By on February 3, 2014

Volkswagen-Chattanooga-Plant-500x333

An article on the UAW’s website claims that workers at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga, Tennessee plant will vote on representation by the UAW from February 12th-14th via a secret ballot. Previously, the union had pushed for a “card check”, but it now looks like the matter will be taken to a vote.

Per the UAW

Together, Volkswagen Group of America (VWGOA) and the UAW will set a new standard in the U.S. for innovative labor-management relations that benefit the company, the entire workforce, shareholders and the community in general. From Feb. 12-14, Volkswagen workers in Chattanooga, Tenn., will decide the issue of union representation in a secret ballot election supervised by the National Labor Relations Board. If the majority of workers vote for UAW representation, workers would then elect a bargaining committee from among VWGOA workers in Chattanooga to negotiate an agreement with the company, including how a works council would operate in the Chattanooga facility based on the principles of co-determination

 

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

64 Comments on “Volkswagen Workers To Vote On UAW Representation Starting February 12th...”


  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Certainly an interesting story. I was trying to think of something witty but I had nothing.

    • 0 avatar
      dantes_inferno

      How about this:

      A yes vote effectively starts the countdown to the VW Chattanooga shutdown.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        No pro-union advocate has ever explained to the great unwashed masses on this site exactly what the UAW can do FOR these employees that they don’t already have, except take a chunk out of their pay check.

        Everyone already knows what the UAW can do TO its members as there is ample reference in automotive history of UAW members getting collectively bargained out of their jobs, and their employers bargained into the financial abyss, death and oblivion.

        This is Deja Vu all over again. If the VW employees choose to go UAW, they are choosing to eliminate their own jobs and have those jobs move south of the border down Mexico way.

        VW has to make money in order to survive in North America. I’d like to see VW build them in China and export them to the US. That would solve all workplace friction between VW management and the UAW.

        But build them in Mexico and import them under NAFTA would be a great second option.

        • 0 avatar
          jim brewer

          VW is reported by the NYT to want the union. That way they can have a worker’s council like they do in Europe. (In the US, such are considered to be captive “yellow dog” unions outlawed by the NLRA).

          VW has at least a half-dozen big problems I can think of, but none of them relate to high wages or the threat of high wages. The main organizer for the union makes a little over $19 per hour. A typical car at that factory has maybe 18 hours of assembly labor that goes into it. Maybe another 18 in pre-assembly. Labor costs are material, but not terribly critical.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Jim, the employees have to decide if they want to go the UAW route, or not.

            It is their decision. They’ll be the ones paying for the privilege of membership and it is they who will suffer the consequences if the choice turns out to be a bad one.

            I was not aware that VW has big problems. But I relate big problems to those experienced with GM products for decades, having owned them and been there and done that.

            Since you mentioned wages, I am certain that will be an issue for contention in the future if they go the UAW route because the UAW is renown for wanting their cut of the profits in the form of higher wages and increased benefits.

            My mom and dad were both union at one time so I grew up in a union-household. Eventually they changed jobs and moved up the career ladder and got out of the union mentality.

            Huge difference between those two perspectives, union and non-union. They both liked the non-union life better.

        • 0 avatar
          Lorenzo

          Unions have SOME utility. They provide a representative at disciplinary and grievance hearings, and in a poorly run factory that can be a huge help. Some companies can play fast and loose with those hearings, skipping parts of NLRB requirements unless the union squawks.

          Unless you’ve worked in a factory, you have no idea how many “Little Hitlers” get hired as managers and supervisors. Top management will wise up in due course, but the L-H’s can cause a lot of disruption and screw people over.

          An on-the-ball shop steward can be a real help in preventing workers from being screwed and provide the documentation that allows management to dump the bad managers. Whether that’s worth the price of a union shop is up to the workers involved.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Lorenzo, I am certain that all the people I hired over the decades to help me do my jobs would consider me a little Hitler when it comes to getting a job done.

            Sh!t rolls down hill and the worker ultimately ends up having to do the work. I was responsible to someone over me.

            But I must also have done something right because a huge number of them stood in line again and again, waiting to be asked to come work on another one of my projects.

            I completely agree that there was a place and a time for unions, a long, long time ago. But with all the government mandated rules and regulations I cannot see where a union fits in today.

            Again, I agree that it is up to the workers themselves to decide if they want to unionize or not.

            We already know of one benefit of unionizing, that at Chrysler for instance, the union endorses drinking and toking on the job and will fight tooth and nail to defend that right of the worker by getting the fired ones their jobs back.

            That’s got to be worth something.

    • 0 avatar
      Superdessucke

      Well, you might at some point soon be able to get a VW with an Audi emblem for no extra cost – when the UAW workers inadvertently affix it to your Tiguan that is.

  • avatar
    Da Coyote

    Does VW not have enough quality problems already?

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I wouldn’t go that far, but I will suggest the additional costs eating into margin and the rest of the UAW non-sense will irritate VAG and they will shutter the plant in a decade’s time.

      • 0 avatar
        1998S90

        You think it will take that long?

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I would say it will take at least as long enough as the contracts with local gov’t for tax abatements require, so figure ten years. The plant opened in 2011 so unless they get really pissed off, I say they stay open at least five years from now, ten on the outside.

          “Volkswagen Chattanooga Assembly Plant (or Chattanooga Operations LLC) is an automobile assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, that began production in April 2011, was formally inaugurated in May 2011, and employs approximately 2,000.[1][2] The plant has a projected annual production of 150,000 cars[3] beginning with a version of the 2012 Passat, tailored to the US market.[3]”

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

          More trivia!

          When the plant was opened they hired a guy to dress in a Darth Vader costume. So its true Emperor Palpatine apparently does own VAG.

          “May 24, 2011: The plant was inaugurated on May 24, 2011, by Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft and the U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood[3] with Klaus Scharioth, German Ambassador to the United States, Bill Haslam, Governor of the U.S. State of Tennessee, Jonathan Browning, President and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, as well as U.S. Senators Robert Corker and Lamar Alexander in attendance. The actor Max Page, who played a small version of Darth Vader in a 2011 Volkswagen television commercial, also attended in costume.”

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      @Da Coyote….Yes, they do have quality problems. Perhaps they could use some positive suggestions from the assembly workers. It took GM about 30 years to figure that out.

    • 0 avatar
      sirwired

      And how would the presence of a union automatically introduce quality problems?

      • 0 avatar
        Da Coyote

        So I guess I must revise my opinion of the many GM piles of junk that I was stupid enough to purchase and blame only management? Sorry, but the blame fell on both sets of folks. Defend them all you want.

        • 0 avatar
          Xeranar

          So that Japanese and European car you purchased was assembled by free market capitalists? Please, we’re the only western country with a far-right economic view. Japan has unionized workers and before you give the spiel ‘they aren’t the same!’ Let me point out that Japan has a much further left government structure than the US. The same for Germany and their heavy unionization. I’m not familiarenough with the Koreans Iif they have genuine unions or their style of management is so inherently inclusive that they don’t need an independent model.

          Quality of build has little to do with unionization. GM was building cars with poor quality control because they could get away with it. That’s is what happens when competition is stifled, not when a living wage is paid.

          • 0 avatar
            tonycd

            Thank you. I knew the moment I saw the headline of this story that it was more click bait.

            I’m reminded of the Westmoreland County VW Rabbit I bought way back when. Upon delivery, it was absolutely defect-free. Paint was very good, panels aligned, absolutely no rattles or squeaks. In the months afterward, it developed what eventually ballooned to a total of 60 separate defects when I lost count. The thermostat in the A/C failed on the first hot day of ownership. A rear shock broke out of its mount and pounded the rear package shelf edge and speaker enclosure into submission from beneath. Screw caps popped off all over the interior. The speedometer and odometer failed.

            Virtually every failure in the car was the failure of a U.S.-sourced component. Each was directly attributable to VW management exercising either low standards, unleavened cost-squeezing and/or sloppy oversight of third-party suppliers. When I told others about the problems with the car, I’d often get the same answer: a knowing smirk and some variation of “stupid careless UAW workers.”

        • 0 avatar
          sirwired

          I didn’t say you should blame only management for lousy cars. I didn’t say the workers were blameless. I didn’t even say the union was blameless.

          I merely asked how the presence of this union in this factory automatically leads to a reduction in quality.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Secret ballot is good. Then we’ll see if Bob King was right about a large majority favoring UAW representation.

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      Yes, a secret ballot, and a third party to supervise/count the votes. Lets assume VW is treating their workers half decently. That being the case, non union will win by 65 to 70 percent.

      If it comes in 50-50 then VW needs to work on their labour relations.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I agree with you but I do wonder if the fix is in. We’ll see.

        • 0 avatar
          mikey

          In Oshawa after decades of crooked elections, we went with an outside accounting firm.

          Expensive, but well worth it.

        • 0 avatar
          sirwired

          Why would you think “the fix is in”?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Politics.

          • 0 avatar
            Lorenzo

            You mean the NLRB, the likely vote administrator, isn’t the neutral observer it’s supposed to be, 28?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            UAW needs members to survive and I’m not sure what the timetable is but they only have X years to bring on new membership to offset folks who will be retiring between now and 2020. The transplants are really the only option, so in the past about nine months we’ve been hearing about VW works councils demanded by a German union which just happen to fall under unionization under US law. I don’t think its a grand conspiracy but I do think UAW is calling in favors, and King’s hope is if Chattanooga falls others will follow. Whether these favors extend high up in Washington I can’t be sure, but it would not surprise me. Their very existence at this point is owed to political favors, a hardass conservative would have let them slip into insolvency where they belonged.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    Can someone define “card check” for me, thanks.

    • 0 avatar
      sirwired

      “Card Check” is a process by which a union is certified via the union presenting copies of cards employees were asked to sign authorizing a union.

      Under current law, this is a valid way of getting a union organized, but the employer reserves the right to request a secret-ballot election instead. (If the employer regards union representation as inevitable or desirable, they can waive the right to call for an election.)

      Some unions would prefer that card-check be binding (even without the employer’s consent), but not even Obama, the most pro-labor president in decades, will touch THAT one with a ten-foot pole. (As a side-note, I consider myself pro-labor, and I cannot figure out why the unions are even trying to get Card-Check as binding; it violates even the most basic tenets of US-style democracy and is a losing battle in any case.)

      • 0 avatar
        davefromcalgary

        Thank you. I am not well versed in union-employer relations, nor methods used to select worker representation.

        Card check seems like it would be easy to fix, though. A secret ballot seems likely to be more representative.

        • 0 avatar
          sirwired

          That’s the thing; though you’d never know it to read TTAC articles, there’s nothing to fix right now. If both employer and employees want a union, both are saved the need of going through an expensive and cumbersome election.

          If the employer wants a secret ballot election, they get one with the current law, simply by asking for it when presented with union cards.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            I meant in general, with respect to the fixing. I’m not really well versed on the situation at this plant.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I was under the impression certain statutes prohibit management from publicly saying anything negative. I cannot imagine any auto mfg who willingly wants UAW, unless the plan all along was to abscond and use a scapegoat.

          • 0 avatar
            sirwired

            “I was under the impression certain statutes prohibit management from publicly saying anything negative.”

            I’d say you were wrong; management rails against unions and “educates” workers on their evils all the time during union elections. Wal-Mart is famous for this.

        • 0 avatar
          noxioux

          Let’s make it even easier: Imagine you’re one of the guys/gals who doesn’t turn in a signed card.

      • 0 avatar
        tonycd

        The only reason Obama is “the most pro-labor president in decades” is because there has not been a pro-labor president in decades.

        There has only been Ronald Reagan, who started the collapse of organized labor in this country with his symbolic crushing of the air traffic controllers; Reagan’s vice president, George H.W. Bush; his son, George W. Bush; and the man responsible for the devastating effects of NAFTA, Bill Clinton. Obama is ideologically indistinguishable from Clinton (Bill or Hillary), which I note just to say the next president won’t have any real pro-labor sympathies either.

        The last truly pro-labor president in this country was either Lyndon Johnson or Jimmy Carter. The corporatists have succeeded in abolishing liberalism in this country’s organized politics so thoroughly, younger people have never seen it in their lifetime and don’t even know what it looks like.

    • 0 avatar
      Slocum

      The unions want card-check because they can twist arms to get workers to sign. Unions don’t like the secret ballot because workers who only signed cards to stop from being pressured can then go vote ‘No’ in secret.

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        This is a completely unfounded statement which amounts to a right-wing talking point. The whole reason for card-check was to alleviate the issue of company intimidation that has been studied endlessly. The longer the time between card check initiation and the secret ballot the more likely it is to fail.

        Card check doesn’t go against the basics of democracy as some have said since democracy is by definition majority rule. Card check would give the union X amount of time to collect the signatures. If they were close it would be easier but if the argument is intimidation once again there are few documented cases and the stats are overwhelmingly in favor of the companies being the intimidators.

        • 0 avatar
          Slocum

          There’s a reason why we have a secret ballot in political elections — it’s to prevent bribes, intimidation, arm-twisting, vote-selling, etc. And it works (at least it will until we have universal vote-by-mail, in which case all those problems will start creeping in).

          For union certification, I’d have no problem moving the secret-ballot election to a time right after the union gets 50% of the cards signed. But the secret ballot is absolutely essential so that workers can vote without intimidation from either side.

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          Xeranar,

          How do you manage such a thorough job of filtering out all reality from invading your bubble? Unions and violence are wed in this country. It doesn’t matter if the workplace is a kindergarten or a mineshaft. Intimidation and assault is all they have to serve as arguments for the destruction they inflict. They don’t even pretend otherwise. They just assert that judges have said they can do what they want.

          • 0 avatar
            tonycd

            Private sector union membership has dropped in this country by two-thirds in the last few decades as a percentage of the population.

            The only “intimidation” I see is, to cite one actual example, Walmart closing every meat counter in an entire state because one store’s butchers won a unionization election. And the “destruction” I see is the lavishly documented plunge in the average American worker’s pay and benefits since the collapse of unionism.

            I remain utterly puzzled by the eagerness with which many Americans embrace the agenda of their corporatist masters. It’s like the house slave who thinks he’ll ingratiate himself to the master and get whipped less than the others. It’s not only delusional and morally bankrupt, it ultimately doesn’t even work at a selfish level.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            Because I’m an actual legal expert on the subject matter? I can go into a court room and testify on behalf of unions and am board certified to teach on the matter. What are your credentials on the matter?

            I understand you’re a right-wing troll, you don’t listen to reason and you certainly wouldn’t accept the reality that Unions have a very shallow history of violence compared to the companies they fought against. But I would ask you to come up with a compelling reason why I should listen to your drivel because unless you have a PhD in economics or political science I’m hard pressed to listen to a word you have to say at this point.

          • 0 avatar
            ktm

            “Because I’m an actual legal expert on the subject matter? I can go into a court room and testify on behalf of unions and am board certified to teach on the matter.”

            In other words, I will argue the world is flat if they pay me. Logic and intelligence has not place in the court room, and for you, a self-proclaimed expert to say otherwise, is laughable. “Experts” say what their clients want them to say and will stretch the truth as far as the law allows in order to win. Period. I’ve seen it too many times after being involved in a variety of lawsuits against my company where the plaintiffs “experts” exaggerated to the point where I was incredulous that someone in my profession (engineer) could be such a whore.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Professional shill? Color me shocked! My ignorance of the subject stems from being a former card-carrying Teamster, having managed union electricians in Manhattan, having managed a project that broke a call center union for British Airways, and having worked as a contract employee doing mass seasonal hirings for UPS before and after the strike of ’97. I hope you receive the same fair treatment and sterile shiv as the victims of the villains you lie for in court.

          • 0 avatar
            geeber

            I’d be more impressed by your credentials if, during our previous discussion, said credentials had somehow translated into a passing knowledge of how the real world works.

            One can only hope and pray that you at least understand the philosophy behind the Toyota Lean Production System, and why it renders union representation unnecessary at this point.

            Or do you still believe that the workers in those plants are abused souls laboring in conditions that we haven’t seen since the Victorian Age?

  • avatar
    Waterview

    I’m not sure if Tennessee is a right to work state. If so, could the workers vote to have the UAW represent them and then refuse to pay monthly dues?

    That would certainly be an interesting development!

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Agreed.

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      Of course they could and why would that be interesting? The benefits they would receive would far out wiegh the dues. Anyways, like any organization they have a way of collecting dues so it would be unlikely there would be a massive decision against it.

      Furthermore, RtW states have some of the worst practices and tend to have the lowest average salaries and high unemployment. It is just a bad situation all around. We’re likely to see RtW repealed in the next few decades as the left gets reempowered by the incoming generations.

      • 0 avatar
        rentonben

        I didn’t know Detroit was in a right-to-work state.

        • 0 avatar
          Xeranar

          Michigan’s rural republican majority passed it just recently. If you want to debate rust belt city issues it comes down to Detroit never diversified. It was and is effectively a company town with GM & Ford dominating it.

      • 0 avatar
        matador

        Not in our state.

        We have the 7th lowest unemployment rate in the nation, the 13th highest median salary, and we have a balanced budget. And, we’re Right to Work.

        Just put up a border in the middle of the Mississippi River, eject California, and you’d be looking a pretty good economic picture.

        No, you can’t move to Wyoming with us. We’re full!

        • 0 avatar
          Xeranar

          Wyoming represents essentially a state with vast land and limited population. Your state without the economic benefits of the rest of the union would be in terrible shape just as most economists have pointed out. In fact if the ‘blue states’ left the ‘red states’ it would be the difference between a first world country and third world. The northeast and near-west along with the pacific cost support the remainder of the states including states like Texas that benefit endlessly from the funding received from the blue states. In essence we sadly pay you to act poorly to your citizens.

          • 0 avatar
            jetcal1

            Hello Xeranar,
            I am curious, if I subtract spending for things like post offices, highways, military bases, what does the spending look like then? It seems for less populated state’s like Montana, the spending on missile silos would really raise the “federal spending per capita ratio”.

          • 0 avatar
            mkirk

            You sir have obviously never actually visited a third world country. So Atlanta would become Kandahar without California/NY/Illinois? I think not.

            You are making the mistake of doing your split in a static world. There are staters that would be harder pressed than others. I am thinking places like South Carolina. But what if California suddenly found itself at the mercy of the Red states from which it imports its energy (and soon water perhaps). What if the Gulf States were suddenly unemcumbered by regulations holding offshore drilling in check. And suppose all of those Federal Lands in Alaska all of the sudden were open to drilling. And what of Defense. Not a lot of Military Installations nowadays in those blue states.

            I believe it is best for all if the union stays in one piece, but don’t make the mistake of thinking some places couldn’t make a go of it and may come out better. And I have some pictures of Kandahar if you want to see the third world. Here’s a hint…If you haven’t taken anti-malarial medication you have not experienced the third world.

          • 0 avatar
            mkirk

            That makes me wonder…When it is said a state like say North Carolina gets more taxes back than it pays, does it count the upkeep of places like Fort Bragg and Camp Lejune? You know, the places that houses all of the troops that fight the wars that people of your ilk claimed to be over years ago.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            Since you both are excited to talk about military spending this is the exact reason why the red states more or less have an economy. A vast portion of our military spending occurs in southern states not only for bases but for manufacturing. Boots, uniforms, and the like are all largely manufactured in the south. All that base maintenance and pay goes directly into southern pockets. If we’re talking about the building of a missile silo that is done by local contractors that buy materials from the local economy and other states. The maintenance of it is done by men and women stationed in those states that spend their pay there not to mention the soldiers who garrison it.

            This has long been understood as military welfare or ‘red state welfare’ derisively because those bases could easily exist in blue states but in order to quell the hounding of red state politicians they were rewarded most of the government largesse. This is in fact why red state ideology is so pro-military because they know their economies are built upon that kind of spending. Their private economies are essentially built on the building blocks of federal spending.

            As for it being a static statement, in most cases if the Federal government effectively pulled out of the south they would be hard pressed to develop the revenue replacement and the much higher standard of living in blue states would draw citizens in. If we’re going to be more accurate it would be the Blue States as Germany and the Red states as Greece. Greece didn’t collapse because of lazy individuals, but being a single-industry economic system that was pressured too hard by economic externals. The south is largely built on a few key industries and if the increase in the price of power was a serious threat it would pressure blue states into wind and solar much faster which can supplant the need for oil and coal (though to be fair, the biggest coal producers are still in the blue states).

          • 0 avatar
            geeber

            Xeranar: In fact if the ‘blue states’ left the ‘red states’ it would be the difference between a first world country and third world.

            You’d be better served by reading more informed economists. Anyone who believes that nonsense needs to leave the bubble of his or her campus or think tank.

            I guess those economists haven’t visited Detroit, Flint, Akron, North Philadelphia, or certain sections of Chicago and New York City. I wouldn’t use “first world” to describe those areas, that’s for certain.

            As was explained to you during our last discussion, the idea that red states are receiving a “subsidy” from blue states is simplistic and inaccurate.

            Once again – this scenario would only work if STATES paid federal taxes, which they would then forward to the federal government, along with a laundry list of expenses. The federal government would, in turn, reimburse each state, shortchanging some and giving an excess to others.

            There’s only one problem – that’s not how it works. Not even close.

            The blue states are not more moral or thrifty or generous. They simply have a higher concentration of high-income individuals within their borders. There are more “1 percenters” living in Los Angeles and New York City, for example, than in Tennessee.

            That is why it looks as though they “pay” more in taxes than they receive. They also have lots of people who benefit from federal largesse. In bluer-than-blue Philadelphia, for example, a staggering 30+ percent of the population lives below the poverty line. Do you really believe that those residents are paying for much of anything?

  • avatar
    mkirk

    What’s the over/under on how many replies this article gets?

  • avatar
    catdaddy

    @xeranar. I am southern and generally anti-union. However, i agree with your arguments about blue v red states and the military. The south is not making sacrifices to host the u.s. military, we are benefiting from it. As a corollary it is well documented that southern states receive more in federal largesse than we pay in federal taxes.

    Historically unions played a big role in elevating the u.s. middle class, i.e. getting ownership/management to ‘share the wealth’ and improving working conditions. I do think that ultimately many union rules led to inefficiencies and hurt u.s. competitiveness.

    However i am troubled by the pay discrepancies between high level management and rank and file workers (blue or white collar). No doubt many of these highly compensated ceo types are talented individuals. But not many of them deserve to make 1000x more than their average employee.

    I don’t think VW chattanooga needs to unionize. But ultimately it’s up to them, and you make some good points.

  • avatar
    Pat D

    Never, ever going to buy something built by UAW members. If
    VW workers go this route, then VW is dead to me. Except my
    current VW Beetle Turbo is built in Mexico. I’m much happier
    with it than my previous Honda Accord(s). So, I’ll buy Mexican
    VWs, but never, ever UAW built VWs.

    You want to know what the UAW does to a city? Here you are:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=detroit+abandoned&rlz=1C1RNLH_enUS519US519&espv=210&es_sm=122&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=hnnwUsq8AcfIyAGbsoDwBA&ved=0CAkQ_AUoAQ&biw=1745&bih=938

    That’s the UAW’s legacy. Of course, the Big 3′s management
    was complicit because they thought they owned the US market.
    They gave into the UAW’s demands and passed the costs onto
    the consumers. When it became too expensive to do anything
    in Detroit, the Big 3 moved out. Eventually, us dumb taxpayers
    ended up bailing out the UAW because the Obama
    administration bypassed normal bankruptcy procedures when
    GM and Chrysler went belly up.

    VW led the revolt against the Big 3 that let the Japanese manufacturers
    into the US market. VW offered an alternative so people would think beyond Big 3.
    It worked very well until the Japanese offered more compelling alternatives.
    VW dropped the ball because they had no strategy for replacing
    the original beetle with something better. The Rabbit sucked
    in the US. The original Accord was ahead of its time and got
    better generation by generation. Honda, Toyota and Datsun (remember?)
    swamped VW so it was no longer the cute import alternative.

    VW, in Germany, has workers’ councils, union board representation,
    and a lot of co-operation between workers and management.
    By contrast, the UAW always opposed management and played the
    Big 3 off against each other to ratchet up wages and benefits.
    VW can kiss any hope of recovering in the US good-bye if it’s
    US factories unionize. Honda, Toyota and Nissan will be praying they do.

  • avatar
    challenger2012

    For those who have never experienced an attempt by a union to get into a plant, he is what I experienced as an engineer at a GE facility called Jacinto Port in Houston, Texas, in January of 2000. I was told one morning that there was to be a communications meeting off site. No one had an idea what this was about. We all drove to a hotel where GE’s anti-union guy talked for about 2 hours on how to defeat and disrupt the union organizing attempt at the plant. I specifically remember three things from the meeting. 1) I was told to talk to the hourly guys, if an opportunity came, and tell them how bad the union was going to be. 2) If I saw people standing around and talking, I was to tell them to get back to work and make a list of those who were there. 3) I was told of how Johnson Controls had to pay union scale to workers in a Ford who worked side by side with UAW workers, and how unfair it was for Johnson Controls to have to pay union scale to their worker, boo –hoo-hoo. Well, I am no longer a GE Engineer, but check out the stock price of GE and Johnson Controls, starting January 2000 to today, you will be shocked. Looks like paying union scale didn’t hurt Johnson Controls stock.

  • avatar
    jetcal1

    @ Xeranar,
    1. Base closure Committees (BRAC) closed a lot of blue state bases because the local communities wanted the military out. (Presido, NAS Glenview, Ft Sheridan, NAS Weymouth.) Property values,and well you know, “these people are really not a good match for our community.”
    2. The blue state congress critters are no different in the acquisition of pork when compared to the red state critters.
    3. Most of the big defense companies are in the beltway….is that red or blue?
    4. The boot makers? Have probably been there all along.


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
  • J & J Sutherland, Canada
  • Tycho de Feyter, China
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India