By on January 17, 2014

Bob King

The United Auto Workers will, for the first time since 1967, ask their membership to pay a 25 percent increase in dues to the union in order to shore up their strike fund and fight for better contracts, a move outgoing UAW president Bob King believes the membership will overwhelmingly support.

The increase will be voted upon during the UAW’s Constitutional Convention this June, which is also when members will vote for a new president to lead the union in their effort to unionize autoworkers at foreign-owned plants throughout the southeastern United States. Currently, union members pay two hours’ worth of their wages every month; the increase would tack on another 30 minutes of earned income to the strike fund, which has $600 million at the ready, down from a peak of $1 billion.

Speaking of unionization of the South, King believes the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tenn. will soon join the UAW rank and file once an election process is agreed upon. Though the union claims to have received signed cards from a clear majority of the plant’s autoworkers, critics dispute the idea that the UAW has such a majority in place, nor would the plant be unionized without an election.

Volkswagen says they will respect whatever decision their Chattanooga plant makes, with Volkswagen Group of America CEO Michael Horn invoking the values of American democracy in a statement made at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show January 13 regarding the eventual vote to either join the UAW or remain non-union.

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28 Comments on “UAW Dues Hike Supported By Membership According to Union President...”


  • avatar
    Conslaw

    Oh, I see what they’re doing here, they say the dues increase is to bolster the strike fund, I mean, what union member can be against that right? Without the threat of strike, you’ll never get a good contract. BUT they’re USING the money to pay for ORGANIZING southern plants. If they would have come right out and said the money was for organizing the southern plants, I don’t think they’d come anywhere close to a majority.

  • avatar
    kitzler

    Not important if your auto plant is located in a right to work State. If I am correct, you can get the union benefits without paying dues.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Which Michigan is, now. It’s possible the UAW might end up losing money on this.

    • 0 avatar
      racer-esq.

      The big right-to-work problem is that the UAW threw the young workers under the bus, making less than transplant wages, to protect the wages and benefits for the old workers that make up the majority.

      Per the Michigan law the low-tier workers will be free as of the next contract renegotiation.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    @Kitzler

    That’s partially true. It gets complicated.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    I’m sure Bob King went on to say that the rank and file also support his multimillion dollar golden parachute.

    • 0 avatar
      Ron B.

      Of course you are very Correct. Here in Australia, those at the top of unions often get political appointments when a labor party is in government . Our present leader of the opposition is one such union chair polisher ,Bill Shorten, who as an Australian union official has a lot of cashed up skeletons in his plush lined closet. It is never the rank and file who come up with these crazed ideas for rising union dues,but the money hungry,power mad officials at the top. Many of whom have never in their lives have lifted a tool in an honest days work but always manage to manipulate union funds to their own fiscal advantage.
      The Former Australian prime minister julia Gillard has been accused of stealing union funds when she was a union leader, Her BF at the time was Bill Shorten who has also been named as a recipient iof illicit funds. The UAW is no different . I might money on Bob King never having never lifted an airwrench on a production line in his life.He was too busy studying Biz at Uni and deciding on which path paid better and easier to get into,the union boss, or the plant CEO..both pay the same it seems.
      His suggestion of raising union dues is merely a way of increasing revenue within the union,thus giving him an incentive bonus ,payable on his departure from the post. A bonus which will be in the millions.

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        Bob King was skilled trades. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_King_%28labor_leader%29 Some of us union folk can read fancy books with no “pitchers” in them.

    • 0 avatar
      racer-esq.

      Some pigs are more equal.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Well, this is what happens when you join a religion that takes a cut of your pay packet. The rank and file socialist/unionist shouldn’t complain. You don’t hear of many Mormon’s/Seventh Day Adventist/Scientologist complaining.

    I think unions should pay tax like any business. That would justify an increase in dues for the rank and file.

    Unions have input into the businesses at a policy level, just like the managers employed by the business.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      “You don’t hear of many Mormon’s/Seventh Day Adventist/Scientologist complaining.”

      That’s because if they don’t want to pay, they don’t. Workers in right-to-work states will be like the religionists–those that want to, will, while those who don’t, won’t. The problem is for those in closed-shop states where workers either pay or get to look for another job.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Sounds similar to a totalitarian existence.

        Is this a throwback from the Stalinist doctrines that are going out of fashion globally?

        Funny that, the US still has Stalinist’s, as bad Nazism.

        I wonder if any UAW acts where of thuggery, sort of like the way the USSR was formed?

        • 0 avatar
          tonycd

          Yes, yes, having viable labor unions is just like Stalinism. Except that instead of getting herded into gulags and killed, the victims get raises and better working conditions.

          What an awful era the 60s and 70s was for working Americans. Now that under 10% of private-sector workers here are in unions, thanks to Right To Work For Less laws and other welcome reforms enacted since the Reagan years, all of us are so much better off.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @tonycd
            Don’t you think your views are quite narrow on why the US middle class is diminishing?

            What about all the competition from developing countries. Back in the 60s and 70s the Europeans were at the final stages of rebuilding after WWII. Developing were called third world countries and only existed to provide bananas, coffee, coca beans, etc.

            This left the US, Canada, Australia, NZ and a couple of other countries more less unscathed form WWII.

            Back in the 60s and 70s the US represented between 40%-50% of the global economy and had the resources and money to protect the unionist/socialist (UAW/CAW). The US government even bowed down to the UAW and Big 3 (or even 4) and gradually increased protection as the competition from other nation became more pronounced. Bad move.

            But, when the heat was turned up economically the unionist/socialist didn’t want to change their ways.

            Their action made industry uncompetitive because they lacked foresight.

            Give me, give me now. Not ‘what should we do for the future of our jobs and country’.

            All of it due to mismanagement from corporations, government, and most importantly the rank and file.

            Greed.

            A unionist/socialist is the worst form of capitalist. They want what a capitialist has without taking any risk and expending little effort for it.

            A unionist/socialist can’t exist without capitalism.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @tonycd
            I forgot.

            Why do you think the USSR failed and the Chinese will if they move towards democracy. Socialism doesn’t work.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @BAFO

            The Chinese will move toward democracy around the same time the Russians overthrow Tsar Putin.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @28 Cars Before
            Call me Big Al from Oz or you will be relegated into the realms of DiM and Pch101.

            Thanks.

            Now, that is my point. The Chinese will come to a cross road, like the USSR.

            Putin, can’t go on forever. Russia will regress further or it will succeed.

            The Chinese and Russians are very corrupt. The people of those countries have to rise up against the leadership.

            Looking at Russia historically, it just can’t succeed.

            The Chinese have a chance of becoming democratic (I hope).

          • 0 avatar
            mikey

            @ 28 cars later….Give up on “BAFO”… you will certainly feel better for it.

        • 0 avatar
          el scotto

          @BAFO, I would considered myself honored to be thought of in the same neuron fire as PCH101 and all the others you consider beneath your intellectual capacities. Please prattle on with your ignorance. “The Chinese and Russians are very corrupt. The people of those countries have to rise up against the leadership.” Is this some inviolate rule the rest of us are too stupid to understand?

        • 0 avatar
          el scotto

          Well, there’s always corporate thuggery: http://www.hfmgv.org/exhibits/fmc/battle.asp

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @28-Cars-Later,
            Cannot see the Chinese becoming democratic anytime soon, their economy has been liberalized but their politics is as rigid as beforeand now their military are feeling the spirit of 1930′s Japan.

  • avatar
    Number6

    Politicians are getting mighty expensive to buy off these days, aren’t they?

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Lost in the litany of cheap shots, union bashing and other jack-nape comments, a vital point is lost. Labor unions exist to provide collective bargaining for their members. The UAW exists to represent their members at the bargaining table. Sorry to disappoint the cafe Camus’ and bar stool blowhards.

  • avatar
    mikey

    @ el scotto…..”Labor unions exist to provide collective bargaining for their members”

    So many folks struggle with that concept.

    For the record, I paid union dues to both the UAW and the CAW. I always have , and always will, figure I got my moneys worth.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @el scotto
      Socialism existed for ‘collective’ ownership.

      So, why can’t an individual have ownership of his position?

      Why does it need to be collective? To capitalise his/her position.

      Like I stated a unionist/socialist is the worst form of capitalist. Without a true capitalist a unionist/socialist couldn’t exist.

      If everyone was socialist, well, you’d have the USSR. As you can see it was hugely successful.

  • avatar
    mikey

    The 2007 to 2010 era in the North American auto industry, was a nightmare for anybody connected to the buisness. The top dogs at GM, American Axle, Delphi, Ford and Chrysler walked away with millions in bonuses, and guaranteed pensions. The very same people, whose enept, and incopetant management run multi million dollar companys to the ground. Rick W…20 million and a sweet pension for life. Fritz Henderson ai’nt working at Wallmart!

    Many of the middle, and lower management people, that migrated to the spin offs, ended up with f. a. Lots, and lots of salary guys, and girls, were looking forward to cashing in thier shares, to help with retirement. They got pennies on the dollar.

    I was as low on the totem pole as you could get. The CAW went to bat for us.

    Yeah! We took some cut backs, it sucked,but way better than the alternative.

    So you will have to excuse me, if I don’t line up for the union bash.

    Without the union, GM would have left us out in the cold, exactly the way they did for the non union salary workers.

    Rant away guys!


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