fear being undercut by cheaper labor. They already have 2 strikes against them in the US: the unfavorable Euro-Dollar exchange rate and the “chicken tax” on imported SUVs.

      2. US law forbids union organizations to be employer-owned or controlled.

      3. I suspect VW did. I am also skeptical about how much management really cares. The works council was undoubtedly less than enthusiastic about the expansion in China as well as the plant in Tenn. As we see, this did not stop VWAG from going through with their plan. The works council has the right to veto decisions concerning dismissals, nomination of training officers, recruitment, grouping and transfer. They may be resistant to the idea of VW building an SUV in Tennessee but ultimately they cannot prevent it.

      • 0 avatar
        davefromcalgary

        @Carrera and @ jpolicke

        Thanks for these answers. I was wondering why Chattanooga is such a big deal to German labor. As far as I know my brothers 04 GLI was made in Mexico. Germany isn’t making every single VW on the road, so plants in other countries are inevitable.

        As far as I see, German labor isn’t at risk by these other plants.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        There is no chicken tax on SUV’s with four doors. They are considered to be passenger cars with a tariff of 2.5%.

    • 0 avatar
      Silvy_nonsense

      1) It’s not just the German union that cares, its also VW itself. Front line employees are represented on the Works Council via the unions. Right now, Chattanooga has no representation on the Works Council. VW doesn’t want to exclude them but also doesn’t want to include them in a way that will make IG Metal go completely apoplectic. (There may be German legal issues at play as well.) There are a number of possible solutions, each of which has some negatives outcomes.

      2) A legacy U.S. union does not need to be involved. The workers could band together and create a new union from scratch. However, it’s easier and cheaper to affiliate with an existing union for obvious reasons. It’s worth noting that they do not have to choose the UAW – they could choose to affiliate with any union that will take them. (If they’re wise, they will.)

      3) VW knew exactly what it was getting into. This is just another business problem to be worked through. VW so far has done a good job of appearing to look like a “good guy” that is trying to do the “right thing”. The less VW appears to be involved the better because they’re in a danged if they do, danged if they don’t situation.

  • avatar
    walleyeman57

    Wow. Imagine that-workers actually wanting to vote IN SECRET.

    We can not allow that. Your union is looking out for you. Just give us what we want and no harm will come to your family.

    Union certification votes should happen every year. How many GM or Ford workers voted for the UAW to represent them? Oh right, those votes were 70 years ago.

    • 0 avatar
      Silvy_nonsense

      There is no point in trying to paint the UAW as threatening. Even if some UAW organizing goons threatened to come to your house and beat you up, you’ve got nothing to worry about.

      A UAW union VP would try to undermine the power of another VP who is supposed to be in charge of beat downs, slowing down the process. By the time they figure out that mess, the only person who can run the computer program that keeps track of home addresses of people needing a whack will be out on disability for a few months. Once they get your address in the hands of the Beat ‘Em Up team, the goons will stop off for lunch at the Chrysler plant they used to work at to drink beer and smoke pot in the parking lot with their old colleagues. Realizing that they screwed around for three hours and not wanting to get in trouble, the goons will decide that they’ll just report back that they kicked the stuffing out of you even though they never showed up. Another quality job brought to you by today’s UAW.

      Just out of curiosity – Does anyone think that the regular, full time employees who actually work for the UAW itself are on a two-tier pay scale? What about the newly elected UAW executives? Are the new execs paid half as much as execs elected before a certain date?

      • 0 avatar
        05lgt

        I don’t care if it’s true, I like what you write because it’s funny. Thanks! I usually stay out of the union stuff, because of my hopeless anti-union bias due to family history. Great grandpa came to the US to work in a coal mine… one dead union goon… deported with prison contracted TB.

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    I wish we could see what is written on these UAW cards that are being passed out for signature, because I don’t understand the claim to being misled. Do they say something like “I want to get more information about the UAW”, or does it read “I want this plant to be organized by the UAW and to become a member”? Seems pretty hard to mistake one meaning for another, and if the workforce is either too lazy to read or too dim to comprehend what they’re signing I’m not sure I want them to build a car for me.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      >> wish we could see what is written on these UAW cards that are being passed out for signature

      Here’s a link to what seems to be an image of one of the cards:

      http://www.wrcbtv.com/story/23458337/vw-workers-say-uaw-bribed-employees-to-sign-union-cards

      • 0 avatar
        brettc

        That card is hilarious. I’m not sure what’s so misleading about it aside from the last line about the Passat becoming “the #1 car in the United States.” (Not gonna happen with the current Accord, Camry and Fusion being what they are)

      • 0 avatar
        jpolicke

        Well, thank you. That makes my point. What part of “We choose to be represented by the UAW” did they not understand? Deception is therefore off the table; that leaves bribery and threats.

        • 0 avatar
          Lorenzo

          That’s fine print. Nobody reads fine print. Some lawyers may quibble, but asking for a signature with an inaccurate song and dance routine is still misleading.

          That text looks like it’s on the back of the card- notice the “we choose” line is at the bottom? The front, signature side is probably all the workers saw, or they only glanced at the pap printed on the back, and didn’t read down to the last line.

          There’s a reason for the way the back side is written like that, to get your eyes to glaze over before you get to the bottom! Besides, we don’t know where the signatures were gathered, but on the factory floor is best for the UAW, since the marks are busy and “here, sign this – it’s only for information” works best in a hurried atmosphere.

        • 0 avatar
          Silvy_nonsense

          “What part of “We choose to be represented by the UAW” did they not understand?”

          Maybe the part where they were handed a clip board that had a piece of paper covering the card obscuring all parts of the card except the signature line?

          Or perhaps it was the part where they were told that the UAW had to put that last part on the card, but it’s OK because that’s not what it means. It’s no big deal – it’s more like signing a petition.

          It might have been the part where they were told that the card just allows for a secret vote to be called (which is true) but weren’t told that the cards could be used to eliminate the secret vote (which also happens)?

          I have no evidence any of this happened at VW Chattanooga, but union organizing is bare-knuckle, down and dirty and subject to some of the worst behavior humanity has to offer. The employees who don’t want to affiliate with the UAW have a right to fight back.

        • 0 avatar
          mr.cranky

          jpolicke- Bribery and threats?

          I’m amazed at the ignorance of unions on here.

          But, continue to spew it because it only reinforces my belief that most people hear one side of the story and believe it without asking questions.

          Why, oh why, am I not surprised that the average TTAC reader is siding with workers against the “Evil, baby-raping, money-grubbing UAW”?

          Were the workers given the choice of signing these cards?

          If so, then those who signed them without reading them carefully first are to blame. Hell, if you got a lawyer friend, just ask to take the card home and show it a legal beagle. They can better explain it. Hell, just call up a lawyer first.

        • 0 avatar
          toxicroach

          Deception+stupidity and/or laziness. Given that the thing reads like a cheeseball motivational card than a legal document, I could see people signing it thinking it isn’t much, or just signing it without reading it.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        I’m pretty sure that the Passat has a shot at becoming the #1 midsize sedan built in Tennessee with a VW badge.

        • 0 avatar
          brettc

          I suppose that is likely assuming VW doesn’t pull a Westmoreland in the near future.

          • 0 avatar
            geeber

            Let’s hope that VW doesn’t hire a former GM executive to “Americanize” the Passat, which is what the company did in the late 1970s with the Rabbit.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The Passat has already been Americanized — it’s not even the same Passat sold in other markets.

            That may already be part of the problem. VW wants to achieve a top slot in the segment, even though it has niche branding. The niche marketing that makes VW interesting and breeds loyalty among core customers is the same branding that limits its growth potential. That combination doesn’t make much sense.

          • 0 avatar
            geeber

            It was my understanding that VW wanted to achieve Toyota-level volume in this country. Which, as you noted, is going to be quite a challenge. I’m just not seeing VW as a mainstream brand in this country.

        • 0 avatar
          Silvy_nonsense

          The VW Passat was recently voted the number one four-door family sedan in the lower Tennessee region by “Tennessee Regional 4-Door Family Sedan Magazine”, the number one 4-door family sedan magazine in the region.

        • 0 avatar
          krayzie

          But which mobile deficient animal would VW rename the Passat to Americanize it?

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        It is usually clear as day on the cards that “[b]y signing this card, you are authorizing the above employee organization to represent you for purposes of collective bargaining,” or something to that effect.

        When the designated organizers bring cards around, that is when the misrepresentation occurs, when they state that “you can sign this card to get more information on whether a union is right for this place.”

        And of course, once 50% + 1 of a potential bargaining-unit has signed cards, the union isn’t going to be so silly as to have an election. At least what I know under Ohio State Employee Relations Board rules, that’s enough to certify an employee organization. (I’m not sure what the NLRB’s rules are, but given the political climate in Washington, and the current makeup of the NLRB, it’s short-sighted NOT to think that the NLRB rules would favor the union heavily.) That’s how I was..well, let’s just say that that’s how my county government IT group was unionized. To date, I’ve lost over $5,000 out of my pocket for nothing. Any steps I’ve received (2) are not enough to make up for the direct loss in dues, and to make things worse, there was no “fair share” provision–we were told that the “fair share” and “normal” dues were the same. At some point, I’m going to put together a spreadsheet to see how much more I’d have to be making to get over the dues hump. In fact, since this whole thing was thrust upon myself and my other colleagues in 2007, NOT ONE GRIEVANCE has been filed, and our department has been fine otherwise; our budget’s been crimped, but we’re still getting by.

        Worse yet, in the stereotypical union fashion, one of my “colleagues” is as useless as the mammary glands on a boar-hog, and SIMPLY CANNOT DO HER JOB, sits on her dead backside, and she cannot be touched! (At least she’s not at the top of the pay scale where I am–THAT I KNOW OF!! I just choose not to look, as I might become violently ill!) Note I said ** stereotypical! ** No flame wars, please! Part of the reason for this organization, under the auspices of the IBEW, outside of “usual” public-sector unions, is the fact that one of our former Network Technician’s late brother was a local IBEW muckety-muck, so of course, this guy wanted to help his brother out, and this guy managed to stir enough waters over time, starting with the Techs, then progressing into the programmers (using vague language on the “Request for Recognition” documents for the position names in order to throw casual observers off the trail).

        So yes, as stated, the implications are ON THE CARDS, if anybody had a fair chance, or even wished at all, to read them.

        • 0 avatar
          sgeffe

          Just looked at the pic–any lawyer worth their salt, even an anti-union once, isn’t going to be able to stop that verbiage. “We choose….” Done deal! Kiss your wallet goodbye!

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      The BS detector should have gone off when they read the statement “…we can make the Passat the #1 car in the United States”.

  • avatar
    xtoyota

    Several Union thugs come up to you and tell you that you need to sign these cards……. what do you do ????

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      Sign it “Mick E. Mouse”?

    • 0 avatar
      mgs3bes

      Do you look furtively around to see if management thugs are watching you before you quickly sign and turn away before being spotted?

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Union thugs.

      Were the fire fighters who died in 9/11 union thugs?

      Were the teachers in Newton, Connecticut union thugs?

      How about the 19 fire fighters roasted alive in Arizona? Were they union thugs?

      How about the 72 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in 2012? Union thugs?

      What about the nurses in New York City that literally carried critical care patients down flights of stairs during hurricane Sandy? Union thugs?

      What about the NYC fire fighters who tried to save over 100 homes in chest deep tidal surge and 110 MPH winds? Union thugs?

      Love how people toss around union thug. Hope you never need a teacher, nurse, police officer, fire fighter, EMS worker, or other “union thug.”

      • 0 avatar
        carveman

        Nice try but no cigar.The Firefighters union sent out cards to members and retirees asking for support for Chuck Hagle for Defense Secretary. What does that have to do with public safey ? The Teachers unions did more harm to public employees than any school board ever did. Turned the whole country against them. Skip school adn appear on TV in Madison and laugh about how your getting sick slips from greasy union doctors. You dont get to use the memory of those firefighters to advance your agenda. The unions are corrupt money grabbing crooks and the only agenda they serve are their own. The upper tier is not different than the corporate fat cats they use as examples to stir up the “wurkin man “

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          You sum it up well in the past few lines.

        • 0 avatar
          mr.cranky

          I can tell you that the folks in the electrical union I was part of were definitely not “union thugs”. They were custodians, who prior to having an union, were not paid fairly and were not treated fairly by management.

          You should be ashamed of repeating the typical right-wing talking points on unions.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        Yes – possibly – to all your questions.

        Working in a service career does not imbue sainthood.

        Our society makes the same mistake with veterans, describing them as ‘the greatest generation’ like they walk on water. They’re just as prone to human fault as the rest of us.

      • 0 avatar
        Silvy_nonsense

        Public employee unions are a far cry from their private sector counterparts. It’s a stupid comparison. Flying the flag and yelling “hereos” is a pretty lame way to bend opinion, especially on these topics. The dangers these public employees face have nothing at all to do with whether or not they are union represented.

        Just out of curiosity, were these the same union members who were told that they were required to sign up for the union and pay union dues or they couldn’t work?

        Are these the same union employees who elect union executives from among their own ranks, taking valuable, highly trained public servants off the street and putting them into an office doing union business while they continue to draw their tax payer funded salary, doing work with no direct benefit to the public?

        Maybe you’re talking about the union presidents who, instead of fighting fires and rescuing survivors from accidents are out at a fancy lunch with the mayor? Dining heroically, no doubt.

        • 0 avatar
          sgeffe

          That was what killed the campaign in Ohio a couple years ago that would have reigned-in the public-sector unions: not exempting the public-safety employees from the rules; that may or may not have been hyped-up to benefit the anti-SB5 crowd.

      • 0 avatar
        05lgt

        Not all union members are union organizers. Just check where the paycheck comes from. If it’s from the UAW, that’s the union thug. If it’s FDNY, the juries still out.

      • 0 avatar
        toxicroach

        I can’t really imagine a reason for this card system except to exert pressure on people.

        There’s a reason why voting is secret, and it’s because if you published a list of who voted for who, people could use that to pressure, shame, or otherwise intimidate voters. I can tell you that I’d have family and friends bitching at me if they knew who I voted for President. So I can’t help but think the reason Unions love card check so much is so they can pressure people. Not thugs breaking things as much as getting social pressure from friends and coworkers.

  • avatar
    mgs3bes

    No doubt the anti-union folks are being bank-rolled by those who want to continue to keep the middle-class in their place: scared, unorganized, and fearful of the power of management.

    No doubt the workers would like to have a voice but are so fearful of retribution that they make happyface with anyone who asks their opinion on the record.

    Auto manufacturers in Germany have always been unionized. Why do we still buy so many German cars?

    • 0 avatar
      Silvy_nonsense

      The pro-union side is being bankrolled by the UAW, which isn’t exactly a highly efficient, well run, member-focused organization. They are taking current member union dues and, instead of using them toward pensions and other programs with direct benefit to the current dues payers, the UAW is spending those dues on recruiting new members. This self-perpetuates the wasteful, ineffective UAW bureaucracy at the expense of the well-being of current members.

      You seem to think that the UAW gives a dang about the middle class. Sorry, but the UAW does not. No union that endorses a two-tier wage structure has any credibility at all.

      Unity, solidarity, and fraternity for all, except new hires, who get half as much money for the same amount of work. If that’s the UAW’s idea of hard-nosed negotiating that benefits all members fairly, I’m scared to think what they’d do if they stopped trying. Maybe the UAW has stopped trying? How else can you explain such an absurd arrangement?

      • 0 avatar
        mgs3bes

        Not having sat in their negotiations (have you?) perhaps that’s the best deal they could negotiate. If management wouldn’t give equal pay to all workers maybe it’s better to get more for some workers now and get more later for everybody else. Maybe management wanted to cut EVERYBODY’S by half. Do YOU know? And your last statement is truer than you think. What WOULD happen if they stopped trying? Maybe it’s 1880 all over again.

    • 0 avatar
      toxicroach

      Maybe. Maybe the workers don’t want to join a Union that at best, didn’t prevent the screwing of its members, and at worst helped with the screwing.

      I wouldn’t want to join a union where the new guys make 1/4th of what the older workers make.

  • avatar
    Crabspirits

    Can anybody tell me what typical union dues are?

    I want to know what the guy in the news video is paying just to “improve communication” with his employer.

    • 0 avatar
      Silvy_nonsense

      It’s a fair question, but its sort of like asking “How much does a car cost?” There are lots of variables.

      I worked at a large company with a national contract. I’d guess about 30,000 employees were union members. Ten years ago, if I remember correctly the employees paid $23 per month, which was auto deducted from their pay check. However, this union only represented employees in meetings if they got in trouble and negotiated during contract time. This union didn’t administer pensions or healthcare, so the monthly contributions were pretty small where I worked.

      In my state, the law requires employees working in a union shop to pay union dues BUT they can opt into only paying for services that directly benefit the employee (contract negotiations, representation in disciplinary meetings, etc.) This meant that you weren’t required to pay for organizing activities and other B.S. and it dropped your monthly contribution down to $10 or $13 per month (I can’t remember which figure is correct). It’s pretty frightening that around half a person’s union dues in this example were thrown out the window on activities that benefit the union bureaucracy and do not in any way directly benefit the dues payers.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      “Can anybody tell me what typical union dues are?” There is no such thing as “typical” union dues. It varies from trade to trade, union to union, location to location, and job to job.

      My dad paid 15% each payday that was automatically deducted from his paycheck. He was a Master Electrician (Shipboard) with the IBEW in Southern California (San Pedro Dock Works).

      The secretary at the firm where he worked paid 5% every payday. She was my Mom’s cousin who transferred from the Naval Yard at Groton, Conn.

      When my mom belonged to the SEIU she paid 8% every payday to the union. They didn’t do sh!t for her, so she quit and started her own business making and selling artisan pottery along the PCH, US 101. And still those union types pressured her to remain a member. WTF for? She was her own boss and sole proprietor! Who was she going to “negotiate” with? Herself?

      When my dad left the civilian workforce and became a WG-12 in Civil Service, the Government Employee union Steward at that location approached him with membership documents, peptalk and lots of gas-pressure, but my dad declined to join.

      It would have cost him 7.5% for union representation each payday but there really was doodly squat that unions could do for him since he was at Foreman level 4, in essence a part of Management.

      Then they offered him a newly-created Arbitration Steward position within the union, effectively making him the mouthpiece for the union with his supervisor and bosses. He also declined that.

      There are dues for everyone. The bottom line for the union is always to take as much money as they can from the working stiffs to fund the partying for the union fatcats. Healthcare, Life Insurance, Educational Grants, all could be obtained through Civil Service channels at a lower cost than through the union.

      What I am interested in is the nagging question, “What, exactly, can a union do TODAY for any member that the US government mandates, the NLRB and the EEOC have not already provided for?”

      Let’s hear it from the pro-union boys and girls. I bet the silence will be deafening!

      • 0 avatar
        Hillman

        Not being an at will employee and having protections is nice. There is something to be said about knowing that you have someone else to review your performance reviews and personal decisions to prevent a bad manager from targeting you. Protection from retaliation for doing the right thing. I could go on but I don’t think it will make much of a difference for those anti union. Like everything in life, there are examples of bad outcomes like the people getting rehired after drinking on the job but those were the rules the employer and employee agreed to.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          “I could go on but I don’t think it will make much of a difference for those anti union. ”

          My dad was helped immensely by his union, at first, to overcome the bias against hiring him. And here’s the backstory:

          My dad, being 100% Portuguese was a 1946 legal immigrant to the US. And all that went well, until he tried to find work on the East Coast, after he arrived in the US.

          Being of very dark Portuguese complexion, with curly, wavy hair, he was often mistaken by potential employers for being a negro, at a time when being a negro wasn’t cool.

          It didn’t matter that he put Caucasian on the employment application. Nobody believed him because, surely, he was some sort of a half-breed, although he had none of the negroid features.

          So in late 1946 he and my German-American Mom decided to try their luck on the West Coast, in Huntington Beach, CA, where she had relatives, and where society was more accepting of dark skinned people.

          At that time the US was decommissioning many of the vessels of its Fleet on the West Coast and my dad’s Marine Electrical skills qualified him for all jobs he applied for, but the bias against hiring him remained. Until………

          One of my Mom’s relatives knew a union-man who knew a Steward of an Electrical union who could put my dad in touch with the right people at the union hall, and once my dad got introduced, showed them his qualification papers and they realized he was not a negro, all the pieces for a successful career fell into place, and he was off to the races.

          So the union helped him immensely to get off to a great start. But the story doesn’t end there, and that’s where all the negative stuff, like go-slow or work-slowdown, a-man-for-every-job, etc., began to rear its ugly head.

          My dad put up with that, and the dues paying, for a very, very long time.

          Again, as fate would have it, an unexpected connection at the Dock Yards put him in touch with an OPM Rep, scouting to find qualified people to work as electricians in Federal Civil Service, to oversee the contractors hired by the agencies to do the government’s work.

          And the rest is history. My dad retired from Civil Service at the ripe old age of 65, a free, non-union man.

          But now, things have changed and adversity has been replaced with diversity. And there are all sorts of avenues for recourse if an employee suspects bias or mistreatment. All thanks to government mandates.

          Where does the union fit in?

          • 0 avatar
            mgs3bes

            The contract is between management and the union. The two sides work collectively to make work go smoothly WITHOUT requiring expensive and time-consuming government or legal intervention.

            When a contract is signed both sides know what is and isn’t acceptable and there are procedures in place to correct problems that COULD lead to legal intervention.

            Contracts prevent work stoppages and ensure that the needs of both management and labor are met.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Union contracts prevent work stoppages? Whatever your game is, this website should put a stop to it. I’ve never called for anyone to be banned. I never voted in Bertel’s survivor polls. We’ve had obvious shills here before, but your lack of consistency, disregard for the truth and the consequences of the cancer you promote are reprehensible. You’ve obviously never done an honest day’s work in your life. The only people that might be clueless enough to be influenced by your rhetoric are sheltered college students. It wouldn’t have worked on me though, as I was a Teamster unloading trucks before class at 18 years of age, so I never had the luxury of being completely ignorant of the corrupting influence of the unions on people and institutions. The criminal enterprises you lobby for have already cost huge swathes of Americans their middle class existences. Advocating for more of the same can’t be explained away by mere idiocy. You’re evil.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            mgs3bes, your premise is difficult to accept, especially for someone like me who grew up in a union household and learned about the good, the bad, and the ugly of unions over a period of decades.

            Your statement, “When a contract is signed both sides know what is and isn’t acceptable” conflicts with the smokin’ and tokin’ during work hours that Chrysler employees were caught doing, just to mention ONE conflict of terms.

            That wasn’t acceptable! Yet, because of union contracts, there were no repercussions. These guys are still building cars, and more than likely doubling down on their smokin’ and tokin’ during their lunch breaks since they got away with it the first time.

            Driving their employers into bankruptcy also wasn’t acceptable, yet the UAW got away with it, and was rewarded with $50B taxpayer dollars as a result, and their obligations were nationalized.

            The current government mandates levied on employers already meet and exceed the needs of labor.

            While I am always willing to consider someone else’s point of view or belief, I find your position on this incredulous.

            Are we talking about the same UAW here that wrecked the US auto industry, or are you in Canada, Mexico or Germany where unions behave differently than in the US?

            BTW, MY belief is that employees have to decide for themselves if they want a union to represent them. I don’t care either way because I won’t be working there.

            My conundrum is that with all the rules, regulations and mandates already levied upon ALL manufacturers by the US government, what more can any union do for its potential members?

          • 0 avatar
            mgs3bes

            When one human being refers to another as “evil” I think it says more about the writer than the object of the derision. That sort of behavior is disgusting and beneath contempt even on an anonymous board.

            And that car that you apparently love on your avatar was built by union labor. Does that make YOU evil, sir?

            Enjoy your hatred, friend.

          • 0 avatar
            mgs3bes

            Highdesertcat,

            Do really believe that unions killed the auto industry? Really? Did workers insist on designing cars no on wanted? Did workers stubbornly stick with cars like the Vega and the Pinto when customers could buy Toyotas and Hondas even when they cost more?

            The workers just built’em. The build quality was bad because the lines were speeded up too much to do good work. The desire of management was to crank’em out regardless of quality.

            Stop blaming workers for stupid management decisions. The reason Saturn was initially successful was because of the management/labor partnership and the willingness of management to LISTEN to workers and make worthwhile changes to increase production.

            Who screwed up Saturn? Was it workers or managment? You can’t blame those decisions on the average line worker. Be fair.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            mgs3bes, to your question I have to answer that I truly believe that the UAW was a very large part, and in fact instrumental, in the killing of the US Auto industry.

            Had the UAW not been involved, the Mass Exodus to the foreign brands would not have happened, IMO.

            People on your side of the fence would like the rest of us to believe that unions can do no wrong. That’s a hard sell for anyone that has ever been unhappy with their UAW-made vehicle.

            And more people were unhappy with their UAW-made vehicles than were unhappy with the foreign-brands and transplants. That’s why so many buyers voted with their feet and into the open arms of the foreign brands.

            But I can live with that, because ultimately it is up to each individual buyer to buy UAW-made if they support what the UAW has done to the US auto industry; or not.

            Anyone who has owned UAW-made vehicles can attest that assembly was the pits, for decades. That points to the disgruntled line worker, doing their bit to sabotage their employer by leaving off parts, shoddy assembly, etc.

            Plenty of documented evidence for that. Can’t rewrite history, although the UAW tries to with its propaganda.

            As an aside, and to illustrate just how fair and objective I am, we bought a UAW-made 2012 Grand Cherokee, imported from Detroit. I’d say that’s pretty damn fair, wouldn’t you say so?

            We chose that vehicle because of the styling, color and Daimler engineering. The fact that it was UAW-made caused much trepidation on our part since we bought new UAW-made vehicles until 2008, and already knew what to expect from the UAW assemblers.

            Again, in all fairness, Sergio Marchionne and the BoD of Fiat have done a marvelous job marginalizing the UAW and ensuring that this product they bring to market from their Chrysler subdivision is phenomenal!

            I can’t quite say the same about the 2014 Grand Cherokees that my wife’s three sisters bought this year because they have already been back to the dealerships for a slew of electronic glitches, fueling issues and transmission shifting mushiness.

            Clearly, Daimler was not involved in the development of the 2014 Grand Cherokee.

            GM’s management was indeed pretty bad by anyone’s standard but coupled with a disgruntled UAW work force demanding ever higher wages and benefits as their employer lay in the market place, bleeding losses, they never had a chance.

            The UAW got what they wanted. They killed two of their employers and were rewarded with bailouts, handouts and nationalization, at tax payers’ expense.

            Indeed, America has changed!

          • 0 avatar
            mgs3bes

            I appreciate the comments, highdesertcat. I do not think that unions can do no wrong. At the same time, I reject the comments from some here that management has done nothing but right. The way GM changed and marketed its Pontiac, Oldsmobile, and Saturn divisions was abominable. I feel that US automakers believed they owned the world market and failed to take the competition seriously. I believe a lot of the shoddy workmanship on cars from the 1970s on were due in large part to demands of management to choose quantity over quality. There is a reason nobody wants mid-1970s and later cars as collector cars.

            I believe the consumer is free to buy whatever automobile they want. And I never bought into the “Buy American” stuff in the old days.

            I believe that workers have a right to organize, free from management interference and if workers are fearful of management in the first place, then it’s MANAGEMENT that brings it on themselves.

            These workers in Tennessee should be allowed to organize if a majority of them choose. I believe that much of what I have read about the situation has been propagandized by both sides, especially the anti-union folks, in my opinion.

            But when I hear people refer to unions as “thugs” and “evil” that is just plain wrong. After all, this nation was nearly brought to its knees in 2008 by the fat cats, not unions.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            mgs3bes, I have always maintained that I believe it is up to the employees to decide if they want to be unionized or not, but I have yet to learn what unions today can provide to their members over and above what the employers are already mandated to provide by the government.

            The never-ending union-chant of more money and greater benefits for less work just doesn’t cut it because employers need to be profitable. Unions by and large prevent that. Plenty of documented evidence.

            Employers have the obligation to look out for the shareholders and owners of an enterprise. Labor is expendable and easily replaced. They come and they go. They have no skin in the game because they can leave any time they choose but an employer cannot readily fire someone in most cases without due course and a lengthy documentation process.

            Labor takes no risks, has no money invested in the enterprise, and does not have to answer to the government.

            Unions want to share in the profits but have no skin to lose in case of losses. Helloffa deal, if they can get it.

            It should not surprise anyone then that European car makers are bringing their factories to the US, because it is cheaper to produce here IF the unions are kept out, like in the Right-to-Work states.

            But ultimately, if the Americans employed by VW in TN decide to join the UAW, they deserve everything that VW does in response to that; Like maybe shut the place down at the break-even point and move elsewhere.

          • 0 avatar
            mgs3bes

            No skin in the game? Are you kidding? Shareholders can buy and sell their shares any time they wish. Companies can just up and move anywhere they wish (China, anyone?) Labor is expendable and easily replaced? Good grief, man, you are talking about human beings. Do you value the investor over the person? Is the man with the dollars more valuable than the human being who’s just trying to raise his family and acquire some of the middle class goods he produces?

            There should be a balance between the man who invests his money in an enterprise and the workers who help to produce the goods that emerge from that enterprise. You cannot have one without the other and it isn’t fair for one side to hold all the cards and the other to have to beg for a fair deal.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      1% of gross pay, IBEW (at least that how I’m being siphoned).

      Now just thought of this: in all fairness, unions serve a function if they are providing healthcare, pension, etc. If not, there’s less of a case to be made for their existence.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        sgeffe, 15% a pay period at a time when my dad made $100 a week was $15. 1% each pay period today when a man makes $1000 a week is $10, and the employer has to provide many of the benefits that the union used to provide its members. The costs have shifted unto the employer because of government mandates.

        BTW, due to a technicality my dad never got to claim his IBEW pension or retiree health benefits. I don’t know all the details because I wasn’t interested in such things back then, but his Federal Civil Service Retirement System and Federal Employee Health Benefits Program coverage more than made up for it, PLUS he got Social Security Retirement from the years he worked before joining civil service.

        That’s why I believe unions of any kind are redundant, because the US government has already mandated what an employer needs to provide their employees.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    This apparent controversy could all have been avoided with a two thirds majority on an “up/down” vote as opposed to a simple majority and seemingly dishonest voting tactics.

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    Secret ballot and make joining the union and paying dues completely voluntary.

    I though these were American principles that everyone agreed on, but I can be so naive sometimes.

    • 0 avatar
      Waterview

      +1 Ummmmm, nailed it!

    • 0 avatar
      Silvy_nonsense

      “make joining the union and paying dues completely voluntary”

      I hear what you’re saying, but in many states, the law requires employees to join a union and pay union dues if they go to work in a union shop. In some states, you can refuse to join the union, but you will still have to pay all or partial dues. In some states, Tennessee probably being one (I’m guessing), you can’t be compelled to join a union or pay union dues.

      • 0 avatar
        jacob_coulter

        No one should be forced to join a Union. Period.
        Every state should be a right-to-work state. In Germany, union membership is voluntary.

        To force someone to be a part of a political group (and take money out of their paycheck to fund it) as a prerequisite for employment is simply unamerican.

        How that’s Constitutional in ANY state is beyond me.

  • avatar
    old5.0

    They should form an anti-union union.

  • avatar
    forraymond

    Uneducated, easily manipulated workers elected republicans to their own detriment. It is no wonder they have swallowed the republican bull shit that unions are bad. Employee abuse is bad, unsafe working conditions are bad, damage to the environment is bad, deregulation is bad, lack of workers right to redress wrongs is bad. STUPID TENNESSEE REPUBLICANS.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      Yes, those stupid Tennessee workers who are too dumb to realize that the non-union factories owned and operated by Honda, Nissan and Toyota in this country are about to become Victorian hellholes straight out of a Dickens novel any day now.

      Never mind, of course, that those same factories have avoided that fate for three decades.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Give it time, the slow squeeze continues across the board, Or are you denying that the income gap in this country is not widening at an alarming rate and the middle class is getting squeezed out?

        • 0 avatar
          geeber

          We’re talking about the North American transplant operations of Honda, Nissan and Toyota – factories that employ Americans and Canadians in jobs with decent pay and good benefits.

          Or are you denying that the non-union workers at the Honda, Nissan and Toyota factories in this country and Canada are paid fairly and treated well?

          We all know that you have burr under your saddle when it comes to Toyota, but no one has credibly claimed that its North American factories are sweatshops.

          The percentage of the American private-sector workforce that belongs to a union peaked in 1953 at roughly 34 percent, and has been in a steady decline ever since. That decline took hold long before Toyota, Honda, and Nissan came on the scene.

          Also note that “middle class” and “unionized” are not synonymous.

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            And yet, our union employed parents (or grand parents) enjoyed the highest standard of living in the world, put a man on the moon, built the Eisenhower Highway System, won the Cold War, built the TVA, and created the Internet. They enjoyed largely free or low cost college, home ownership programs, pensions, and fully paid benefits. That Communist Harry Truman almost doubled the minimum wage in 1949.

            I’m so glad I have people to protect me from those horrible years today, yes, those unions ruined everything.

            And give me a break on the Toyota thing. The Camry is almost 20% fleet! with more cash on the hood than a Fusion, subsidized leases and 0% interest loans plus cash back. The “new” Corolla can be had with a 4-speed. The Tacoma hasn’t had a significant update since 2005. Scion is a dead brand walking. Lexus lost its luxury lead to the Germans, and by Lexus’ admission, likely will never get it back. The Prius C, FJ, and Yaris are on Consumer Reports list of worst cars from a driving stand point. And Toyota has become the recall King, even past the floor mat issue.

            Toyota killed NUMMI because a brand new Mississippi factory was sitting completely unused, and the San Antonio plant would be at less than 50% of planned capacity had Toyota not consolidated SUV operations (plant was designed to crank out 250K Tundras a year originally).

            Oh, and if we’re flying the anti-union flag why is it Toyota manufacturing in Japan is – gasp – unionized.

            So – for Toyota – much that I called them out on is coming into reality. Check out 3 year residuals on a 2014 Corolla. Hint, Toyota is subsidizing.

          • 0 avatar
            geeber

            APaGttH: “And yet, our union employed parents (or grand parents) enjoyed the highest standard of living in the world, put a man on the moon, built the Eisenhower Highway System, won the Cold War, built the TVA, and created the Internet. They enjoyed largely free or low cost college, home ownership programs, pensions, and fully paid benefits. That Communist Harry Truman almost doubled the minimum wage in 1949.”

            Unions really didn’t have much, if anything, to do with those achievements. The U.S. economy was the only game in town for many years after 1945 because Europe and Japan were rebuilding from the devastation of World War II, while the Soviet Union and China chose to saddle their economies with the inefficient, unworkable communist system.

            Also note that the Great Depression had depressed this nation’s birth rate, while World War II and the Korean War resulted in the deaths of a fair number of wage earners.

            American companies had little or no foreign competition. The auto, steel, tire and heavy equipment industries were basically organized as unionized oligopolies. Workers did benefit from this lack of competition. The tighter labor supply, which was result of the Great Depression and World War II, also helped.

            In time, however, consumers didn’t benefit as much. The system led to lots of inefficiencies and sloppy practices, resulting in the clunkers that were rolling out of GM, Ford and Chrysler factories by 1974.

            That is why plenty of Americans in 1980 were happy to swap their junky Chevrolet Chevettes and Plymouth Horizons for Toyota Corollas and Honda Civics.

            “APaGtth: I’m so glad I have people to protect me from those horrible years today, yes, those unions ruined everything.”

            Unionizing the private-sector workforce won’t bring back those years, because unions weren’t responsible for them in the first place. You’ll have to again reduce Europe and Japan to rubble, and this time make sure you do the same to Mexico, Brazil, China, India and various Asian countries while you’re at it.

            At any rate, I’m still not seeing any proof that Honda, Nissan and Toyota are running sweat shops in this country or Canada. The workers in those facilities seem to be doing fine without union representation.

            APaGttH: “And give me a break on the Toyota thing. The Camry is almost 20% fleet! with more cash on the hood than a Fusion, subsidized leases and 0% interest loans plus cash back.”

            That’s awful…except, of course, that fleet sales still constitute a smaller percentage of total Camry sales than they do Ford Fusion or Chevrolet Malibu sales. Despite this, the Camry retains its best-seller title. The Camry also regularly outscores the much-ballyhooed Malibu in comparison tests.

            I’m not wild about the Camry, but its main competitor is still the Honda Accord.

            APaGttH: “The Tacoma hasn’t had a significant update since 2005.”

            And its domestic competition is either dead (Ford Ranger, Dodge Dakota) or even worse (the Chevrolet Colorado). I’m guessing that is one reason why Toyota doesn’t feel pressured to bring out an updated version.

            APaGttH: “Scion is a dead brand walking. Lexus lost its luxury lead to the Germans, and by Lexus’ admission, likely will never get it back.”

            Yet Lexus is still ahead of Cadillac and Lincoln in prestige.

            APaGttH: “The Prius C, FJ, and Yaris are on Consumer Reports list of worst cars from a driving stand point. And Toyota has become the recall King, even past the floor mat issue.”

            Toyota has had problems. You are correct about that. It still manages to outscore all of the domestics and Europeans in the annual Consumer Reports reliability surveys, along with that publication’s overall ranking of companies.

            APaGttH: “Toyota killed NUMMI because a brand new Mississippi factory was sitting completely unused, and the San Antonio plant would be at less than 50% of planned capacity had Toyota not consolidated SUV operations (plant was designed to crank out 250K Tundras a year originally).”

            In other words, Toyota management makes sure that the company retains sufficiently flexibility to manage its production footprint, which, in turn, allows it to maximize the efficiency of its production facilities in the United States.

            This, in turn, keeps the company profitable so that it can continue to develop new products.

            This is bad in what way…?

            APaGttH: “Oh, and if we’re flying the anti-union flag why is it Toyota manufacturing in Japan is – gasp – unionized.”

            Japanese autoworker unions are nothing like the UAW. They are basically the Japanese version of “company unions,” which were banned by the Wagner Act in this country. The militant faction of the Japanese autoworker union was broken by Nissan in a bitter strike during the early 1950s.

            This is all detailed very thoroughly in David Halberstam’s excellent 1986 book, The Reckoning.

      • 0 avatar
        Crabspirits

        Kinda makes you wonder if Union supporters have their insurance coverages maxxed out, and extended warranty on their toaster.

        Or maybe they all just wake up sweating from a nightmare involving a cigar-chomping slavedriver in a bowler hat?

        Because extorting your employer to death just so you can fill your entitled pockets can’t possibly be a motive for such a noble cause.

        • 0 avatar
          mgs3bes

          I was in a Home Depot and I was asking about their working conditions and mentioned maybe they ought to have a union to voice their concerns. The guy narrowed his eyes at me and looked around and said, and I am not making this up, that any mention of the world “union” and management guys start to follow you around making you feel really uncomfortable.

          So you see, workers aren’t exactly free to express their opinions or desires in front of their everylovin’ managers, are they?

          That doesn’t sound very “American” to me. What is it about “the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave?” That is, except at work where your boss rules. Am I wrong?

          • 0 avatar
            Silvy_nonsense

            Employees who want to organize have to do it on their own time. The NLRB won’t protect union organizers who don’t follow the rules. Organizing on the clock is a total no-no. That’s a good way for workers to screw up an organizing campaign.

            Even once you’re in a union, represented employees can’t do union work on company time. If your boss makes you mad and you want to file a grievance, you can’t do that while you are clocked in.

      • 0 avatar
        billfrombuckhead

        Only because of the threat of unionization do Japanese car plany workers have it OK. In Japan many of their factories are barely better than Foxconn.

        http://www.foxnews.com/world/2010/06/21/disgruntled-worker-drives-people-mazda-plant-japan-killing-injuring/

        inthesetimes.com/article/3796/the_dark_side_of_the_toyota_prius

        • 0 avatar
          geeber

          A common but incorrect view. The Japanese emphasize worker participation, and expect the worker to contribute ideas to improve the produce and the process. They aren’t going to attract workers who can make a positive contribution to the final product by hiring people who will work for the minimum wage.

          The inthesetimes article may impress the gullible, but the self-appointed “National Labor Committee” relied on second-hand information for its “report,” so anything it produces should be taken with a rock-sized grain of salt.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      @forraymond: Please detail how the non-unionized autoworkers in this country are suffering from employee abuse, unsafe working conditions, environmental harm, deregulation, and no employee rights.

      Gimme a break from that rhetoric.

      You know, it’s not 1880 any more. The media/internet, along with OSHA and the Department of Labor, will prevent these sorts of abuses – not to mention job mobility and corporate competition for good workers.

      The silence is deafening.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        We wouldn’t have regulations, OSHA, paid overtime, and basic benefits without unions.

        The bigger issue is the need has run its course, and the current electorate can’t remember a time without. So of course, these benefits will still exist, union or not.

        Here is an interesting question – if the UAW disappeared tomorrow, and the automakers could negotiate as “take it or leave it,” would Honda, Subaru, Toyota, Nissan, et al still offer their basically union grade packages – or would they downgrade to match what, ehem, the market will accept. Let’s remember when the economy tanked and buyers rejected the redesigned 2008 Tundra, San Antonio workers were kept on the payroll planting flowers outside and watching PowerPoint decks on Toyota history. That’s called a job bank in a union world – Toyota made a no-layoff promise prior to the meltdown, good way to keep a union out. They didn’t break that promise either – but if it didn’t exist in the first place, would workers get the same deal? I think the answer is pretty obvious,

        Finally, despite all the great jobs created in the south, there is no clear financial impact on improving the south’s poverty level, low education standards, low health standards, or increasing a tax base. In many cases, these factories are in the south because state governments gave away the farm with massive tax shelters for the corporations, passed on to the citizens.

        It is what it is – the UAW sure aren’t sainted – but union bad is a very simplistic view. There is strong evidence all around the world what happens when big business calls the shots with near impunity – it isn’t pretty.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          You raise some very interesting question APaGtth, well done.

          I would argue in the case of the San Antonio facility’s “jobs bank”, its much wiser to pay folks so sit around near idle while you retool then to fire them and hire them back. Toyota has traditionally held a long term view of their business and in the long term I think it makes more sense to keep your workforce happy (and earn their loyalty) when times are tough. When things turn around you’ll have higher morale/attitude among your experienced workers then bringing in inexperienced replacements or rehires who may feel resentful toward your company.

        • 0 avatar
          geeber

          APaGttH: Here is an interesting question – if the UAW disappeared tomorrow, and the automakers could negotiate as “take it or leave it,” would Honda, Subaru, Toyota, Nissan, et al still offer their basically union grade packages – or would they downgrade to match what, ehem, the market will accept.”

          Probably not, given that these companies have adopted the philosophy of continuous improvement to both their products and processes. These companies expect workers to make suggestions that will improve the process and, ultimately, the final product.

          These companies obviously want workers who can provide intelligent, workable suggestions, and a certain level of pay and benefits is required to attract such workers.

          APaGtth: “Finally, despite all the great jobs created in the south, there is no clear financial impact on improving the south’s poverty level, low education standards, low health standards, or increasing a tax base. In many cases, these factories are in the south because state governments gave away the farm with massive tax shelters for the corporations, passed on to the citizens.”

          And despite all of those auto-related jobs in around Detroit, it still went bankrupt, and despite the presence of a major Ford plant in Chicago, the city is still under severe financial stress. And check out the subsidies and infrastructure improvements that Illinois and Chicago have provided to the Ford plant over the years, and Michigan and Detroit have provided to the Chrysler plant.

          There are also still lots of poor people in both cities, and the schools are a mess. I also know that, having visited both rural Mississippi and downtown Detroit, which area I’d feel more safe in at 3 a.m. without a weapon. Hint – it’s not Detroit.

          Taken together, our examples prove that the presence of a major auto assembly operation is not, in and of itself, enough to ensure the fiscal stability of a municipality or a state.

          Which, again, has nothing to do with Honda, Nissan or Toyota exploiting their North American workers or treating them badly. I have yet to see any credible evidence of this.

      • 0 avatar
        mgs3bes

        Oh sure. And everybody is just happy to be there and management in its benevolent despotism always looks out for its employees and it’s just one big happy family!

        Kumbaya!

        Look, business is about profit and only gives workers what they can get away with and still maximize profit. Workers want higher wages and better benefits. It’s adversarial right down the line. One side needs the other, MUST have the other and BOTH sides should have a say. If you trust that management always does the right thing, I give you…the Pontiac Aztek! Did wages and benefits kill Pontiac or did stupid management do it?

      • 0 avatar
        Hillman

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upper_Big_Branch_Mine_disaster

        Read that and tell me the situation was not messed up and the workers should have had more protections.

        • 0 avatar
          billfrombuckhead

          They bought the workers off of unionizing with new cars and cash. Now “black lung” is also coming back. They could tell from the autopsies.

          http://www.wvgazette.com/News/montcoal/201305170073

  • avatar
    Wheatridger

    Unions just can’t catch a break these days, can they? They’re opposed by the Communists (China), the Mob (Russia) and the Vulture Capitalists (the U.S. of Us). Guess that shows that Big Money’s interests are the same, no matter the “system.”

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    It’s quite a simple problem to solve.

    If you want to join the union, let them join.

    If you don’t want to be part of the union then don’t.

    If the union has restrictive work practices and can’t do the work and the non union member does the work pay the non union member extra cash for being flexible.

    When jobs are cut in the future look at who is the greater asset for the company, keep them the flexible workers and fire the least attractive asset.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Makes sense to me – and I’ll add secret ballots for union votes. Management would need something in place to assure that if an operation is 35% union! they do 35% of the work – to prevent a perception of favoring one group or another.

    • 0 avatar
      Silvy_nonsense

      Those are decent ideas, but the U.S. has two hundred years of law and regulation at the local, state and federal levels that contradict the notion that the problem is simple.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Simple, all laws prior to X automatically expire on Jan 1 20xx, and those beyond X must be reviewed and renewed in ten years time else they too expire. The idea that any regulation written by man is meant to last “forever” without review is simply ludicrous.

    • 0 avatar
      mgs3bes

      Managment ought to encourage union organization. If the Company is so great, and what they offer is so great, what are they afraid of? The reality is that managment calls the shots and workers can toe the line or quit. Riiiight!

      In Germany, where VW is from (remember?) every industry is unionized. And look at how we rever the Germans for their engineering and their quality. That’s part of the deal and the Germans know it, understand it, work with, and excel.

      I think management is so used to having it all their own way that they can’t bear the idea of having to sit across the table from the WORKERS and have to bargain with them.

      So let them join. Management ought to get out of the way and let the workers organize and then show everybody how great they really are. Satisfied workers are better workers. Right now, we don’t really know, do we? They say they are satisfied, but they are afraid to speak out for fear of losing their jobs.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Parents ought to encourage crack smoking and truancy too. All we really know is that UAW autoworkers are a burden wherever they’ve infiltrated.

        • 0 avatar
          mgs3bes

          Nice avatar. I’ll bet that car with the tailfins was built by union labor. I guess they did okay for the public back then.

          Oh, who builds all those Fusions people are buying? Yeah, those UAW goons are a burden all right! And those prices are just way above those VWs they make in Tennessee, right?

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Maybe you should listen to NPR’s show about the NUMMI plant. At least then you’d learn something about reality. The 300G was built by union labor, but it wasn’t built well by union labor.

      • 0 avatar
        toxicroach

        I think we should look at German labor laws and maybe reform our system along those lines.

        I can tell you that our system ain’t working. There has to be a balance where the workers make a good wage while maintaing the companies ability to compete. We haven’t been hitting that balance in the US, which is why nearly every major unionized industry has cratered.

  • avatar
    George B

    Individual VW workers in Chattanooga who don’t want to be part of a union have state law on their side. They can refuse to join the UAW. They can also refuse to pay UAW dues. As of July 1st they can also bring their guns to the parking lot.

    § 50-1-201. Denial of employment because of affiliation or nonaffiliation with labor union.

    It is unlawful for any person, firm, corporation or association of any kind to deny or attempt to deny employment to any person by reason of such person’s membership in, affiliation with, resignation from, or refusal to join or affiliate with any labor union or employee organization of any kind. (Enacted 1947.)

    § 50-1-202. Contracting for exclusion from employment because of affiliation or nonaffiliation with labor union.

    It is unlawful for any person, firm, corporation or association of any kind to enter into any contract, combination or agreement, written or oral, providing for exclusion from employment of any person because of membership in, affiliation with, resignation from, or refusal to join or affiliate with any labor union or employee organization of any kind. (Enacted 1947.)

    § 50-1-203. Exclusion from employment for payment of or failure to pay union dues.

    It is unlawful for any person, firm, corporation or association of any kind to exclude from employment any person by reason of such person’s payment of or failure to pay dues, fees, assessments, or other charges to any labor union or employee organization of any kind. (Enacted 1947.)


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
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India