By on February 14, 2014

2012AerialfromWest

Workers at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga rejected the UAW in a vote that ended Friday night. 712 workers voted “No” to being represented by the UAW while 626 voted Yes. 89 percent of eligible workers turned out for the vote. The UAW failed to secure representation despite Volkswagen’s neutrality towards the UAW and their support of a German-style Works Council.

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310 Comments on “VW Workers Reject UAW By Narrow Margin...”


  • avatar
    993cc

    The “works council” model works for Volkswagen in Germany. It works in Brazil. It works in the Czech Republic. It works in Mexico, It works in South Africa. It’s not permitted in China. Whatever makes over half the workers in Tennessee think it wouldn’t work for them too? Do they look to China for inspiration?

    • 0 avatar
      Les

      I think it may be less about rejecting a Works council type arrangement or rejecting unions on-principle, but more about rejecting the UAW specifically.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @Les
        I agree with your comment. It’s more about rejecting the UAW than unionism.

        • 0 avatar
          Les

          This I think makes an excellent case-study in why US labor law needs dramatic reform and updating. As it stands now if you’re a worker in an industry with an established union and you don’t think that union will serve your interests adequately your only options are grin-and-bear-it or go scab.

          • 0 avatar
            rpol35

            @Les:

            Not really, that’s why there are “right-to-work” statutes on the books in so many, mostly southern, states; Michigan now too.

            A worker cannot be compelled in an right to work state state to join a union, as a condition of employment, if they desire not to.

          • 0 avatar
            xtoyota

            RPOL35
            Yes they don’t have to join the union but in many cases they still have to pay dues

          • 0 avatar
            rdsymmes

            In an “employment at will” state like TN, you don’t have to join the union or pay dues. Having spent many years in industry in my former career, I would like to see for these workers the stable work environment that is enjoyed in Europe.

            BMW has done a brilliant job in SC and has a wonderful relationship between Germany, US Management, and employees. Success breeds success, and the workforce enjoys total compensation that allows them a good life. No union, and notice that UAW leaves it alone. People just want to work and live.

            The terms and conditions UAW made for their over decades workers were unsustainable without outside intervention, while those of us who were not protected have paid the freight. UAW was allowed to create a corrupt organization and the government still supports it. GM, particularly, deserves all the pain it has faced, and should have been allowed to rot on the vine, union or no union.

          • 0 avatar
            Les

            I think the point being missed is that due to US labor law you cannot form or join a competing union if your industry already has an established national union. Right to Work has nothing to do with that.

          • 0 avatar
            wumpus

            The converse is if you are in an unionized industry you can bend over and take what management feels like giving you or change industries. The biggest obvious issue with unions (more jobs first, higher pay a distant second) is probably due to basing union dues on flat pay. Even pay-minimum wage (except that minimum is far too low) would lead to union contracts for the employee and not the union officials.

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        I agree.

        The UAW is toxic on a nuclear level. They lost even w/ VW execs wanting the councils even if it meant the UAW:

        “The setback is a bitter defeat because the union had the cooperation of Volkswagen management and the aid of Germany’s powerful IG Metall union, yet it failed to win a majority among the plants 1,550 hourly workers.”
        http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/

        Too bad Clinton vetoed the reform Congress passed in 1996:

        “Why should UAW monopolize worker-management dialogue? Volkswagen seeks Chattanooga vote on the UAW due to 1996 veto by Bill Clinton.”
        http://features.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/2014/02/14/vw-chattanooga-uaw-vote/?section=money_autos

    • 0 avatar

      The Chattanooga plant has been running for almost 3 years without the UAW. Presumably, the workers weren’t looking at China for inspiration, but rather looking at where they have been working for the last few years, and a small majority of them evidently were happy enough with it the way it is and felt that the UAW wouldn’t make it better enough to justify the loss of control or the dues.

    • 0 avatar
      skog

      Too much Fox News perhaps.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      >>The “works council” model works for Volkswagen in Germany. It works in Brazil. It works in the Czech Republic. It works in Mexico, It works in South Africa. It’s not permitted in China. Whatever makes over half the workers in Tennessee think it wouldn’t work for them too? Do they look to China for inspiration?<<

      Clinton vetoed the reform passed by Congress in 1996:

      "Volkswagen seeks Chattanooga vote on the UAW due to 1996 veto by Bill Clinton."
      http://features.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/2014/02/14/vw-chattanooga-uaw-vote/?section=money_autos

    • 0 avatar
      mypoint02

      Call me cynical, but I never saw the works council model happening in Tennessee with the UAW involved. They know it sounds good when they’re making their pitch to the workers. But if they were successful in organizing the plant, the same adversarial relationship between the company and the union would have happened eventually. I don’t think they were fooling anyone. Old habits die hard.

    • 0 avatar
      Jeff Weimer

      A works council is illegal here, too – it is considered a “company” union. Hence the invite to UAW to organize the plant so they could have a council.

      And I think the employees looked to Detroit for inspiration, not China.

    • 0 avatar
      alsorl

      Republican’s love China’s values. Because they equal Republican values.

    • 0 avatar
      Superdessucke

      Whoooooooo! Whooooo! Nanananana! Naaaa! Nàaaaaaaaa!

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    Can’t wait for the spin.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Looks like it already started with the title to Derek’s article. Narrow margin, my @ss! By a 6.4% margin and that’s not narrow in any election.

      From the figures, it appeared 1338 workers (89%) turned out to vote and 86 more voted to reject. That’s HUGE!

      Nevertheless, I am totally surprised by this result since Management wanted it, the homeboys in Germany wanted it and the UAW wanted it.

      The only unlikely variable was the workers and it seems they are a lot smarter than they are being given credit for.

      • 0 avatar
        NMGOM

        highdesertcat – - –

        Boy, you had the same red flags going up that I did!!!

        712 to 626 is resounding defeat for the UAW. This means that 100* (712-626)/626 = 14% MORE people voted against the UAW than were in support of the UAW. My God, if a national presidential election ever had that margin, we’d call it a landslide.

        I consider Derek’s “Narrow Margin” spin to be more of the yellow journalism he has used recently:
        http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/the-wobble-comes-to-an-end-as-consumer-reports-echoes-ttacs-criticisms-of-the-jeep-cherokee/

        ———————-

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          NMGOM, the way I see it, every writer has their own value system and Derek brings his to the table through his articles.

          I’m cool with that even though I may not always agree with his stance on the subject at hand.

          I, myself, have been accused of ‘being biased and anti-whatever’ by some fellow commentors when in fact, I recognize that there is a viewpoint on any topic, depending how well it works for the interpreter.

          In this case I am surprised that the NLRB wasn’t able to make it happen through the vote. Look at what they did to Boeing in SC.

          However, that does not mean that the NLRB won’t find a way to make it happen some other way at VW, Mercedes-Benz and BMW plants in America, in order to advance their pro-union agenda.

          America’s changing, bud. This Force Majeur by the UAW with the assistance of the NLRB is but one item on the agenda of the far-left uber-liberal pro-labor anti-capitalist Democrats.

          Ultimately, the workers themselves have to decide what works for them. But this vote is not the end. I guarantee it!

          • 0 avatar

            This is the exact reason why I lobbied for the (now dead) TTAC Staff initiative. I wrote 4 lines that are nothing but a factual recap of the incident and somebody STILL finds some kind of ideological bent.

            For the record, I predicted the UAW would fail in an earlier post.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            You don’t have to defend your article. People either accept it or reject it, based on their own value system and interpretation of what ‘narrow’ means.

            Words have meaning, and sometimes different meaning to different individuals.

            Anyone who tosses out a controversial topic like unions in America is bound to get flogged from all sides.

            Learn to enjoy it and bask in the limelight of having your story widely read, cussed and discussed.

            Maybe if the title had been “VW Workers Reject UAW” there would be less parsing.

          • 0 avatar

            Well said, HDC.

          • 0 avatar
            NMGOM

            Sorry, Derek. Don’t buy it.

            “Narrow” in this context is a loaded interpretive term ….whether you intended it in any particular way or not. If you had used the title, “VW Workers Vote to Reject UAW”, or “VW Workers Reject UAW By 712-to-626″, then either of those would have been value-neutral.

            And, let’s be honest, they would not have raised a red flag with anyone, including me OR “highdesertcat”.

            ————–

          • 0 avatar

            Well, believe it. That was my interpretation of the outcome at 10 PM on a Friday night, when I did my best to get the story up in a timely, informative manner.

          • 0 avatar
            VCplayer

            Man, Derek can’t get a break.

            “Narrow” is an accurate if imprecise to describe the vote, which is fine, and judging from other comments here plenty of people think that narrow is accurate. If the vote had lost by say 200, narrow could have been overly generous.

            Using the word “narrow” doesn’t betray any bias of Derek’s about the vote, simply about the numbers. I’m okay with him having opinions about numbers.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I don’t detect any bias, but it probably is best to stick to facts or neutral language in the headlines of straight news stories. If anything, “narrow” is ambiguous and not as informative as a statistic — “53%” has more meat to it.

            An op-ed or news analysis piece that opines on or attempts to interpret the news may be a different matter.

          • 0 avatar
            redav

            I don’t get the sense of the dreaded b word, but I am bothered by Derek not noticing the interpretive term for what it is.

            A critical element of communication is knowing that the message sent is not the message received. Good communicators minimize that error.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            There is an advantage to being vague, namely that it helps to get readers.

            Editors write headlines in order to pull in readers. Giving too much away in the headline can encourage readers to skip the content, which is something that a publication should not be doing.

      • 0 avatar
        vent-L-8

        when obama won the general election by the same percentage most media sources reported it as being a landslide mandate not a narrow margin, just sayin

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          Obama won in 2012 with an electoral vote landslide, securing 62% of the 538 electoral votes needed to win.

          In US presidential elections, the popular vote doesn’t actually count, as those who survived the 2000 elections will recall.

          • 0 avatar
            VCplayer

            Also that whole “landslide mandate” thing hasn’t really materialized so far. The fact the the House remained under Republican control should have been some indication of the fact that American political views are much more nuanced than they often receive credit for.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The electoral vote doesn’t directly correspond with the popular vote, although it usually does produce the same victor. If the US elected the president by popular vote, then there would have still been an Obama presidency but without claim to a landslide.

            Similarly, House seats are not apportioned strictly by population, and the districts can be drawn (gerrymandered?) to create imbalances. More voters cast their ballots for Democratic House members than for Republicans in the 2012 election, yet the GOP has the majority of seats.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Important bits.

            There is apparently no agreed upon number to denote a landslide, but there does seem to be agreement that one’s own side needs much less a margin to achieve one.

            It matters that you have a landslide only if your side won.

            Landslide is not in the Constitution. It has no real meaning.

            The side with the most votes will always, quite foolishly, decry the rules of a representational democracy set up to provide stability.

    • 0 avatar
      Gardiner Westbound

      The UAW came much closer to unionizing the Chattanooga Volkswagen plant than I thought it would. I was certain a supermajority of workers would realize union bosses have a personal political agenda that is rarely in the workers’ best interest. They thrive on fomenting an antagonistic employer relationship, straitjacket productivity with arcane rules and prefer lay-offs to financial moderation so they can regale the surviving unionistas with self-serving tales of their negotiating prowess, all for $100 a month out of each worker’s wage packet. Bargoon!

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        What you describe is a parasite. Feeding of and sufficiently injuring the host so that it is not strong enough to shed the blood sucker.

  • avatar
    redliner

    So who’s next? Who will be the next UAW target?

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      “”If the union can’t win [in Chattanooga], it can’t win anywhere,”
      said Steve Silvia, a economics and trade professor at American University
      who has studied labor unions”.

      http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304434104579382541226307368?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTTopStories&mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702304434104579382541226307368.html%3Fmod%3DWSJ_hp_LEFTTopStories

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    According to this article just released in Australia it appears the Chattanooga plant was there best opportunity at gaining a stronger foothold in the US auto manufacturing sector.

    The UAW will have to find other ways to raise badly needed cash, extortion?

    Well, I suppose the UAW’s track record doesn’t bid well. If they were a business and had to produce a prospectus, what positive attributes can they honestly submit? We now can provide jobs at $12 per hour?

    http://www.news.com.au/world/breaking-news/vw-workers-at-us-plant-reject-union/story-e6frfkui-1226828050553

  • avatar
    joynercon@msn.com

    What a pity, The UAW will not be allowed to do for Tennessee what it did for Detroit.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      http://detroitbankruptmovie.com/

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      Not to worry. VW is doing to VW what Detroit did for Detroit 30 years ago. You know, lousy reliability, indifference, poor materials, obnoxious dealerships. And all of it cloaked with cutesy ads. VW was right. You don’t need a union to do that.

      • 0 avatar
        Dave M.

        I can’t answer to the indifference aspect, but VW’s reliability has slowly improved per CR and TrueDelta. Yes, they did cheapen the interiors on the Passat and Jetta (also reducing prices), but is it really that obvious? The Beetle interior certainly improved (but on a limited-desirability car), and it appears the new Golf carries on with a quality interior.
        etro yet edgy,

        What VW needs is a little more spark in their design. Personally I find the Jetta and Passat nicely designed cars, but others don’t. The new crossover is desperately needed now, and I truly wish they would have developed the minivan concept they displayed a few years ago. Retro yet edgy, it seemed the perfect size for those who want the cargo ability without the full size foot print of the vans today.

        Finally, the dealers. Only they can improve their reputation with help from the mother ship.

        • 0 avatar
          VCplayer

          Yeah, I think the biggest problem the VW is going to have is that Ford is basically making Euro cars here already. They need to get a lot smarter about their product if they’re going to be relevant in the long term.

          • 0 avatar
            th009

            I’ve had a fair number of Focus, Fusion, Jetta and Passat rentals. Contrary to popular perception, at least in rental car spec, there isn’t a big difference in the amount of hard plastics (or other materials) inside between Ford and VW. Styling, of course, is very different inside and outside.

            FWIW, I usually choose a Malibu rental over a Fusion to get a decent interior and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    So close and yet so far away.

    Serious question, so can UAW/VAG keep bringing this up to vote on over and over (say next year) until they get the result they want, or is it one and done?

    • 0 avatar
      xtoyota

      Yep UAW they will keep harassing employees till they get their way
      I believe it’s written in UAW operations manual :=)
      Next step is to complain to NRLB of unfair tactics of Corker

  • avatar
    drivelikejehu

    Stalingrad.

  • avatar
    J.Emerson

    The relative narrowness of the loss will probably only encourage the UAW to keep trying. Especially if, as has been alleged numerous times, VW actively wants the plant to be unionized.

    What would make things really interesting is if a different union stepped into the breach and started a new campaign.

    • 0 avatar
      VCplayer

      Losses are always narrow on votes like this. I suppose it’s possible that the vote could shift, but honestly that’s pretty unlikely in Tennessee.

      The UAW previously agreed to leave the issue alone for a year if the vote failed, so the issue is closed for now.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        In Ohio public-sector representation elections (not under the auspices of the NLRB), a non-affirmative vote constitutes a year-long bar to any further action by the employee organization requesting representation OR any other employee organization BY LAW, not out of the kindness of the union’s heart.

        Do NLRB rules work the same way?

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      But how much has the UAW spent on this effort, and how much do they have left to spend?

  • avatar
    VCplayer

    Stalingrad indeed, this is shocking.

    The UAW is a dead man walking. I knew things were bad, but this is the beginning of he end.

    The UAW simply had nothing to offer the workers of Chattanooga outside of the means to skirt an awful, anachronistic law that should have died 20 years ago.

    “But more workers were persuaded to vote against the union by the UAW’s past of bitter battles with management, costly labor contracts and complex work rules. “If the union comes in, we’ll have a divided work force,” said Cheryl Hawkins, 44, an assembly line worker with three sons. “It will ruin what we have.”

    Other UAW opponents said they dislike the union’s support of politicians who back causes like abortion rights and gun control that rub against the conservative bent of Southern states like Tennessee. Still others objected to paying dues to a union from Detroit that is aligned with Volkswagen competitors like GM and Ford.”

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304434104579382541226307368?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702304434104579382541226307368.html

  • avatar
    activeaero

    Thank God. Now we can do our jobs in peace. Not sure if we get the SUV though. This vote was anti UAW. Not anti works council. UAW had nothing to offer.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      Do you work at the Chattanooga plant? If so some inside insight would be appreciated.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      “UAW had nothing to offer.” The UAW has had nothing to offer long before they collectively bargained many of their members out of their jobs and drove GM and Chrysler into financial collapse and bankruptcy.

      • 0 avatar
        Sob93

        GM and Chrysler drove themselves off the cliff. Ford plant workers are also represented by the UAW yet they did not suffer the same fate. Unions are not responsible for poorly designed and overpriced products that don’t sell, that’s managements responsibility. Worker participation in how their workplace is structured is a +. That’s why it works so well in Germany. Americans seem to be stuck in the early 20th century when it comes to workers rights moving us closer and closer to a Fascist State.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Assemblers are directly responsible for missing fasteners, misaligned panels, and other malfeasance of quality assembly during the course of their work. And there was a decades-long track record of that. Job bank, anyone?

          Ford would have suffered the same fate as GM and Chrysler has it not hocked its Blue Oval and bartered its soul to the Aluminum Messiah from Boeing. Hence, the 2015 aluminum-bodied F150!

          But I do agree with you that America is changing. For some it means “moving us closer and closer to a Fascist State”.

          For others, like me, it means a lower standard of living as more of our lifetime’s accumulated wealth is redistributed to those who don’t want to work, live on welfare, and receive from our benevolent government money for nuttin’, foodstamps and cellphones for free.

          For all you pro-union people, this is by no means the end of the quest to unionize the RTW states. Bet on that!

          The NLRB will see to it.

          • 0 avatar
            Morea

            “…those who don’t want to work, live on welfare, and receive from our benevolent government money for nuttin’, foodstamps and cellphones for free.”

            So, how do we help those whose IQs are under 80? Their jobs are being either exported or automated. It is only a matter of time and they will all be automated as exported work is brought back to the US but only in automated form. How do we help those who cannot make it in a high-IQ-based economy? Let them suffer? Outlaw technological progress?

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            The sub 80 folks are the target of much of the programs, but sadly are now a minority of the takers. Also, you can’t export their jobs because they don’t qualify for manufacturing jobs much anymore.

          • 0 avatar
            Morea

            Ok, how about those with IQs under 100? Will automation remove most of their jobs within the next decade? If so, how will society handle it?

            More broadly, how can we get from traditional societies were virtually everyone worked (or starved to death) to the technological utopia where machines do everything for everybody? We are at a tipping point but social instability may send us backwards technologically. This may be a first attempt. The system may have to oscillate over generations so lessons can be learned before jumping to a labor-free utopia (if we last that long as a species.)

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @Morea

            Maybe filter out the 18 unregulated chemicals in tap water.

            http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/unregulated-chemicals-found-in-drinking-water/

            Remove the flouride in tap water which lowers IQ in Harvard study.

            http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/08/07/effects-of-fluoride-to-children.aspx

            Remove GMOs which share a correlation with autism in some studies.

            http://www.responsibletechnology.org/autism

            Remove aluminum from the air, soil, and consumer products such as deodorant.

            http://www.whale.to/a/alum.html

            http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/AP-Deo

            http://www.ageofautism.com/2013/01/autism-science-digest-aluminum-toxicity-in-mitochondrial-dysfunction-and-asd.html

            No matter the reasoning behind these chemicals being where they do no belong, they are having an immutable effect on us all while contributing to the production of low IQ individuals. Blog that.

        • 0 avatar
          toxicroach

          Sob, the increased labor costs of the UAW is directly responsible for poorly designed and overpriced products. Allow me to explain.

          Imagine that Chevy and Honda both had a the Civic. Equally attractive, equally reliable, same everything.

          Now Chevy has to pay $2000 more per car in labor costs. Let’s say it costs 16g for Honda to build it, and 18k for Chevy), and they want a 1000 profit.

          So Honda can charge 17000 for their Civic. Chevy has to charge 19000. Obviously this is a no go. So Chevy has to cut something, and it isn’t labor.

          So they cut 2g in parts, so now they can sell it for 17000, but guess what? It’s a substantially worse car for the same price. This doesn’t work either. So they cut 3g so they can undersell Honda by $1000. That doesn’t work either, because that’s not much money saved for the amount of decontenting they customer has to put up with.

          So basically non Union manufacturer can push Chevy around and take their spot in the market. The only place they can keep is the place no one wants, which is the bottom of the market.

          And that’s how you end up with the Aveo. You can’t realistically expect the engineers to overcome that cost gap on a consistent basis. Toyota & co. were not hiring dummies.

          So they couldn’t compete with low margin vehicles, yet they couldn’t stop because they had to shovel a million Cavaliers to sell a million Tahoes thanks to CAFE.

          Not saying management isn’t to blame, but I think the flat reality is that there’s more then enough blame to go around on this. Everyone involved is responsible.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Honda makes a better car because it is a master of lean production.

            In contrast, GM resisted lean production and has never quite fully taken to it.

            If GM could convert all of its factories to slave labor, it would still be building an inferior car. It isn’t a cost issue, but a problem with processes that are more antiquated and include a higher tolerance for errors.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Where do engineering and design come into play? Honda may have the best production methods at the factory level, but if the components they are assembling are of poor design or materials the car would still fail would it not?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Lean production isn’t just an assembly process. It also governs how workers are managed, how the supply chain is managed, and the design and engineering.

            In the old days, cars failed often and required substantial maintenance, but the customers accepted it — it still beat riding a horse.

            Then Toyota rolled in with lean, and the expectations changed. The traditional producers were slow to adapt to it, and lagged while blaming everyone except themselves for their failure to adapt.

            GM was particularly stubborn because it was the world’s largest corporation and filled with the hubris that comes from previously being the biggest. The company didn’t realize that it has ceased to be the best and what was once considered to be good was now not good enough.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @Pch101

            Interesting, I wasn’t aware lean production encompassed all steps of the product life cycle.

            The case of GM being full of hubris and not adapting to the change reminds me of a talk I once saw on disruptive technologies. You might enjoy this presentation given by Prof Henry Lucas on “Surviving Disruptive Technologies”. He postulates companies who are not able to adapt to disruptive change tend not to survive. He cites examples such as Kodak who ignored the trend away from its traditional film model leading to its effective demise.

            http://vimeo.com/62437350

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I would strongly suggest reading James Womack’s The Machine That Changed the World. He probably oversells lean a bit but it does illustrate how lean is different from traditional mass production, and how it produces a lower defect rate.

            It should be noted that John Krafcik, who just stepped down from Hyundai, worked on the above project. Hyundai’s quality didn’t just improve by mistake.

          • 0 avatar
            VCplayer

            The shellacking of the Detroit 3 wasn’t entirely the UAW’s fault, but they weren’t blameless either.

            In general though (there were plenty of exceptions), American companies (and unions) were slow to realize and adapt to an increasingly globalized economy in the 80s and 90s. UAW labor wanted benefits and protections that were unreasonable in a world of non-unionized transplants and cheap foreign labor. Either expectations needed to change, or the automakers were going to die.

            Basically the UAW lost its monopoly on labor, but it took them a few decades and almost killing off their manufacturers to figure that out.

            Similarly the Detroit 3 took a few decades and in some cases multiple bankruptcies to figure out that they didn’t have a monopoly on manufacturing anymore. Well, we hope they figured out out…

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Thx for the info.

          • 0 avatar

            Are you you a Six Sigma Black Belt, Pch?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Not my area of work. But I do know that lean and Six Sigma are somewhat different approaches…

          • 0 avatar
            agenthex

            > Honda makes a better car because it is a master of lean production. In contrast, GM resisted lean production and has never quite fully taken to it.

            It’s questionable as to whether “lean” is even possible in the US corp environment given it came out of the unique restrictions of the post war japanese society.

            Edwards Deming is someone familiar enough with the details of japanese manufacturing and generally attribute most of the problems with implementing quality to management.

            This is the same management prone to sloganeering and pulling rank rather than firing themselves for doing so.

          • 0 avatar
            agenthex

            > Six Sigma Black Belt

            LOL, case in point. Trying to teach math to people who should’ve already learned it in school isn’t going to help.

        • 0 avatar
          Roader

          “We are socialists, we are enemies of today’s capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are all determined to destroy this system under all conditions.”
          Adolf Hitler, 1927

        • 0 avatar
          jimmyy

          Sob93, you are smoking something. GM, Ford, and Chrysler vehicles have always been, and still are an overpriced reliability disaster. Nothing has changed. Detroit just fired up big marketing campaigns claiming they are equal or better than Toyota and Honda, while the Obama administration continues to drive foreign nameplates to do excessive recalls, all in an effort to brainwash Americans away from the superior Japanese nameplates. Why are the Japanese nameplates superior? Simple. Because they are able to employ workers who are not excessively paid and benefited, they have extra money to engineer, design, then build a superior product. It is the UAW’s fault Detroit went under, and it is the UAW’s fault Detroit is still not competitive. Sorry, I am not a victim of the Detroit brainwash. Myself, I will never spend a dollar on a brand with a UAW agreement. All UAW people do is steal money from hardworking Americans who overpay for a less reliable Detroit vehicle.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          ” Unions are not responsible for poorly designed and overpriced products that don’t sell, that’s managements responsibility.”

          It is this divisive attitude that many assemblers hold that prevents success. Everyone in the company must do their part.

          Perhaps next year, I’ll refuse my performance bonus and demand fixed pay increases because “it’s not my fault if those assemblers can’t screw a car together and the product ends up as crap”.

          Then every department will follow, each pointing the finger at the other demanding pay raises as the ship goes under.

          There is no place for that attitude in modern business.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The process comes from management.

            Henry Ford borrowed from Frederick Taylor’s time-motion studies. The worker’s job was to perform a single task, in a manner provided by management, using interchangable parts provided by management. The best results would be achieved if workers did what they were told and didn’t meddle, and profitabilty would be maximized if throughput was maximized, i.e. the line is kept running.

            That approach was used by Detroit for decades. The idea of job classifications came from Ford — they were meant to get workers to focus on their rote task, instead of screwing up the system with their own ideas.

            The workers’ input was excluded by design. This is obviously management’s doing — it didn’t just happen randomly, the management wanted it that way.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            Perhaps, but that isn’t how it works anymore and for good reason. Assemblers need to get with the times like everyone else.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The managers don’t want worker input.

            How exactly do you expect workers to contribute to creating better processes when their help is rejected?

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            Like I said, times have changed. The industry as a whole has embraced Deming’s methods which includes worker input.

            It’s the case with the Japanese and American OEMs I’ve worked with. Some may be better than others, but it’s widely practiced.

  • avatar
    Detroit-X

    The uncultured UAW has been a fitting opponent to the incompetent Big-3 executives; the petty and short-sighted games of each deserve each other. Unfortunately, it’s been mutually-assured destruction for the U.S. industry. Some UAW work rules I’m aware of are just pure idiocy.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Just because the UAW lost this battle does not mean they lost the war. The war will go on with the endorsement and backing of the NLRB. Stay tuned!

  • avatar
    3800FAN

    Who’s intention was the UAW looking out for here? The vw workers or their own future? All we herd from Bob King was the UAW needs to secure a southern plant to secure its future. So you’re saying you dont really care about helping the workers…just saving your own ass.
    No thanks..leaches

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      It’s about the UAW

      The UAW has success organizing graduate students.

      “Graduate teaching assistants at New York University could be represented by a union as early as next year, under a deal announced Tuesday afternoon.”

      http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/11/27/nyu-and-uaw-agree-terms-election-teaching-assistant-union

      Of course, the higher education bubble (debt bomb) will not end well, but the UAW wants to be part of it, helping in their way.

      • 0 avatar
        JD23

        I was forced to join a union when I was a TA during my first year of grad school. As a member of the union, I had $32 deducted from my paycheck each month and had the pleasure of experiencing yearly contract disputes with school that extended halfway through the academic year. Frankly, the union offered nothing that I did not receive later as a Research Assistant, which was outside of union purview.

        • 0 avatar
          Kenmore

          Heh.. add grease, red dust and the smell of burnt steel and you’d have my introduction to the wonders of unionism as a Steelworker of the same age.

          No choice, take the monthly hit and still be essentially a slave in serious (safety) disputes because of the insubordination clause kindly provided in the contract to management.

          Reminds me of feudal Japan; a hero is someone who brings lethal injustice to the daimyo’s attention. And is killed for it.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    Personally, I don’t think 89 votes short was “narrow” at all; that’s an awful big hill to climb.

    • 0 avatar
      Jimal

      It is less than 7%. This is a defeat for the UAW for sure, but perhaps there is another union that could fill the role that Volkswagen would like to have filled. Or, they could finally reform the labor laws to allow for the Works Council model.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Agreed. In a US Presidential election, 53-47 isn’t even close.

      • 0 avatar

        I vote in a parliamentary system, so votes like this, which offer an “A” or “B” option are rather foreign to me. I don’t have a well-developed heuristic for these situations. To me, a landslide is Reagan defeating Mondale.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          This isn’t a parliamentary issue, per se, as it is the nature of yes/no referendum.

          In US federal elections, there are usually multiple candidates but only two who have a fighting chance of winning. But for something like this, there are only two options. (I’m assuming that there isn’t a none-of-the-above option on the ballot or some other third choice that could force a new vote — you either vote yea or nay, or else don’t bother to vote at all.)

        • 0 avatar
          Landcrusher

          This isn’t like a US election either. Most people miss the subtlety. This type of vote is common around the world. They were voting on adopting a change. This is similarly to ballot propositions and organizational by law changes like in a partnership or condo or club.

          While no one can actually say why those who did not vote chose that, anything but a “For” vote essentially means you did not support the change as it was presented. In spite of that, many who did not attend may prefer the UAW, they just didn’t support it enough to bother.

          It doesn’t matter the margin really. No means not now, and yes changes things virtually forever.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The degree and the nature of the spread matter for those who want to assess the odds of winning in a subsequent round of voting.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            IOW, it doesn’t really matter. If anyone is really concerned with getting something right, they are not concerned with how little they have to change to get 51%. Whatever changed that gave those kinds of “consultants” decent livings and respectable job titles needs to get changed back.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            It certainly does matter if one is going to strategize and spend money on a future effort. Estimating the odds of success of a future campaign, and designing the campaign to maximize its odds of success, should be part of that effort.

        • 0 avatar
          Jimal

          Same here. This wasn’t so close as to demand a recount, but it was no landslide. Close enough that if another labor organization less toxic than the UAW were to be an option the result might have been different.

  • avatar
    mypoint02

    A little surprised. I thought it would be approved narrowly. I guess I still don’t understand why the UAW saw this as their saving grace though. Even if the union would have been approved, Tennessee is still a RTW state and that’s not going to change anytime soon. It’s easy for the workers to say they want representation. Much harder when it actually comes time for them to write the check for it.

    • 0 avatar
      Dave M.

      My guess is because the UAW was attached to it. They’ve been on the losing end of battles for 20+ years now. If a different organization was involved I guess it would have passed.

      Perhaps a different organization can step up, or a new one created….

  • avatar
    Waterview

    Entirely possible that I’ve missed it in all the hype that led up to the vote, but I never saw a well-written article from the UAW that outlined their goals and their offer for VW employees. If it was the generic “safety and wages” argument, I can see why they lost. If they had a list of specific accomplishments in response to specific concerns at the VW plants, the outcome may have been different.

    I was indifferent as to the outcome, but I have to question the UAW’s marketing plan. If someone in Chattanooga could respond with greater insight, it would be appreciated.

    • 0 avatar
      Hillman

      I believe the argument was the the workers council was needed to secure production of the new crossover. Since the workers council is illegal in the US the UAW was going to offer that service for them.

      • 0 avatar
        JD23

        So, in essence, the workers were encouraged to join the UAW in order to appease IGMetall.

      • 0 avatar
        racer-esq.

        That’s the big issue now. Will The TN plant get the CUV/crossover without the UAW?

        If it does that will show IG Metall weakness, and further undermine the UAW.

        It is important to remember here that the UAW lost even with a threat that the plant will not get additional models without the UAW.

        If that threat proves empty workers will see even less of a point to the UAW.

      • 0 avatar
        fvfvsix

        What company would underutilize a factory because said factory failed to unionize?

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    So much for a ‘clear majority’ who wanted UAW representation, per Bob King:
    http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2014/jan/17/jetta-small-suv-production-eyed-chattanooga-magazi/

    Oh wait, Bob King is blaming the Republicans:
    http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2014/feb/15/uaw-president-bob-king-says-disappointed-vote-vw-p/

    Watch the video. To his credit, he does not blame VW.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Bob King refers to ‘outside influences’ as though the UAW isn’t one, and ‘threats’ as though the UAW doesn’t use this tactic routinely.

      Get real, Bob.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        I see that 53% = landslide will be the new meme on right-wing blogs for the next several days.

        If you’re an engineer, then you surely studied statistics, in which case you should know that you can’t compare one election with multiple candidates with another in which the choices are limited to “yes” or “no.”

        Change a “no” vote into a “yes” vote (or vice versa), and that one change moves the numbers on both sides, simultaneously. Hopefully you can figure out the implications of that.

        • 0 avatar
          Morea

          Are there not three choices: yes, no, and abstain?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The 47-53 vote doesn’t directly count the abstainers. They aren’t included in either figure.

          • 0 avatar
            Morea

            If 89% voted can we say that 11% abstained? This assumes that were not disenfranchised in some way. So the opposite of a ‘yes’ vote is not ‘no’ solely but could also be ‘none of the above.’ (And, of course, the same for a ‘no’ vote.)

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            You’re not following the math here.

            An example: Let’s say that you have 100 voters in an election.

            In one scenario, the 100 voters vote 47 yea, 53 nay. The result is a vote of 47% yea, 53% nay, with a spread of 6% (53-47=6.)

            Now, convert 1% of the nay voters into yea voters. Now, the vote becomes 48% yea, 52% nay, a spread of 4%.

            Switch the sides of 1% of the voters, and you close or increase the spread by 2%, or by twice as much.

            In a presidential election, there are third party candidates who will pull a small percentage of the vote, perhaps 1-2%. A president who wins with 53% of the vote will surely have a spread between the other major party candidate of more than 6%, because of those votes that were lost to the third party.

            In contrast, there are no third parties to pull votes in a yea/nay referendum.

          • 0 avatar
            Morea

            You are assuming a zero sum option where a yes only converts to a no and vice versa.

            I am entertaining the possibility that a yes or a no can also turn into an abstention by not voting.

            Your example says take 100 voters. I claim that number is elastic right up until the voting closes. That is,voter turnout also plays a role in real elections. Your model is only valid if all voters must vote and must choose yes or no. The fact that 11% did not vote shows this to be false.

            The crux of the matter is whether you consider those that did actually vote or do you include those who could but chose not to. Absent forced participation statistically you must consider the entire group.

            Technically, your argument is arithmetic, mine is statistics. Both are valid within their own assumptions.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I’m not assuming anything. I am explaining the arithmetic of a two-choice ballot.

          • 0 avatar
            Morea

            On the latter point we agree…

          • 0 avatar
            agenthex

            > In a presidential election, there are third party candidates who will pull a small percentage of the vote, perhaps 1-2%. A president who wins with 53% of the vote will surely have a spread between the other major party candidate of more than 6%, because of those votes that were lost to the third party.

            A significant diff to presidential election is that this sample size is smaller and thus higher variance. Distribution spread on this could well be in the realm of the ~40 votes. Good luck explaining that to this crowd, though.

        • 0 avatar
          SCE to AUX

          @Pch101: You’ll note that I didn’t use the “landslide” term. It just doesn’t seem that close of a vote to me.

          Certainly, moving 1% of the voters has a doubling effect, but doing so is exceedingly difficult. That’s why it isn’t such a close vote.

          The truth is that probably 80% of the votes were already spoken for, which leaves only 20% as swing voters. In this scenario, we’re talking about a split of 65% “against” vs 35% “for” among swing voters. So moving this group into a win for the UAW is a tall order.

          The same thing happens in US Presidential elections – 80% of the voters already know they’ll vote “D” or “R”, regardless of the candidate. Only swing voters matter. Finding who they are and earning their vote is the hard part.

          • 0 avatar
            agenthex

            > The truth is that probably 80% of the votes were already spoken for, which leaves only 20% as swing voters. In this scenario, we’re talking about a split of 65% “against” vs 35% “for” among swing voters.

            You can’t just assume that 80% is split 40/40. Think through that before you reply.

            Did you say you were an engineer? What is the world coming to.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            It probably didn’t help that I replied to the wrong post. I had meant to reply to the comment, “In a US Presidential election, 53-47 isn’t even close.”

            As I was noting, it is unlikely that a presidential candidate who wins with 53% of the popular vote would have an opponent who won 47% of the vote, because of the third parties. So the spread wouldn’t be 6%, but something greater than that, probably more like 7-9%.

            You can’t really compare the two types of votes directly, because one of them provides more than two ways to vote.

            And reducing the spread in the presidential vote isn’t just a matter of converting nay to yea, since there are more than two choices.

            I would say that narrowness is partly a function of the motivations. If the 53% are adamant in their opposition, then it could be an impossible hill to climb. But with a spread of that size, it is likely that there are enough swing voters to possibly change the outcome, given the right circumstances.

            As it turns out, there now appears to be a push to form a local union chapter without the UAW leading it, a move that appears to have support by some of the more vocal UAW opponents who work at Chattanooga. If true and if the idea has legs, that would be a blow to the UAW — a new union chapter, but without that affiliation.

          • 0 avatar
            SCE to AUX

            @agenthex:
            Yes, I’m an engineer. My 40%/40% statement is a guess, but based upon experience watching elections.

            You have to admit that the vote doesn’t really start at zero; most people entered this UAW election with their minds already made up. We can argue about the mythical percentages, but my point is that the swing vote decided this election and therefore the hill to climb for the UAW may be higher than it appears.

            Elections are not lotteries wherein the outcome is unbiased. My city of Pittsburgh hasn’t had a Republican mayor since 1933; anybody with a “D” next to their name can get elected. Any Republican running for mayor has to overcome heavy odds; they’re not starting from scratch.

            So the UAW faced the similar thing – I’m sure some Chattanooga workers will NEVER vote for union representation, but some will ALWAYS vote for it. If we assume these voting blocs are the same size (don’t know that), then the UAW has to fight for those workers willing to listen to their case. Since these voters evidently rejected the UAW, I suspect it won’t change in the future.

            As others have pointed out, if the issue was “UAW” vs “union”, then that will be quite interesting to watch and could likely be a different outcome.

          • 0 avatar
            agenthex

            >And reducing the spread in the presidential vote isn’t just a matter of converting nay to yea, since there are more than two choices.

            Above you missed the most obvious 3rd choice of abstaining which is necessary for the math to be complete. A probabilistic model of flipping between those three choices (and ignore the insignificant 3rd parties) is the simplest approach to what you’re doing. Because abstaining is less viable in the union case, voter are more likely to make the dichotomous choice you refer to.


            Also some perspective is necessary to grasp what’s going on. Note the political angle is this a significant *referendum* on “unionization”, and that is substantially accurate because the choice of *UAW* vs non-union (akin to R vs D, Con vs Lib) is a stronger subtext (more polarizing) than just specifics of the plan whose impact appears minor. In that sense, the vote is not unlike if a sample of area residents with a skew for VW worker profile were randomly picked for R vs D, aka exit poll. This sample is much smaller than for the presidential election and thus higher variance, ie less certain; possibly enough to cover the few percent gap anyway, esp with very few abstaining so most changes are flips. As referendum it’s weak in comparison to the large presidentials not unlike the exit poll.

            In that context, it’s obvious that changing the choices to less polarizing ones would only increase the dependence on plan specifics and *widen* the uncertainty compared to UAW or not.

            > If true and if the idea has legs, that would be a blow to the UAW — a new union chapter, but without that affiliation.

            It would also be a political blow to the idea that those who hate democrats/UAW also hate unionization in general.

          • 0 avatar
            agenthex

            > My 40%/40% statement is a guess, but based upon experience watching elections.

            No it’s an excuse for a math mistake and thus arbitrary in accuracy. There’s no way to determine with much accuracy given this is akin to an exit poll per post above, but if we’re just guessing, assuming the swing is centered around the actual result is the best place to start then shift that by how much the republican hate the UAW vs how much the democrats support them.

        • 0 avatar
          redav

          “I see that 53% = landslide will be the new meme on right-wing blogs for the next several days.”

          Well, we already know that 47% of voters will back either side regardless of the issue, leaving only the middle 6% to actually decide the result.

          Jokes aside, however, there WILL be those who vote a certain way regardless. Is it as high as 47%? Doubtful. But let’s say it’s 40%–throw away those from either side that cannot be influenced and look only at the votes that are actually up for grabs, and that 53-47 vote turns into 65-35. IOW, if this was the case, the swing voters were handily persuaded. That’s why even seemingly small differences can be difficult to overcome.

          • 0 avatar
            agenthex

            > But let’s say it’s 40%–throw away those from either side that cannot be influenced and look only at the votes that are actually up for grabs, and that 53-47 vote turns into 65-35.

            Looks like this trivial math error is making the rounds, too. Do these pubs just assume their readership are all morons?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            A follow-up vote in a close election that includes a relatively large group of swing voters is more likely to narrow the spread or flip the result than it is to widen the spread to the point that it becomes a landslide.

            In this particular case, turning just under 6% of the nays into yeas (about 3% of the total vote, plus 1) would flip the result. Whether that’s possible in this case, I don’t know.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Swinging votes are more significant in countries like Australia, where voting is compulsory.

            I think you’ll find the swinging voters were among the ones who didn’t vote.

            Unions, unlike politcal parties have a more constant set of policies. Political parties tend to use sweetners to buy the swinging voters.

            Unionism is almost like religion in that respect. Churches don’t change or change is very slow.

            I do recall the word flexibility and evolve. This is the biggest killer of unionism, the inability to adapt.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Perhaps, they thought that voting yes would eventually cause VW to move the factory south of the boder.

  • avatar
    Xeranar

    Congrats, it tooks threats from the republican party to pull 89 votes off of something management wanted. Assuredly, next year the UAW will be invited back and they’ll win because it takes huge corporate funds from non-union workplaces to interfere in VW’s style of management. The ultimate irony is how so many of you are too happy to be lapdogs for these people all while you make less and less.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      No, the UAW will lose. This was their best chance and the UAW was stunned at the loss.

      Only 41% were motivated to vote for the UAW. This is likely the high water mark for the UAW, especially since they described their proVW stance as merely a “tactic” that can be discarded.

      Remember, the UAW organized the VW plant in PA and it was a disaster for VW and the workers. The UAW went on to work their magic elsewhere.

      • 0 avatar
        JD23

        If management supports the union, it must be because the union is in the best interest of workers. If management opposes the union, it must be because the union is in the best interest of workers.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      I have no idea why they voted as they did — we would need to have extensive exit polling or something similar in order to know — but it isn’t beyond the realm of possibility that at least some of these voters would vote differently if there was a different union that was attempting to organize them.

      The UAW is in trouble, and it would be reasonable for workers to avoid boarding what is a sinking ship, paying dues to an organization that will transfer the benefit to the legacy members at the expense of the VW workers.

      Surely, there must be some other union that can provide them with the pros (a voice on a works council) while avoiding the cons (someone else’s bad balance sheet.)

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        You need to reconsider, I agree with you, lol.

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        Pch101 – The quasi-liberal voice. I really can’t agree with you here as you’re essentially claiming the UAW lost based on the probability that their union dues are going to pay for past expenses (i.e. social security style). If anything the most likely answer is a resistance due to southern ideologies mixed with a heavy approach by republican law makers and corporate outsiders trying keep unions from regaining strength.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          I made it clear that I don’t know why they voted as they did. (I have a habit of not forming opinions when I don’t have the facts — apparently, most of those who post here don’t share that habit.)

          What I am saying is that it may have been perfectly reasonable for those who supported the idea of a works council to oppose the UAW being their representative for it.

          It’s not a black-and-white universe, contrary to some of the nonsense being posted elsewhere in the comments section. Last I checked, the UAW wasn’t the only union in the US.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            “(I have a habit of not forming opinions when I don’t have RELIABLY BIASED, NON-SCIENTIFIC, POORLY REVIEWED, ACADEMIC PROPAGANDA TELLING ME WHAT TO BELIEVE – THANKFULLY, most of those who post here don’t share that habit.)”

            TFIFY

            :)

          • 0 avatar
            Roader

            Xer: “Without getting into some massive academic discussion on individual choice (or the illusion of) let me simply point you in the direction of sociology and sociological studies on the habits of the southern mentality.”

            Southern mentality???

            false consciousness (noun)
            1. a Marxist theory that people are unable to see things, especially exploitation, oppression, and social relations, as they really are; the hypothesized inability of the human mind to develop a sophisticated awareness of how it is developed and shaped by circumstances.

            Had they voted correctly, the enlightened Vanguard of the Proletariat (UAW) would have courageously led them to a workers’ paradise!

        • 0 avatar
          Toad

          Xeranar, props for blaming the usual suspects:

          -southern ideologies
          -republican law makers
          -corporate outsiders

          But you forgot to include the Koch Brothers, Faux News, and the Right Wing Media. So you’re batting .500

          Maybe, just maybe, a (small) majority of the VW workers in Chattanooga took a close look at the issue and decided that UAW representation was not in their interests at this time. Perhaps they know better than the rest of us what is in their own best interests, and really did not care what anybody outside the factory thought.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            Without getting into some massive academic discussion on individual choice (or the illusion of) let me simply point you in the direction of sociology and sociological studies on the habits of the southern mentality. If you want physical evidence grover norquist and his corporate-paid for PAC posted up billboards around town and Sen Crocker and the Republican legislature made clear threats of withdrawing support. If you can tell me they had no impact with a straight face then I’ll commend you on your poker face.

            Whether they were a deciding factor is up for debate but the argument in sheer economic terms were in favor of the union as dues would be paid but the next contract would see an increase that would have offset those dues and then some. The only real reason to vote down the UAW was pressure from conservatives. There are some days I wonder what the value was for letting the south keep it’s culture. They’re the laggards of our society.

          • 0 avatar
            VCplayer

            I’m pretty sure it would be immoral and tyrannical to force a group of people to feel differently about something just because you have a differing opinion.

            It might have been to the benefit of the workers to vote in the UAW, but this isn’t straight cause-effect. There are a lot of variables in predicting what the best outcome for the workers would be. We might give some credit to the fact that many workers are probably comfortable with what they have and don’t feel the need to mess with it.

          • 0 avatar
            JD23

            “Whether they were a deciding factor is up for debate but the argument in sheer economic terms were in favor of the union as dues would be paid but the next contract would see an increase that would have offset those dues and then some.”

            What evidence do you have that UAW representation would have yielded a positive return for workers in the next contract? If workers believe they can do better without the UAW after factoring in union dues, it would be rational to vote no.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            So, now bill boards should not be used to express political view points?

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            Oh landcrusher, you are my favorite kind of conservative. Take one statement then make it sound like it is perfectly rational of me to deny somebody the right to protest a political view dislike. The only thing I would say is if we forced Grover Norquist to use peer-reviewed research as the basis for his arguments he would have a hard time posting billboards.

            As it stands without a ‘fair doctrine’ the argument becomes whoever has the most money gets the biggest voice. So while my side has plenty of money we’re spending it advocating for the middle-class and advancing other social policies. Instead conservatives have the majority backing of the fortune-500 to avoid paying more to their workers so they can continue to extract value to pass onto a few stockholders at the very top of the system.

            I’m not against free speech, I’m for truthful and accurate speech that shares its intended view and goal.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “So while my side has plenty of money we’re spending it advocating for the middle-class and advancing other social policies.”

            Your side? Sir you’ve just demonstrated your complete ignorance by naming sides. Red team or blue team its irrelevant not a f*ck was given by either “side” for you, me, or the rest of society. Go up high enough and there are no “sides” there is simply an agenda and perhaps a timetable nothing more.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Xer,
            You need to edit that for clarity.

            Now, I am no fan of Norquist, the peer review system is now as corrupted a process as executive compensation committees, and I am more of a Main Street guy than a Wall Street guy.

            The problem with truthful and accurate speech is who gets to decide. The only workable answer is that we decide for ourselves. If billboard propaganda actually works, I blame an education system that decided it wanted to use propaganda rather than teach the tools to see through it.

            In the meantime, if you want the academy to return to a place of influence, I suggest you you get your fellows to start pushing fair and honest debate, transparency in methodology, and for the sake of civilization, stop the hate.

          • 0 avatar
            agenthex

            With the polarizing nature of US politics it’s quite likely that most all of the split is across party lines. Is there really a debate over whether people predominantly one side of this are manipulated into voting against their own economic self-interest, in a manufacturing plant no less? It’s hardly revelatory news.

          • 0 avatar
            agenthex

            > if you want the academy to return to a place of influence, I suggest you you get your fellows to start pushing fair and honest debate, transparency in methodology

            What is this, the AGW-denialist newsletter? Let me guess, the ivory tower elitists got you down? Can’t understand their papers but want to complain anyway?

            > and for the sake of civilization, stop the hate.

            Oh I get it. When people with some education can’t respect the dummies’ proud opinions, just pull out the ‘ol rubber-glue counterargument because it’s the thing the other way around.

            And people still wonder why this country is driving into a ditch.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            I rest my case.

          • 0 avatar
            agenthex

            > I rest my case.

            “They’re being mean to me” is a pretty terrible argument compared to “these people are clueless” on objective matters.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Those are both worthless to people who are trying to have a productive discussion.

          • 0 avatar
            agenthex

            > trying to have a productive discussion.

            Is that a joke? Serious question.

            In any case, “these people are clueless” is by definition the apropos argument when a certain group of people are clueless.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      @Xeranar:

      As a fellow Pitt graduate with 2 degrees, I apologize to the other TTAC B&B for your tasteless personal attacks on some here, even those who are trying to agree with you. I really don’t get it.

      In keeping with the theme of this particular story, can you describe what problem UAW representation would have solved for the Chattanooga workers? Because I haven’t heard of one.

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        Don’t apologize for me ever. I’m not sorry and frankly just as annoyed as I was before. Congrats on graduating from my alma mater as well. Tasteless personal attacks? Please, they’ve been passing the same tired myths. The problem here is inevitably I am just never going to ‘win’ because their worldviews are locked in regardless of what evidence they face. They’re moral economists who are lost in a world of ‘hard work’ and other half-truths that suit them.

        • 0 avatar
          Kenmore

          Darling, I love you like this.

          Your fire! Your passion!

          (UW-M can match Pitt for tasteless personal attacks any day :-)

    • 0 avatar
      GeneralMalaise

      “from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs”… I feel you, comrade!

  • avatar
    chris724

    Organized Labor = Organized Crime

  • avatar
    RogerB34

    Next will come the NLRB and a reversal.
    Surprising that 11 percent did not vote in an election that directly impacted their income.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      According to the coverage, there are no grounds for a reversal. Management would have to be shown to have done something wrong and VW was very careful there.

    • 0 avatar
      Toad

      “The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.” – Joseph Stalin

      With the NLRB doing the counting, we will see what happens.

  • avatar
    mikey

    6 percent ? Even after the fear mongering? I figured it would be closer to 25-30 rejection rate.

    Well, the workers spoke. Life will go on, and VW should have a look at why 44 percent of the workforce voted yes.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      41% of the workforce voted yes.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        That would be 42%.

        And only a minority — 47% — voted against. See how that math thing doesn’t quite tell the story that you hoped that it did?

        • 0 avatar
          thornmark

          Correction for you. That would be a plurality, or in this contest, a relative majority who were against the UAW.

          A genuine minority voted for the UAW.

          41% was cited in another article. Same mentioned that non-voters were unlikely to become pro-union.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Er, only a minority voted against it. The math of the plurality cuts both ways.

            Again, you and your math problems. When you can’t even get arithmetic right, then you really ought to step back and rethink your argument.

    • 0 avatar
      Toad

      “VW should have a look at why 44 percent of the workforce voted yes.”

      This. Unions are usually a reaction to bad management. Time for some management retraining or replacing.

      • 0 avatar
        Les

        That may have been what VAG hoped to accomplish with a works council, something about the culture, attitudes and training of US management candidates seems to promote.. well.. It makes Capitalism leave a bad taste in your mouth.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      @mikey – VW should consider the vote results, but don’t forget that they expressed indifference about the possible outcome, and Bob King sang the company’s praises.

      He singled them out as having a good working culture, but I think his reasoning was flawed – he basically said it was due to the German union. I’d simply suggest that things in Chattanooga aren’t really so bad.

  • avatar
    tresmonos

    Twenty years ago, union votes in the South were more common. Burlington constantly being in and out of representation, and family companies like Milliken and Timken utilizing special plant management ‘teams’ to shutter and discourage organizing of their facilities.

    I believe this vote to be indication that unions have now become a political pariah to the far right conservative south.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Union support of exclusively Democratic candidates probably has something to do with that. Unions should have watched what companies do: play both sides so they’re never on the outside looking in after an election. If you trust in the magnanimity and sense of fair play of politicians, you’ll be rudely disabused of that notion.

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        Unions DO NOT exclusively support Democratic candidates. My old trade union did not endorse Obama. Please come back with another argument and some facts please.

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        I’m sorry in what fantasy land did you think unions were ever going to garner support in the republican party? This is the problem with the current two parties. One is ultra-business focused and corporatist. They get the support from two regions of the coutntry, the south and the mid-west. They’re largely a rural party with leadership from the economic elites. The other party is centered in urban areas, skews towards minorities, and has a lock on the liberal vote but because they know the labor movement, minorities, and liberals have no other party to move to they can be as willfully ignorant to the needs of those groups as they wish.

        The United States is the only country with our form of capitalism and social economy. We’re also one of the few to have serious race and labor issues. It all ties together because in the end there is still a heavy white protestant plurality that agrees with the corporatists in the Republican party that effectively hold us back from engaging in meaningful reforms to our economic system that would garner more wages and income for all. But as long as places like Tennessee keep voting in favor of the economic elite 1% it will always be difficult to move the system.

        • 0 avatar
          VCplayer

          Some unions support the Republicans, it isn’t unheard of.

          Specifically, the UAW has gone out of its way to oppose Republican issues and office holders regardless of anything pertaining to the manufacture of automobiles. There are historical reasons for that, but the people who fought those battles have been dead for decades. Move on UAW.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “Some unions support the Republicans” I’m an Independent and I don’t support the Republicans, nor the unions. Neither do I support the Democrats.

            If more people voted for the best candidate for the job instead of a political philosophy, maybe America would be better for ALL of us.

            Which begs the question, “Which unions support the Republicans?” SEIU? Teamsters? AFL-CIO? USW? ATA? IBEW? BU? NTF? AFGE?

        • 0 avatar
          fincar1

          …and that’s why so many big businesses have been giving more money to Obama than to his opponent in the last two elections?

        • 0 avatar
          jhefner

          It’s not about winning over the Republican party; it is about winning over the workers you are trying to unionize. Even your union members are not a block vote; and consistantly supporting the Democratic Party means that those workers who do not resent the union’s influence on politics.

          The race and labor issues you moan about are mostly fabricated. In many circles these days, it is the white protestants who are discriminated against. Most of the race and labor talk these days are attempts by liberals to balkinize the nation in order to fragment the people and incite chaos.

        • 0 avatar

          “We’re also one of the few to have serious race and labor issues.”

          So I guess the murder of millions of Jews, Poles and Gypsies by the Germans and their associates wasn’t a serious racial issue? What about the Armenian genocide by the Turks? Serbs and Croats? Hutus and Tutsis?

          With all due respect, your statement is factually untrue. Just off the top of my head I can think of serious labor related violence affecting the car industries of both India and Korea within the past few years, in the 21st century. Europe has its own history of factory takeovers and labor violence. Go read about the history of the Schlumpf brothers and how their car collection got nationalized by the French. It’s not all German style workers’ council peace and love.

          For the most part, the American labor movement has not been a socialist movement, or at least not as socialist as the labor movement has been elsewhere. Samuel Gompers, the founder of the AFL, often said to be the father of the American labor movement, said that the worst sin capital can commit against labor is to fail to earn a profit. The former Canadian Auto Workers union was always more confrontational and strike prone than the UAW was in the U.S. While there were many reasons why the British auto industry more or less collapsed in the 1970s and 1980s, but labor relations was surely one of them.

          As for race, there’s never been a genocide in North America (well, since the Siberian-Americans wiped out everyone that came here before them), something that can’t be said for Europe, Asia and Africa. The UK has had racial rioting in recent memory and many European countries are dealing with social issues surrounding immigrants from Africa and the Muslim world. That’s setting aside some of the actions in Africa by European countries like France and Belgium (who mourns the millions of Congolese killed by the Belgians?). Then there’s Asian racism. Try being ethnically Korean in Japan. Though it’s not technically racism, the silence in the west about the persecution that Christians endure in the Muslim world reminds me a bit of the 1930s in Germany.

          When measured against other cultures, Americans are rank amateurs at racism. We have our problems in the U.S., no doubt, but acting as though it’s the only place in the world where people act like people is, in my view, a form of oikophobia.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Ronnie I’d point out the Trail of Tears march which took place in the 1830s was essentially a genocide according to the Webster’s definition. Now if we define genocide as the complete wiping out of a race or ethnic group, none of those events really qualify as such since some people survived.

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

            http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/genocide

            I’d also like to point out to everyone the relatively unknown crimes against humanity perpetrated by King Leopold of Belgium. Below is an excellent book on the true story of savagery and genocide in the late 19th century “Belgian” Congo. I give the book 9/10, it lost a point for being preachy at times and is otherwise 10/10, IMO.

            amazon.com/King-Leopolds-Ghost-Heroism-Colonial/dp/0618001905

        • 0 avatar
          Toad

          “We’re also one of the few to have serious race and labor issues.”

          Whatever your politics, that has to be one of the dumbest things I have seen written on TTAC. Virtually every country with a multiracial population has racial problems, and most of these countries try to solve the problem by the competing racial groups violently oppressing and/or killing each other. Russia and China’s 20th century man made famines, the ethnic slaughters in present day Africa, the race riots in present day France, England, or Germany, religious violence in the middle east…the list goes on. The US does not hold a candle to any of these regions when it comes to racial problems.

          Xeranar, wherever you got your high school degree from, sue them for malpractice. If you have a college degree sue the college and demand treble damages: you clearly did not get your money’s worth.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Well said Toad.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            Toad, I have a PhD from University of Pittsburgh in Political Science. My Master’s is from Duquesne University in 20th Century History with a focus in Labor and Race.

            You’re a conservative troll who views their opinions as actually peer-viewed facts when in reality they’re essentially spouting the same libertarian lines they always spout. I’m sure you feel big and bad trying to argue against me and frankly, you’re welcome, your editor (Ronnie) can’t even differentiate between fascism that the Nazis were and liberalism in the US. He isn’t even worth my time to break down argument by argument. But at the end of the day I’m still the one qualified to write books and teach students on the matter and you’re still some middle-management crony sucking off the people below you’s work.

            PS: Please respond with some anti-intellectual BS you’re bound to. This is how internet arguments work. You feel threatened because I disagree and can back up my views given time and effort to post articles and research while all you have is your right-wing talking points assembled for you by various paid corporations to hide behind. You feel small because I actually am more educated and in fields that pertain to this then you and you feel your opinion should be right in the face of overwhelming evidence. So you’re going to denigrate my schooling further because that’s just how these debates go. Please come to my University some time for coffee and I can show you my research on the matter.

          • 0 avatar
            Dave M.

            Remind me to cross off University of Pittsburgh from my daughter’s wish list.

            In my 31 years in higher education, the most valuable thing I have learned is common sense and life’s experiences trump a piece of paper every. single. time.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Nice one, Xer. Unfortunately for people like you, all those qualifications and three bucks still gets you a three dollar cup of coffee. If any of those books you are qualified to write actually get printed, I don’t think they will be remembered unless you can somehow manage to leave your lack of objectivity behind.

            In the meantime, the attacks just aren’t attractive.

            The worst of our labor relations were long ago, but many countries have had much worse problems than us in recent memory. Race problems as well. Maybe you might believe a fellow liberal with a more international focus? Surely one is nearby.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            Dave M – Didn’t I blow up your anecdotal BS some time ago? Please, the university of Pittsburgh is annually rated in the top-30 Universities in the US. Their Political Science department is not quite as high but certainly well versed on the matter. Duquesne is annually in the top-120.

            Thank you both for answering back with the obvious response the internet comes up with when a much better educated person contradicts your world view. Course sitting around a bar with blowhards will accept the talk you’re trying to pass off as academic. I’ve been to numerous conferences and had many of my articles lauded thus far. I mean, to be honest, the railing against the UAW around here is fundamentally unfounded and simply amounts to character assassination since you have zero actual facts to base these assumptions on.

            The UAW is generally one of the few unions that has a general anti-union following because the Big-3 has spent decades trying to tell enthusiasts that the union is the reason for everything from quality control to killing off certain models. The reality is far more mundane, the union basically drove wages up as manufacturing jobs were the best jobs for non-college educated person but no where near professional levels. They did occasionally defend people who didn’t deserve it but that’s the point of unions, you can’t pick and choose and letting one slide creates a door for letting everything slide. So unlike the SEIU, teamsters, UFW, or AFL-CIO who have a relatively modest public image and in general only get offenses from partisans on the right the UAW gets assailed by people who perpetuate the myths of UAW’s some how boogieman control over the auto industry.

            So in the end, this UAW loss in the transplants has more to do with exploited workers and partisan mentalities than anything economic. The union system isn’t perfect but the US is one of the only first world countries that has this kind of labor struggle. Your fearless (and often wrong) editor Ronnie clearly pointed towards India as an example of worse labor struggles but only because that country is effectively third world and still being economically exploited by the first. They have sweat shops and extreme poverty. We have extreme poverty and low-wage shops that are supported in certain regions. The only real difference is we can’t get away with dormitory style systems anymore.

            As an aside, don’t feel ad popular is the justification for your view. I know full well I’m posting an in anti-union circle so I expect the most push back and comment support for each other. In the end I know I won’t change your view, in fact I expect you to re-entrench as that is what conservatives do as a general act when faced with differing views. Economics is well within my field and I do a great deal of work on it. So while I’m sure you crunch numbers at your middle-management job, don’t try and pull that schtick with me.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            How about you go down to the engineering and management students and ask them how many of them want to go to work for a company that controls their interaction with their workers through a UAW contract? That would make for an interesting study. I don’t know how many people you have had work for you, but it’s not the same as teaching.

            If you want to accomplish great things, you don’t want to deal with that kind of crap. The unionized auto makers are eliminated from the wish list of many of the best, most innovative leaders.

            Most people don’t know that sort of thing. They rely on listening to the bile coming out of UAW mouthpieces. What else do they really need to know? The UAW is a bunch of big boys playing in the big leagues. If they have a PR problem, it’s not because they are a bunch of innocent blue collar guys just trying to keep things fair. It’s because they perpetuate an adversarial system in their own self interest over and beyond the best interest of the people they represent.

          • 0 avatar
            agenthex

            > When measured against other cultures, Americans are rank amateurs at racism.

            Oh wow, how quickly legally enforced segregation within living memory is forgotten. Maybe they stopped legally enforcing mandatory K-12 down there, too.

            The US is perhaps the only industrialized country where the class line is culturally delineated along the racial line.

            > Russia and China’s 20th century man made famines, the ethnic slaughters in present day Africa, the race riots in present day France, England, or Germany, religious violence in the middle east…the list goes on.

            Uh, except for maybe africa those aren’t racial violence. The “race riots” in europe are actually class riots, which our poor have been proper taught to blame themselves for. Though I guess it makes sense an American who sees all through that prism thinks they are.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Hex,
            That’s an interesting viewpoint. I guess it depends on some system of definition in which all people of dark skin are one race and another where the riots in Europe are codified differently? This seems to be the way the academics started playing a century ago.

          • 0 avatar
            agenthex

            > I guess it depends on some system of definition in which all people of dark skin are one race and another where the riots in Europe are codified differently?

            If for example immigrants riot, it’s not a race riot just because the a plurality aren’t from white parts of the world. The reason for your mistake was already note: Americans see darkies getting uppity and assume “race riot”.

          • 0 avatar
            Toad

            Xaraner, you actually have a Masters and a PhD? Yet so little understanding of history, much less respect and understanding of (if not agreement with) different viewpoints? Not to mention an insufferable level of eliteism and classism. I sincerely hope you are not teaching somewhere, although I don’t know what else you would do with those degrees except work in retail.

            I “only” have a bachelors in PolySci, although I had the good sense to figure out that the degree was worthless and went into business. Now I profitably employ a diverse group of people and manage to interact with them without condescension. The standards must be a lot lower in your corner of academia.

            However, I have also been a union member and done time on the factory floor; great way to learn what you don’t want to do for a living and pay for an education at the same time. When you have done time on the shop floor and have the union card to show for it you can tell us what your real world experience is. Otherwise you are like a virgin trying to explain sex.

          • 0 avatar
            GeneralMalaise

            Well said, Toad. This “professor” exhibits all of the leftwing elitist traits that have infected America’s universities. Everything they touch is based on theory, no practical experience to use as a sounding board. What a self-appointed, condescending, pretentious, progressive tool.

          • 0 avatar
            agenthex

            > Now I profitably employ a diverse group of people and manage to interact with them without condescension.

            The motivation for respect in academia vs business differ. One is focused on correctness and thus values factual accuracy and such, and other prizes sociability.

            It’s not wrong to question authority, but you also don’t prantz into office hours as if ignorance on the subject implies virtue.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Thanks agent, just as I suspected.

          • 0 avatar
            agenthex

            > Thanks agent, just as I suspected.

            Oh ok, you must be one of those antonym to ivory tower elitist.

          • 0 avatar
            JD23

            “Please, the university of Pittsburgh is annually rated in the top-30 Universities in the US.”

            By whom? I’ve never seen Pitt ranked in the top 50.

            The arguments you’ve presented so far rest upon nothing but weak appeals to authority. My BS, MS, and Ph.D. are from universities with a far better reputation than the University of Pittsburgh. I disagree with you; therefore, you are wrong.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            So, JD23 where are you degrees from and why should I care? Clearly if you have a PhD in physics I’ll certainly trust you on matters of air coefficients and friction. If you have a PhD in political science or History I would seriously question what university would let you pass with such a poor understanding of history. Your views are heavily ensconced in a conservative-driven ideological view that just don’t match up with reality. Not that the departments I’ve worked in haven’t had the occasional conservative but as a general rule conservatives rarely venture into history and political science because in the end their worldview is rarely if ever expressed and is routinely upended.

            I can imagine you’re part of that cadre of ‘wingnut welfare’ authors who churn out ludicrously wrong history books or pundit books on political science that are sold by private publishers and not universities because the content is so substandard that it could only be allowed through if the publisher was essentially being paid to peddle it.

            As an aside, you looked up the rankings where? Are you an obsessive follower of the rankings? It would seem you made a quick look to try and drive a point and then claimed to be absolute. That’s a classic mistake with people, fearful of ever leaving the door open they always try and close it so as not to let ever the chance they could be wrong in.

            But I digress, your comments were entertaining to read. I especially love how you’re proud of owning a business when all that amounts to is exploitation of a worker while you garner further benefit. I know in the right-wing world owning a business is the highest echelon, you’ve reached master status but without people like myself to educate the work force you wouldn’t have competent workers to provide the services you want.

            PS: Universities have always been bastions of liberalism. It hasn’t ‘infected’ you were just a white male in a time when they were the undisputed champions of the world. Times are changing, my friends, times are changing.

          • 0 avatar
            JD23

            “So, JD23 where are you degrees from and why should I care? Clearly if you have a PhD in physics I’ll certainly trust you on matters of air coefficients and friction. If you have a PhD in political science or History I would seriously question what university would let you pass with such a poor understanding of history. Your views are heavily ensconced … ”

            You got me, my degrees are in Economics and Electrical Engineering – two disciplines that require thought that is more rigorous than simply regurgitating things that you read in a Howard Zinn book.

            “As an aside, you looked up the rankings where? Are you an obsessive follower of the rankings? It would seem you made a quick look to try and drive a point and then claimed to be absolute. That’s a classic mistake with people, fearful of ever leaving the door open they always try and close it so as not to let ever the chance they could be wrong in. ”

            I’m not an obsessive follower of rankings, but have spent plenty of time in academia at top 10 universities and know that Pitt has never been considered anything near elite. You made the claim that Pitt is a top 30 university; now it’s time to provide proof.

            “But I digress, your comments were entertaining to read. I especially love how you’re proud of owning a business when all that amounts to is exploitation of a worker while you garner further benefit. I know in the right-wing world owning a business is the highest echelon, you’ve reached master status but without people like myself to educate the work force you wouldn’t have competent workers to provide the services you want.”

            Huh? I don’t own a business, nor have I ever made that claim. You must be confusing me with someone else.

            “PS: Universities have always been bastions of liberalism. It hasn’t ‘infected’ you were just a white male in a time when they were the undisputed champions of the world. Times are changing, my friends, times are changing.”

            You must be confusing me with someone else again; I’m probably younger than you are and was at a university less than five years ago.

            I’m still waiting for you to contribute anything more than strawmen and tired ad hominems, but I doubt that is within your capabilities.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            So, the plot thickens.

            I am very familiar with Duquesne University of the Holy Ghost as my grandfather (’54 Education), mother (’77, dual degree Education/Special Education) and one of my best friends (’06 Sociology) are graduates, heck I almost went there myself. Duquesne is a Catholic university and has a few very notable programs such as their pharmacy, pre-med, and law school but overall in my lifetime it functions as a boarding school for STUPID SPOILED RICH KIDS to major in NOTHING. That’s right because undergrad tuition is a staggering $28,913 PER YEAR and heck its $35,823 for Music! This is in a city where the avg taxable household income is $39,884 in 2012. Harvard is $38,891 without room and board for hecks sake! My mother’s annual tuition in the 70s was something like +/- $3K at the time, which even if you triple it in today’s funds is still +/- $9K, not $30K. Somewhere along the line the regents and the diocese figured out they could turn it into a preppy boarding/finishing school and jack the tuition to high heaven because they are all about “getting paid”. So whenever I hear a Duquense grad who is not from one of the aforementioned majors I think either its an ordinary person who got taken for a $100K debt ride as my friend did or its a spoiled brat spending mommy and daddy’s money because they (1) come from a family obsessed with Catholic/private schools (2) are too stupid to get into a real university and Duq takes anyone (3) like to party (4) or a huge douchebag.

            Now let’s talk Pitt. I personally loathe the institution but in fairness like Duquesne, Pitt has some excellent programs and I have worked with several graduates of their engineering school in the past. Overall however it is an AWFUL university who along with its affiliate health system UPMC own most of Oakland and Shadyside and PAY NO PROPERTY TAXES (they skirt this with something called the Pittsburgh Promise). So we already have an extremely dysfunctional city gov’t who just came out of bankruptcy and an even more dysfunctional city school district (who spent $512 million in 2012 and is still ranked something like 443 of 500 in the state) who won’t have a sizable chunk of major Pittsburgh real estate pay any real estate taxes. This from a hospital network with revenues of $9.6 BILLION in 2012 and a university with a $1.8 BILLION dollar endowment and $1.5 BILLION in property in 2009 according to their own press. So what they do with all of the tax money they don’t pay? They create lofty positions for worthless academics so they can tell us “how it is” because gosh I guess we are just too darn stupid to figure it out for ourselves. So Mr. Xeranar keep on trolling your falsehoods and rhetoric since you’ve already indicated your entire life is lived in an academic fishbowl and you have no facts to bring to the table. By your own admission you have absolutely no experience working FOR the UAW, or an automaker so you personally don’t know a DAMN THING ABOUT IT.

            http://www.duq.edu/admissions-and-aid/tuition

            http://www.post-gazette.com/business/businessnews/2013/09/19/Pittsburgh-s-median-family-income-rises/stories/201309190300

            http://www.upmc.com/media/newsreleases/2012/pages/fy2012-fourth-quarter.aspx

            http://www.cfo.pitt.edu/documents/DTGlossyDraftOct7th.pdf

            http://www.pittsburghpromise.org/

            https://college.harvard.edu/financial-aid/how-aid-works/cost-attendance

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            Nice description 28, I’m sure it sells well with the others. I didn’t go to Duquesne University for undergrad, I went there for graduate school. Nor did I pay a dime as I was given a scholarship for study there. The same went on at Pitt. I found your attacks on the school to be hilarious. You’re a by definition somebody who I would call an ‘Idiot’ not because you work in CS and pretend your IT job is somehow valuable to the capitalists you suck up to. Instead I call you an idiot because you somehow assume in order to be a valid voice you need to have worked for X. Too bad that would exclude EVERYBODY saying anything here. Nobody has worked for VW or UAW in any capacity above perhaps laborer/member. So in effect my research into unions and my work on unions actually gives me a more valid voice than your’s. Obviously your views will remain steadfast in the face of endless facts because your worldview is diametrically opposed to my own.

            By the way, it’s Dr. X to you. You’re a Mister because you lack the degree to hold such a title and I am not necessarily trying to rub it in but if you are going to declare me a Mister as well, well I’m going to point out your failings.

            So, anti-intellectualism. Check

            Views that espouse how management and capitalism is best. Check

            Any view in opposition to their own is unfounded and wrong. Check

            The list goes on but frankly when your best champion is still unable to differentiate between communism, socialism, and capitalism followed by various characters who are all neo-classical economists who blindly accept the way things are because they’re white middle-class/upper-middle class that were lucky in their endeavors. But I digress, we’ve found that while I was entertained and drained at times (because so few people would dare question an intellectual in their wheelhouse) but I enjoyed the time. Really gives me a leg up on what to expect from conservative students who step into my classroom and how I can help them realize the errors of their thinking.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “So in effect my research into unions and my work on unions actually gives me a more valid voice than your’s.”

            In effect. The operative phrase of a sentence seeking to demean any dissenting opinion. Clever, they teach you that in finishing school? So *in effect* if I chose to immerse myself in the history of the Homestead Steel Strike of 1892 and debate you on the topic, would this mean my voice would become more valid than yours? Hehe I forgot you’ll just pull out your “education” card to trump me and again remind me I’m just a yinzer idiot. Funny how that works huh? I wipe my ass with your worthless diplomas sir. You spew nothing but rhetoric but then keep lauding your supposed education as if this is somehow evidence of your correct convictions. I challenge you to present facts and links with your rhetoric, who knows your views may just be taken seriously.

          • 0 avatar
            agenthex

            >You got me, my degrees are in Economics and Electrical Engineering – two disciplines that require thought that is more rigorous than simply regurgitating things that you read in a Howard Zinn book.

            Presumably someone posting here nevermind a college degree can google poly.sci coursework, but since we’re in the swing of things it’s worth pointing out that EE and econ has in common a dependence on normative & toy models. That’s generally a weakness when dealing with unfamiliar realities compared to other sciences.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            28 – My degrees are only worthless because you fundamentally disagree with my world view. I’m considered an ‘up and coming’ expert in my field. But I appreciate the whine I hear when conservatives get frustrated by the thought that they aren’t right.

            This isn’t my favorite article that I pulled down but it is something you’re more inclined to accept as it borders on neo-classical, so it probably represents a middle-ground between us. It points out your side’s favorite points as quite opposite of what is argued…but I digress.

            As an aside, I had to pull that off JSTOR and the IP lists it as a proxy to the university I work at as trade (Northern Arizona University) so if you want to find me….I’m not up on the site yet which is weird but *shrug* that’s life.

            http://www.scribd.com/doc/207595661/UAW-Lean-Times

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Xer, if your posts here were as reasonable as the paper you posted, you might actually have had some influence on us. Having written what you wrote though, how are you still a fan of the UAW? It seems they haven’t done a great job taking care of their members who, having been in an unsustainable system that helped atrophy their companies, were then tossed into a system that will be unsustainable by their aging bodies.

        • 0 avatar
          Landcrusher

          You don’t travel much do you?

          It is a lucky man whose trip through France is not touched by union turmoil. Last I was in South Korea the strikes involved sticks and stones. Italy, blocked highway. Etc.

        • 0 avatar
          Power6

          Xeranar I have to echo some sentiments here, if you think we have race problems here in the US, take a trip to another country some time, America is about the most accepting place. I’m worried you have all this education but no actual experience? Seriously get your passport and take a trip.

          • 0 avatar
            GeneralMalaise

            “The arguments you’ve presented so far rest upon nothing but weak appeals to authority… I disagree with you; therefore, you are wrong.”

            This attitude and tactic are tools the self-appointed leftist intellectual gimps employ. In addition, they must view themselves as heroic in all that they do.

        • 0 avatar
          agenthex

          > One is ultra-business focused and corporatist.
          > The other party is centered in urban areas, skews towards minorities, and has a lock on the liberal vote

          These don’t seem dichotomous, mostly because they aren’t. It’s entirely possible to be corporatist and urban/less racist/liberal as reality demonstrates.

  • avatar
    CopperCountry

    The bottom line is that the “safety and job security” line from the unions doesn’t frighten workers like it used to. Job safety? – we have OSHA rules. Job security and protection from unjust firing? – we have workers rights laws at the State and Federal level. You can make the argument that it was the unions who advanced these causes, and that because of their advocacy, we have the rules and rights ensconced in our laws. But if unions disappeared tomorrow, these laws would remain. Not to take away from the good things that resulted from union efforts, but their cry that only they can hold the line against worker abuse doesn’t fly anymore.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Some of those legal protections are not automatic. When I was in California state government, the governor proposed a contract that would allow management to suspend an employee without pay for three days without a hearing. If there were three suspensions in a one year period, the employee could be fired without a hearing. The employee couldn’t appeal to the NLRB because their rules require that they step in only after a hearing.

      The contract proposal also was in violation of civil service law, but the governor wanted the unions to agree to the contract and help him change the law to make the contract legal! This proposed contract wasn’t for the janitors and clerical workers, it was for professional engineers in California government (PECG).

      You can’t trust employers, or the politicians they’ve bought. Unions have gone too far in trying to dictate how management runs the business, but there’s still a need for an organization to handle grievance/hearing/appeal procedures and protect workers. The laws have been written to require unions to participate in the process.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Maybe you guys should try and discover what positive attributes you can provide for your employer. This is called being an asset. If you are an asset they will not fire you.

        As for the occupational health and safety side of things, just comply.

        I do think there would be some form of protection offered to protect your job.

        A job isn’t an entitlement, it’s earnt, that’s why we get paid to work.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      Workers Rights Laws? Bahahahah! I live in VA and my job can be terminated at any time for no reason. How is this a great “right”?

      • 0 avatar
        VCplayer

        Well the nice part is that when the guy working next to you turns out to be a slacker collecting a paycheck without doing any work, he’s easy to let go. Working in a highly unionized field myself, the inability of management to discipline or fire incompetent employees is a huge burden on everyone else.

        I’m not sure if that’s better, but there is a tradeoff.

  • avatar

    the winner here is VW, not in the rejection of the UAW, but in their openness to accepting the will of the workers, accommodate the vote, and propose a Works Council. the loser is the UAW who should, but won’t, learn from the experience. their real downfall is primarily due to the Administrative Caucus, the internal power structure that crushes any opposition, challenge, or differing opinion within the organization. also Corker will likely feel blowback from his interference.

    it is no surprise to me that Southern workers aren’t lining up to join the UAW who has only offered concessions to management while signaling an increase in dues. the union has abandoned it’s founding principles by agreeing to second tier wages that violate the concept of Solidarity. Walter Reuther warned members of the day when leaders were paid more than the average Joe, and he was right. the leadership (sic) has become corrupt and isolated from hourly workers and far too cozy with the corporate executives….hence the decay in the image of unionism and the continuing decline in membership.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      Nice analysis, shows the issues for a lot of labor unions. Could you tell use more about the Administrative Caucus? As a former Iron worker; I’ll probably have conniptions when I learn about it.

      • 0 avatar

        there is an organization within the organization that wields absolute power over the UAW. it is similar to the Republican Party and the way they treated Ron Paul and his followers. he was mistreated by the powers that be and his campaign sidetracked at every turn and by every means. the Admin Caucus of the UAW doesn’t allow for dissent and uses the power of appointed positions to protect it’s complete control over the union.

        combine this unquestioned authority and collusion with the auto companies’ management and you have a recipe for success that doesn’t include those who pay dues. the abuse extends to rumored misappropriation of Joint Funds and charades like Quality of Work Life, and Constitutional Conventions that are anything but.

        • 0 avatar
          el scotto

          Buickman, thank you for taking to time to reply. Conniptions were duly had. Maybe, just maybe; such union empires are made in labor unions because they have a fixed base of companies their members work at. I was in a trade union and our officials spent a lot of their time finding more work for us.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Buickman, sage commentary, as usual. But I believe that we have not heard the last of the UAW and the unionization of America with the help of the NLRB, by a long shot.

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    Is there any rule that says VW’s workers have to use the UAW? if this was more a vote against the UAW then unionization in general, could they choose a different union to represent them like the IAM or something else? Maybe due to AFL-CIO rules they would have to choose a union not affiliated with them?

    Unions can have their place. I work in a right to work state, and initially was undecided about joining the union at my job (the dues are $60/month which is not insignificant). Within a couple months, I saw the way management treated workers and this longtime Republican joined the union with no quarrels. Although I have yet to need their assistance, I’ve seen enough times where others have that I’m glad to have them helping out and available should I inevitably need their assistance. They’ve got their own issues and are far from perfect, but they’re also the only thing that keeps our management in check.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      A buddy of mine brought up a good example that seems to align with your case tjh. In quite a few jobs the issue isn’t pay or safety but egregious conduct by management.

      His uncle was the shop steward and most of his time was spent helping workers keep their job. The guy was a keen observer and good at taking notes so his most common tactic was to cite the same behavior in managers and supervisors trying to fire the worker. This ranged from intoxication to theft.

      One example that I like to laugh about in my own work place is the required drug test if you damage something while operating machinery or above a certain dollar amount. They use it as a tool to prune the tree so to speak yet the manager who administers the test couldn’t pass the same drug test if they tried.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        My new work place has a breathalyzer (no tolerance) and random piss test for every employee.

        I am f*cked if they catch me on a bad day where I’m so hung over, I’m blowing a percentage.

        • 0 avatar
          AlternateReality

          “I am f*cked if they catch me on a bad day where I’m so hung over, I’m blowing a percentage.”

          Hey, it’s your life to live, but perhaps you’d be better served by not consuming alcohol (or narcotics) to excess rather than gambling with your means of employment?

          This sort of attitude seems to play right into the argument that those who accept responsibility for their actions will seldom – if ever – need a union to ‘watch their back.’

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            I could care less about the job or your opinion. There is a point where an employer steps over the line. Blowing a .0001 and getting canned for it is utter bull sh*t.

          • 0 avatar
            AlternateReality

            Wow, just a little defensive. Happy hour started early, eh?

            I have a low tolerance for alcohol, yet even I’m not hungover at .0001. Based on your attitude, I’m guessing you’d frequently blow quite a bit more than that.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @tresmos
            I’ve been trained to be a alcohol and drug tester/supervisor at work.

            It’s the worst job, especially the drug testing. Every time we get a pending (I’m not allowed to use the word positive) result, massive quantities of paperwork is involved.

            I have yet to produce a pending that was attributed to illegal drug usage. It’s all medications, boy do people take medication.

            Alcohol testing is different. We have a zero tolerance for alcohol. But if your blood alcohol level is above 0.00 you get sent home. Three strikes and your out though. But it doesn’t necessarily mean you fired.

            To me its a hell of a lot of paperwork.

            But, I do think it’s had a positive impact on the cultural attitude in relation to alcohol and drug usage.

          • 0 avatar
            AlternateReality

            The true issue here is that no one is entitled to a job. Either you accept responsibility for your actions and appreciate the opportunity to work, or you get the f*ck out and clear a path for someone willing and able to undertake the burdens of personal responsibility and sobriety.

            tresmono’s “I could[n\'t] care less” mentality is one big reason why this country is in such a sorry state. It’s time to clear out the vermin who still hold such high opinions of their own mediocrity; injecting some much-needed societal Darwinism, through elimination of unions like the UAW, would help that process tremendously.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            AlternateReality, I distinctly heard the mouthpiece for the current American administration tell us that the administration welcomes more people opting to stay out of the work force, re healthcare.

            With >92 million individuals not participating in the American workforce, I’d say they are well on their way to achieving their goal.

          • 0 avatar
            AlternateReality

            HDC, I highly doubt the Boy King wishes the same fate upon those worthless masses as I do…

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            AlternateReality, you’re right!

            America’s changing from what was once a hard-working, striving for excellence, world-leading society to the socialist-welfare state it is today.

            America’s wealth is being spread around at the expense of those who worked for it; raising the standard of living for some while lowering the standard of living of others.

            Gone are the days of the Pioneers and their quest to build a better life through skill-application.

            But we, as in all of us including me, have to respect the wishes of the majority. This is what the majority wanted, this is what they voted for; the new Vision for America. And they are welcome to it as long as they pay for it.

            So I’m cool with that too, but I try not to contribute in any way to this concept of cradle-to-grave care, instead focusing my energy solely on maintaining and improving my lifestyle and that of my loved ones.

            I am often surprised to learn how many others have turned their backs on supporting our current government, and how many are actually leaving America and renouncing their citizenship to conserve their wealth.

            Many others in the US are taking their money out of the banks and keeping it in cash at home.

            I don’t think that has ever happened before this administration. And if it has, I don’t think it was ever on this scale.

          • 0 avatar
            AlternateReality

            “But we, as in all of us including me, have to respect the wishes of the majority. This is what the majority wanted, this is what they voted for; the new Vision for America. And they are welcome to it as long as they pay for it.”

            There’s the rub, though – a lot of “them” aren’t paying for it. Instead that burden falls on the producers, who now constitute a clear minority in our society.

            I doubt the Founding Fathers ever envisioned the sort of cultural morass their country has been allowed to descend into. We now have a clear moocher/vermin/parasite class comprising a sizable part of the majority, and politicians (largely on the left) are all-too happy to pander to them in order to remain in power… which is easy to do, when your subjects have allowed themselves to become little more than useful idiots.

            You can do all you can to extract yourself from the situation, as you said HDC, but… why should we be the ones on the run from what used to be a great country?

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            To be clear, AlternateReality, I could care less about your opinion.

            My career has been rewarding and I have done a lot of great things through my job. Your opinion means nothing.

            If having 3-4 beers one evening results in my termination, so be it. I’m not going to stop enjoying my lifestyle for this job (not ever have a beer). If it doesn’t work out? I’ll find a better job.

            Take your opinion and cram it. You are an all assuming know it all. I am glad I’m not you. If I were to make assumptions about you, I wouldn’t waste my valuable time typing it out on the internet.

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            “tresmono’s “I could[n\'t] care less” mentality is one big reason why this country is in such a sorry state. It’s time to clear out the vermin who still hold such high opinions of their own mediocrity;”

            Edited out my reply to this. The Best and Brightest really is a satirical nick name for this lot of keyboard commando yahoos.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            AlternateReality, “why should we be the ones on the run from what used to be a great country?”

            You are correct in that we should not be the ones on the run, but there is no alternative except to extricate yourself from a lose/lose situation brought on by an administration and ruling majority that favors taking evermore of your hard-earned dollars and giving it to the non-productive.

            Consider this, all those people over the past decades who were laid off or otherwise lost their jobs when their companies downsized or moved away weren’t keepers to begin with.

            If they had been keepers their companies would have accommodated them or moved them or whatever. But they were not keepers and people looking to hire new talent know this.

            That’s why in the vast majority of job seekers only those currently employed need apply. The unemployed need not apply.

            That’s called an unintended consequence to the philosophy of the progressives who believe that employers, large and small, should be creating jobs even for the non-productive in our society.

            In life the only thing that matters is that you win, not how you play the game. That’s why I go whole-hog to give my kids and grandkids a leg up on the competition.

            And judging by the results, I’d say I have achieved the desired outcome. My 21-yo grand daughter left our home on 20 Jan 2014 to go to her 4-month long University-sponsored work/study program with the Feds that will result in various job offers when she graduates in May 2014.

            That’s what it is all about! Bettering one’s self. She may have to pay an inordinate amount of her income in taxes to support the non-productive in our society, but at least she won’t be saddled with debt from the start of her working life.

            And when she gets settled at her new permanent duty station our family will make sure she has a house to call her own. It won’t be a mansion, but it will be a nice home in a good neighborhood.

          • 0 avatar
            AlternateReality

            tresmonos: “I could[n\'t] care less about the job…”

            tresmonos, 36 hours later: “My career has been rewarding and I have done a lot of great things through my job…”

            So you sobered up, eh monkey man?

          • 0 avatar
            AlternateReality

            HDC, you’re spot-on regarding the lack of “keepers.”

            The system used to do a decent job of weeding out the undesirables and worthless elements of the workforce; or, at worst, consigning them to low-wage jobs commensurate to their skills and ambition. Today, however, our entire society seems hell-bent on promoting mediocrity, and granting the underclass an undeserved and unwarranted level of power and purpose.

            Unions play right into this scheme, of course, and – as we’ve seen in certain responses around this thread – much of the underclass is simply ill-equipped for, and unworthy of, any such regard.

          • 0 avatar
            agenthex

            AlternateReality> HDC, you’re spot-on regarding the lack of “keepers.” The system used to do a decent job of weeding out the undesirables and worthless elements of the workforce; or, at worst, consigning them to low-wage jobs commensurate to their skills and ambition.

            &

            highdesertcat> You are correct in that we should not be the ones on the run, but there is no alternative except to extricate yourself from a lose/lose situation brought on by an administration and ruling majority that favors taking evermore of your hard-earned dollars and giving it to the non-productive.


            You two seem to fancy yourself elitists by looking down on welfare queens and such when this is at best a form of serf on serf crime. Contrast this to how worthwhile elitism is done:

            http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2008/10/31/9105/9154

            Surely anyone worthy on looking down on others can grasp that their own jobs are artificially protected & subsidized by gubmint immigration policies:

            http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/australian-supplier-association-warns-of-33000-jobs-lost-in-wake-of-producer-exits/#comment-2794273

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “You two seem to fancy yourself elitists by looking down on welfare queens and such when this is at best a form of serf on serf crime.”

            I just assumed that it was part of a comedy routine. Is there a two-drink minimum?

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            AlternateReality:

            I can do my line of work at many organizations. The current one uses the drug test as a witch hunt by management. I took this job as I like money and the location. I can easily move some place else or find another job if it doesn’t work out, or I can take a few years off from work and travel. Career DNE singular employer/job.

            Assumptions are fun! Shouldn’t you be worrying about what your favorite talking head is feeding into your thick skull?

            You know nothing about the rank and file which you barbeque on this forum (many contributors who add value to the discussion at TTAC are or were part of the UAW – you have yet to add value to anything on this site from what I have seen), you know nothing about me, yet you keep spewing and judging.

            Next time you mosey up to the keyboard, turn your brain on and think about what people could benefit from. Type something out that pertains to the automotive industry. Type something out that may be thought provoking. If you can’t do any of that, keep on assuming I’m some drunk and I’ll be glad to call you out on your idiocy.

            Maybe I’ll drink and troll you simultaneously from work!

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            @agenthex:
            Due to immigration policy that I’m sure HDC and AlternateReality gobble up to on their Fox News break, Ford has a design center in Santa Fe. All of the engineers there would love a job at Ford in the states. Unfortunately for us, we don’t want them to ‘take er jerbs’ so they just take them from us at their domiciled location.

            I agree with you 100%

            The narrow minded (who seem to have got my goat) cannot see this. HDC and AlternateReality romanticize the world they were given by their fathers who fought a war and put us on an artificial economic pedestal.

            “Gone are the days of Pioneers and their quest to build a better life through skill-application.” Bullsh1t. You two 4ss hats were blind enough to think you deserved your economic wealth. Now you f*cked my generation through your short sightedness and proclaim you deserve some sort of reward.

            My generation has to fix your f*ck ups.

      • 0 avatar
        tjh8402

        @raph – It’s sad. I’ve seen plenty of times that management, when presented with a reasonable complaint, has responded with “if you don’t like it, file a grievance” instead of trying to find a resolution. In my work place, there’s a long history of a confrontational relationship between management and labor, so it’s as though the two have long given up on listening to or working with each other. It becomes a self reinforcing cycle because even someone like me who is not exactly pro union ends up joining just to protect myself. It’s not just job security, it’s workplace conditions and treatment. We had several new hires that offered to come in for training on their own personal time and were told by their supervisor they could. When the arrived, the training supervisor said they couldn’t attend the class and had to leave “because they were too new”. some of them had driven 50+ miles one way from their homes to attend. I could continue…Has the Union saved the jobs of people who we were probably better off without? yes and that’s unfortunate. However, with the way things are run here, I kinda view it similar to the theoretical legal basis for our justice system – “better that 10 guilty men go free than 1 innocent man be punished”.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        edit: wrong thread

  • avatar
    racer-esq.

    The UAW is not a great private sector union. But private sector unions are not nearly as big of an issue as public sector unions. At least private sector unions deal with adverse management, not politicians to whom they have made donations. Hopefully the supreme court gives public sector workers the right-to-work (i.e. to work without joining a union), an opportunity the supreme court currently has:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-01-21/union-fees-debated-in-supreme-court-case-over-labor-power.html

    For example, not every police officer necessary feels it should be a 15 year felony to record cops committing crimes (e.g. beating up female bartenders http://abcnews.go.com/US/chicago-police-found-guilty-covering-bartender-beating/story?id=17716840 ), like Fraternal Order of Police president Mark Donahue does ( http://gizmodo.com/5741450/recording-a-police-officer-could-get-you-15-years-in-jail ). They should have the freedom of speech not to send dues to Mark Donahue.

    The UAW did not kill Detroit. Public sector unions did. And a number of other cities throughout the country, including Stockton And San Bernardino, are going bankrupt because of public sector unions. People can choose not to buy a certain car, they cannot choose not to pay regressive sales and property taxes.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      Which is why traditional Dems. like FDR, thought public sector unions were a crazy idea – there was no one to protect the public interest against the union demands.

      I believe JFK signed the first executive order allowing unions in the Fed gov – but they were supposed to be non-political. Clinton signed another order allowing public employeees to be political.

      Here:

      “…In 1962, President John F. Kennedy planted the seeds that grew the modern Democratic Party. That year, JFK signed executive order 10988 allowing the unionization of the federal work force. This changed everything in the American political system. Kennedy’s order swung open the door for the inexorable rise of a unionized public work force in many states and cities.

      This in turn led to the fantastic growth in membership of the public employee unions—The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the teachers’ National Education Association.

      They broke the public’s bank. More than that, they entrenched a system of taking money from members’ dues and spending it on political campaigns. Over time, this transformed the Democratic Party into a public-sector dependency….”
      http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052748704320104575015010515688120

      Since these actions were by Prez fiat I wonder what would happen if a reformer got in and undid them in the same way.

  • avatar
    TomHend

    All of you out there “picking a side” let me just say, Democrats and Republicans as they stand today, could not care less about you.

    They are two peas in the same pod, we have a one party system, and before you go off, all the “isms” are basicailly oligarchs, a few people at the top telling you how to live.

    • 0 avatar
      bullnuke

      I’m from the Rust Belt and am familiar with large unionized-businesses. My hometown still has one (of the former many) left – Navistar (or International or International Harvester, whatever they’re calling themselves now). In my view little has changed other than the details in the process of management/union/ worker. The management big-shot sheds his tie and suitcoat, steps up to the microphone and holds a big time press-worthy speech about some current issue with the union member employees. Speech over, he retreats, puts his tie and suitcoat back on, gets in his limo and goes to a five-star for dinner and drinks. One the other hand, the union big-shot sheds his tie and suitcoat, steps up to the microphone and holds a big time press-worthy speech about the same current issue with the union member employees. Speech over, he retreats, puts his tie and suitcoat back on, gets in his limo and goes to a five-star for dinner and drinks. The union member employees, giving time, toil and union dues pay for the limo, dinner and drinks for both big-shots. Nothing has changed in the 40 years I’ve been watching.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    Volkswagen management is seriously delusional if it thinks UAW unionistas are team players like the German-style Works Councils.

    Does it not remember the persistent labor unrest at the Volkswagen Westmoreland Pennsylvania Rabbit Assembly Plant? The plant began in 1978 with a UAW strike and lurched from problem to problem including six walkouts in its first twenty months of operation. Picketing workers chanted “No more money, no more bunnies.” Assembly quality was abysmal.

    Volkswagen finally closed the plant in 1988 and cancelled plans for two other U.S. plants before fleeing back to Germany at high speed.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      “Assembly quality was abysmal.”

      My friend who worked there then (in the quality department) said it got so bad that he found himself looking for telephone poles to hit on the way home, just so he wouldn’t have to return. He hated that job.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    It seems to me the workers would vote for a minimalist union of their own, and VW would likely fund to get it started. Hire a decent negotiator and a lawyer (maybe one person to do both) and a couple staff and pay them to do the basics. Get the workers to say what they want the union to do, and let them do it. There is always the threat of joining the dark side later if VW starts to act badly. What would be wrong with that?

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Aside from it being illegal, there’s nothing wrong with it.

      That smells like a company union. Management is supposed to stay neutral. The NLRA protects the right to both join and to not join unions, depending upon the consensus of the work force.

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        I’m certainly no labor lawyer, but I can’t believe its illegal for the workers to form their own union. I realize that most of the laws around unions are terribly bad laws written in response to some terribly bad situations that I can’t believe would be real problems in the modern US, but that seems a bit silly.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          A company that contributes seed money to its union isn’t remaining neutral. Management neutrality is a requirement under federal law.

          It’s something that workers should be doing on their own.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            So, it’s not illegal to form their own union? Only for the management to provide financial aid for it? I refer you to previous comment about terribly written laws.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            If my understanding is correct, the union to which the workers would belong is a local chapter, which can then choose to affiliate with an umbrella organization such as the UAW.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Then I suspect they could get a majority by simply putting in simpler by laws and forbidding affiliation without some sort of poison pill.

            Of course, they could simply work their jobs, provide feedback to the bosses that seem to care, and try to make the best cars they can.

  • avatar
    GeneralMalaise

    All is not lost, give the UAW some time and perhaps they can employ the new favorite tactic of the Obama administration and Dems, which is letting loose the dogs of the IRS on those who don’t toe the line.

  • avatar
    areader

    The unending greed of employers will bring unions back. Armstrong at AOL revealed a little more about himself than he intended to with his recent ‘justification’ of changing the schedule of 401K payments by his company. Pay at the end of the year instead of per pay period with no payment made for a year if the employee left say on December 15. I have a relative in a nursing home. The aides work hard for crap wages. The company has instituted a wage freeze, cancelled any contribution to the 401K plan several years ago and recently clawed back any accumulated sick leave.

    • 0 avatar
      Landcrusher

      Your relative should leave. The reasons for such behavior are indicative of really bad issues no matter why they are being done. They are cutting costs to stay in business? The decent management gas been replaced by idiots? Whatever. How long before the cut backs increase the risk of mal outcome?

  • avatar
    Bob

    Why would you want to have a factory in the US when you could have one in Mexico?

    • 0 avatar
      Landcrusher

      Because you want protections for your investment in the form of fair courts and reasonable… Oh, wait…

      • 0 avatar
        chris724

        Hah! Yeah, in the US a company is more likely to get robbed by some leftist gov’t agency than roving leftist bandits.

        • 0 avatar
          Lorenzo

          In crony capitalism, it’s possible for a company to choose wisely among bundlers who will channel employee contributions to the “right” campaigns. It’s also helpful to arrange “good news” plant openings/expansions through press conferences where certain elected officials are invited to share the success/credit. If there’s a national angle, or an impressive contribution, a national figure could grace the press conference, to the company’s benefit in dealing with the bureaucrats/regulators.

          • 0 avatar
            GeneralMalaise

            Yes, expressing their love for the people and how they are “doing it for the children”, all the while lining their own pockets and feathering their nests.

  • avatar
    JD321

    I suspect that was way too close for automakers to think about building new plants in the US south. I suspect they will go further south in NAFTA zone from now on. The Americans south of Texas should benefit from this vote.

  • avatar

    Can supreme court override this vote? Is it even constitutional to reject union representation? I hope Obama overrules it by executive order.

  • avatar
    JD321

    With American public schools and television programming controlled by DC, it is only a matter of time before the US South becomes parasitic Liberal brats like the US North East and West Coast. This vote was close.

  • avatar
    shelvis

    I find it hilarious that those that seem to have the biggest ideological issues with regular folks having the right to negotiate how the profit and resources of a company are distributed (i.e. jobs and wages) tend to be the most price sensitive, entitled, wage sensitive, benefits hungry, and very willing to haggle for these things one on one. The concept of organizing a group to do your negotiating is tantamount to communism evidently.
    Meanwhile, the unions supposedly act as some defacto bought off wing of a political party yet somehow the deep pockets that funded all of Tennessee’s anti union billboards, TV, newspaper, and radio ads are unaffiliated.
    Right……….

    • 0 avatar
      VCplayer

      “Regular folks” aren’t allowed to collectively bargain about profits and resources, they have to get a union (in this case the UAW) to do it for them. This vote probably had a lot more to do with the UAW’s baggage than anything else.

      The UAW would attract less political flack if they were more interested in remaining neutral on issues that have nothing to do with automobile manufacture.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Employees are not entitled to profits and resources. Employees are entitled solely to a fair day’s wages for a fair day’s work, in a safe work environment.

        If employees want to share in the profits (and losses) and resources of their employer they can buy stock in their employer.

        Employees do not run a company. The shareholders hire a management team to run the company for them.

        If employees do not like their employer for any reason, they are free to walk any time they so choose.

        OTOH, employers are bound by state and federal mandates, rules and regulations re employees.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @highdesertcat
          I have to agree with you on that.

          A job isn’t an entitlement, it’s earnt. Like I mentioned above, that’s why we get paid.

          If you want the benefits of the company you work for then go out and start buying shares.

          • 0 avatar
            GeneralMalaise

            Indeed. One gets paid for the labor one provides. Don’t like the job, find another.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            GeneralMalaise, in case of the US auto industry, that is not the premise of the UAW.

            I grew up in a union-household. My dad and mom both belonged to a union, although not the same union.

            It wasn’t the dues (15% at that time) that made them change jobs, it was the union-imposed restrictions on them that kept them from doing their jobs to the best of their ability.

            There were times when my dad completed his part of a shipboard electrician’s job and then had to hand it over to someone else to do their part of the same job, when my dad could have completed the whole job in one-third the time.

            So he spent much of his time unproductive, standing around with his hands in his pockets, playing pocket pool.

            Ditto with my mom. She used to work as a hotel maid at a high-class, high priced hotel in Beverly Hills, scrubbing and cleaning, and she often had to wait for someone else to do their part of a cleaning to complete the whole job, instead of doing it all herself.

            All that changed when they changed jobs and gave up union representation. Not only did they get to keep more of their own money, but they were able to excel at their respective jobs, garnering praise and advancement as they progressed through their working life.

            In my mom’s case she started her own business and it grew beyond all expectations. My dad became Federal Civil Service but did not join the government-employee union.

        • 0 avatar

          I’v never quite understood why the owner of a business has a greater moral obligation to share his profits with those who sell him labor than with those who sell him all the other things needed to operate the firm.

          I also believe that nobody pays more for anything than they think it is worth to them. Nobody sells anything for less than their bottom line price. That’s how commerce takes place: to me, the money in my pocket has a worth to me that is less than or equal to the worth, to me, of the product you are selling. The seller’s perspective is that the object he is selling is worth less to him than the money in your pocket. Both parties are leveraging value as they perceive it.

          To those who hew to the Marxist version of the labor theory of value, this will cause some cognitive dissonance, but it’s how the real world works.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “I’v never quite understood why the owner of a business has a greater moral obligation to share his profits with those who sell him labor than with those who sell him all the other things needed to operate the firm.”

            They don’t, but vendors and suppliers also renegotiate terms from time to time. I don’t think it is “Marxist” if laborers attempt to do the same.

            I also don’t think it is “entitlement” to ask your employer about raises, promotions, or responsibility changes before you decide to send out your resume looking for greener pastures.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @ajla
            Weren’t slaves valued as a resource? Like a tractor.

            Your capital outlay is what costs, irrespective of what the resource is.

            There are only two ways to make money. One is to invest, and hope the investment increases in value.

            The other is to create something that didn’t exist and hope it does have value.

            So, if you invest in training/education you are creating something that didn’t exist prior to your undertaking.

            You then hope you made a wise investment in time and effort. It’s no different than spending weekends building your own home. How much is your labour worth?

            You hope for capital gain, but it isn’t a given. Just like any job isn’t an entitlement. You must be an asset to retain employment to gain financial advantage.

            This is where unionism falls down, the idea of being an asset for a company is paramount.

          • 0 avatar
            agenthex

            > I’v never quite understood why the owner of a business has a greater moral obligation to share his profits with those who sell him labor than with those who sell him all the other things needed to operate the firm.

            He doesn’t. However by using the strategy of unionization (ie collective bargaining, etc) the laborers maximize their income, just as any smart business would. You just prefer the laborers to be bad businessmen.

            > I also believe that nobody pays more for anything than they think it is worth to them. ….To those who hew to the Marxist version of the labor theory of value, this will cause some cognitive dissonance, but it’s how the real world works.

            The real world works as it does on the discovery channel. The prices offered by the gazelle are irrelevant to the lion. Anything more is an artificial construct, and you simply prefer one set of artificial rules to another. The interesting question is how something so obvious can escape ostensibly “educated” people.

    • 0 avatar
      shelvis

      And you guys illustrate exactly what I’m talking about.
      You speak to obscure what all of this comes down to. The ability to negotiate how the resources of the company are used.
      If you don’t think that an employee is entitled to ask and negotiate for the profits to be more fairly distributed to them, then you must also believe management should be compensated that way as well.

      ‘“Regular folks” aren’t allowed to collectively bargain about profits and resources, they have to get a union (in this case the UAW) to do it for them.’
      That’s it exactly. Why would any company want that?
      And it gets twisted into this makers vs takers nonsense where the rabble gets riled up into thinking the other guy doesn’t even deserve the right to ask for more money because he should be happy with what he’s got or that an employer is only entitled to pay a “fair” (whatever that means these days) wage.
      You only get paid if you ask for it.

      • 0 avatar
        VCplayer

        I think you weren’t following this earlier. It is ILLEGAL for the workers in Chattanooga to simply negotiate with the company themselves, and it’s established unions that support that law.

        I’m all for workers using their leverage to get whatever compensation they can from the company they work for. I’m not sure the UAW is going to do that for them, and apparently neither are they.

        • 0 avatar
          shelvis

          I’m not even discussing that. I’m discussing the very concept of whether some folks think that an employee is entitled to negotiate at all. And point out the hypocrisy of it by observing that they are generally the biggest negotiators, whiners, and squeakiest wheels. General discussion. Very broad.

          The folks that paid for the anti union advertizing blitz that hit Chattanooga takes issue with you thinking that it was merely the UAW that kept these workers from organizing. They want to know they got their money’s worth.

    • 0 avatar
      LALoser

      Best yet, start your own company. I did, and so far, so good. But I did have help: Suppliers willing to work with me, private clients, government agencies (ACE,GSA,DOD and other alphabet soups)who actually requested me. We all have very good marketable skills if we are willing and able to take that step. BTW: My medical coverage I kept through COBRA until I bought my own, but I can see where the ACA would be a BIG help to someone starting a biz, especially with a family.

  • avatar
    Crosley

    VW was smart to locate their plant in Tennessee.

    Workers would probably be more open to the idea of union representation if the unions were more interested in actual issues of due paying members and less interested in being political king makers.

    You can’t blame workers who have conservative political leaning to be against the United Auto Workers, it’s basically asking them to start funneling their paycheck into the Democrat National Committee.

    Glad the vote went the way it did, and it wasn’t close, especially considering VW corporate was essentially gagged whereas the UAW got carte blanche. It would be like a political campaign losing to someone who didn’t spend a single penny.

    • 0 avatar
      agenthex

      This reads like an Onion version of a reply to this news post:

      > VW was smart to locate their plant in Tennessee.

      VW wanted the union.

      > Workers would probably be more open to the idea of union representation if the unions were more interested in actual issues of due paying members

      Probably the main complaint against unions is that they make wages high. Most people like money.

      > You can’t blame workers who have conservative political leaning to be against the United Auto Workers,

      Only if stupidity can’t be blamed for something.

      > Glad the vote went the way it did, and it wasn’t close,

      It was close by math. A few dozen votes out of >1000 apparently wasn’t close by conservative-math.

      It’s almost as if the murdock press is designed to make people dumber for some reason…

      • 0 avatar
        GeneralMalaise

        Oh there’s that Fox News angle. What… no “evil Koch Bros.”?

        Halliburton!

      • 0 avatar
        Crosley

        No, VW wanted to please their union back in Germany. There is a difference.

        So sorry your precious UAW is a dead man walking, maybe you can convince the taxpayers to give them another bailout.

        • 0 avatar
          agenthex

          Oh I’m sure the german UAW is behind this.

          • 0 avatar
            Crosley

            There isn’t a German UAW, its unions like IG Metall, and it’s well established they were behind unionization in the US plants. At least do some research.

            I would be fine if unions were like they were in Germany, completely voluntary contributions. But that’s not what unions here want as all.

          • 0 avatar
            agenthex

            …..joke

            you

          • 0 avatar
            Crosley

            That’s only slightly more sophisticated than your last reply.

          • 0 avatar
            agenthex

            I assure it was not trite; in fact you almost explained it in your own reply.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “I would be fine if unions were like they were in Germany, completely voluntary contributions.”

            Er, you are aware that Tennessee is a “right to work” state, aren’t you?

            Oh, I guess not. Well, maybe you should try putting that into Google, and seeing what comes out.

          • 0 avatar
            Crosley

            Are you arguing that unions actually want right-to-work laws? Please tell me your not that ignorant.

            Yes, Tennessee is a right-to-work state over the objections of every single union.

            Let me know when all the major unions are willing to go with right-to-work policies despite the law not giving workers that protection.

            Do some research over the hissy fit the UAW did when Michigan when to right-to-work or the teachers’ union in Wisconsin.

            This was just giving the worker the right to NOT have to part of their paycheck confiscated every payday if they didn’t want to be part of the Union. That protection shouldn’t even be a question in this country, it’s called freedom of association.

            UAW, dead man walking, even with the support (or gagging) of VW corporate and a massive PR campaign by the UAW, they couldn’t get the workers to agree. Guess Detroit just doesn’t have much appeal.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            You know, if you can’t bother to read your own posts, I’m going to run out of reasons to do it for you.

            Previously, you said:

            “I would be fine if unions were like they were in Germany, completely voluntary contributions.”

            Well, in Tennessee, the contributions would be voluntary. Which suggests that you don’t really mean it when you claim that you would be “fine” with it.

            Either you aren’t being honest about your position, or else you don’t really know how these things work. Which one is it?

          • 0 avatar
            Crosley

            This should be easy to understand, even for union shills. I don’t support outlawing unions, what I support is allowing everything to be made voluntary for the protection of the workers’ rights.

            Get back to me when the entire UAW supports right to work protection for everyone in the union, not just the states that have overridden them.

            I’m also “fine” with political groups I don’t agree with being allowed to participate in the political process. However, I’m not “fine” with them if they try to garnish my paycheck over my objections.

            If some oil company took a cut out of their employees paycheck in order to funnel it to conservative candidates and causes against their will, the uproar would be deafening.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “Right to work” laws are the byproduct of right-wing groups who don’t want to have unions at all.

            Why would you possibly expect unions to support the legislative efforts of groups that oppose and wish to dismantle them? Give the disingenuousness a rest.

          • 0 avatar
            Crosley

            Making union membership voluntary is not “right-wing”, it’s common sense.

            Unions are dying because they lack common sense.

          • 0 avatar
            agenthex

            > Making union membership voluntary is not “right-wing”, it’s common sense. Unions are dying because they lack common sense.

            It wouldn’t be common sense to allow taxation to be voluntary. Those who reap its benefits should pay the price. Those who don’t care for the benefits are free to leave the domain.

            This seems rather trivial to grasp.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      Let me make this real simple. My company used to bid on union and non-union projects. Union work paid the most. The respective labor unions kept track of who had been paying their union dues. The longer you had been paying you union dues; the more senior you were in the union. That kept guys paying their union dues. Spend a little from your paycheck to earn a whole lot more. Yes, they paid union dues when they weren’t working union jobs. Rule of thumb: the bigger the project, the more the chance it was 100% union. Throw in company Safety and OSHA compliance personnel too. The worst: The self made men who start with “do we really have to follow the engineer’s specs?”. The very thought of any “union” would have them foaming at the mouth. I had one client even ask if my electricians and plumbers really needed to be /licensedcertified. Not union mind you; but licensed and certified. Why do I add this? If your building catches on fire or blows up and unlicensed/certified craftsmen did the work; your insurance company will laugh at you.

  • avatar
    Onus

    @Xeranar Thank you.

    Thats enough for me. Discussions like these make me think I’m living in the wrong country.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    Looks like VW may form councils w/o the UAW:

    “Representatives of Volkswagen’s works council in Germany said they would still press to establish a council at the Tennessee facility.

    The German labor group said in a statement that its secretary general Gunnar Kilian would begin strategic talks with experts on U.S. employment law in next 2 weeks.

    “We have always stressed that the decision over union representation lies in the hands of the workers in Chattanooga,” Kilian said in the statement. “The result of the election has not changed our goal of creating a works council in Chattanooga.”
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-16/auto-union-seen-regrouping-after-loss-at-volkswagen-plant.html

    If VW proceeds w/o the UAW then it’s up to the UAW/Dems to try and stop them. They may not want do that because they could lose it all in the courts, especially since only 41% of the workforce voted for the UAW after their $5.000,000 three year failed campaign:

    “…”The UAW couldn’t even win an election it had been handed on a silver platter by management.

    The most interesting part comes next: If Volkswagen now goes ahead and starts its works councils anyway, without the UAW, will organized labor sue to have them declared illegal? That would give the Roberts Court a precious opportunity to interpret the Wagner Act in a way that actually allows non-legalistic, non-adversarial forms of worker participation in management (despite the “company union” prohibition). In effect, the courts could help VW create what those on the left have been (correctly) demanding of the right: a reasonable alternative to traditional unionism, giving workers a voice without subjecting every management decision to a war of bargainers and lawyers and (ultimately) the formalized pitched battle of a strike.

    Now that would be a threat to Big Labor. Which is why they might not sue.”
    http://dailycaller.com/2014/02/15/uaw-crushed-what-comes-next/#ixzz2tWdaieKU

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      1. The Democratic Party, the UAW, and the National Labor Relations Board are NOT interchangeable. Although many on here would argue that they are. -smirk- The NLRB will/would make the decision if VAG goes forward with a works council. The UAW and the Democrats may be in some sort of evil cabal; but the NLRB will make the decision. Would this Supreme Court rule against organized labor? This is the same Supreme Court that declared the Affordable Healthcare Act is not a tax. I think it’s just another example of VAG not understanding Americans, but I digress.

      2. What is “traditional unionism”? Are you speaking about labor unions or trade unions? There is a difference between the two. My apologies in advance to Mikey and any other UAW members who might be reading. Trade union members don’t have guaranteed jobs. They have to go from job to job and employer and employer. Then again, neither do labor union members if they are furloughed.

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        @ el scotto…..Oh yeah I’ve been following this debate quite closely. I have several friends that our belong to trade unions, so know what your saying.

  • avatar
    JD321

    Look at what they miss out on now…Having lower wages and paying union dues to keep 1M UAW retirees alive and in front of their TVs for the next 30 years. The new young UAW chumps are working for $15 an hour because of this. Lucky for the UAW retirees…There’s a fool born every minute.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Perhaps I missed a clear answer to this question which I asked above…

    What problem would UAW representation solve for the Chattanooga workers? I’m not aware of any.


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