By on September 10, 2007

denugroove.jpgDesperate times call for desperate measures. Facing falling membership, the United Auto Workers (UAW) is rapidly expanding into non-automotive industries like education and health care. Meanwhile, the UAW continues its full-court press against Toyota and Honda's American factories. So far, the union's attempts to transplant unionism into the transplants' plants have been an abject failure. But try they must. And now there's a new object of their affections: Japanese parts maker DENSO.

Sean McAlinden, analyst for the Center for Automotive Research, outlines the target– and the stakes. "For the survival of the union, they have to start organizing the Toyota system in North America. Right at the head of the line is DENSO.''  

DENSO is Japan's largest auto-parts company. Twenty-one percent of DENSO's total $31.1b annual sales come from North America. Stateside, DENSO has ten factories in six states employing over 6,800 [non-union] employees. DENSO supplies all three U.S. automakers and Toyota (which owns 23 percent of the company). In North America, 45 percent of their business lies with The Big 2.8. And here's where the plot thickens.

The Big 2.8 are currently negotiating their UAW contracts. One of their main goals: dump transfer responsibility for retirees' health care onto the union via a union-administered Voluntary Employees' Beneficiary Association (VEBA) superfund. The union is fully aware that Wall Street is hot for the deal, which means the automakers want the VEBA more than anything else (save sales). The UAW is using this leverage to their full advantage.

U.S. labor laws allow employers to openly campaign against a union's attempts to organize their workers. UAW negotiators have threatened to oppose a VEBA unless the U.S. auto manufacturers pressure DENSO to "remain neutral" while the UAW tries to organize their workers. 

According to Bloomberg, General Motors has indicated a willingness to roll over do as the union asks. No surprise there: GM has the most to gain from a UAW-run VEBA (and the most to lose if they don't set one up). The jury's still out on Ford's and Chrysler's reaction. But let's face it: if a mobster was leaning on sports promoter to pressure a fighter into taking a dive, it would be called  extortion. Apparently, when the union does the same sort of thing, it's called "negotiation."

No matter what you call, this does not bode well. If The Big 2.8 are doing business with DENSO, it's because DENSO can supply the best parts for the lowest price. Applying pressure to DENSO could triger a counter-strike (so to speak). While 45 percent of DENSO's North American business comes from Detroit, that's 45 percent of the 21 percent of the company's total business that's done in North America, or just over 10 percent of the total. If DENSO tells the UAW's Detroit puppets to go pound sand, the company retains 90 percent of their current business. Safe!

But not so safe for Detroit. How long do you think it would take GM and Friends to find other suppliers, and how many UAW production lines do you think they'd have to shut down in the interim?

Alternatively, DENSO could agree to step aside and allow the UAW to plunder organize its workers. The cost of the parts they produce will rise accordingly. The Big 2.8 are complaining that union labor costs are driving them out of business. If Detroit's looking for ways to cut production costs and increase profits, forcing their suppliers into a situation where they'll have to charge more probably isn't a helpful strategy.

Hopefully, GM and the others will come to their senses and refuse to play the UAW's game. If they give on this one, they'll show the UAW how desperate they are. They'll signal the UAW that they're willing to be the union's bitch in other power struggles. But The Big 2.8 want that VEBA so bad it hurts. So is it damned if they do, damned if they don't? More like same old, same old. Once again, it's a question of short-term versus long-term thinking. 

If there's one thing American automakers need to learn, it's how to say no to those forces that have steered them onto the edge of the abyss, and hold fast for a brighter future. While there's no doubt that GM, Ford and Chrysler need to rethink their own role in creating their current predicament, acquiescing to the union's ambitions at this critical stage of the game would be like cutting off their nose so they can smell better. Going along to get along didn't work then. It won't work now.

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30 Comments on “UAW: Do or Die at DENSO?...”


  • avatar
    William C Montgomery

    But let’s face it: if a mobster was leaning on sports promoter to pressure a fighter into taking a dive, it would be called extortion. Apparently, when the union does the same sort of thing, it’s called “negotiation.”

    When a lobbyist or special interest group leans on a congressman to bilk money out of taxpayers is called “politics.” Or, as Frédéric Bastiat put it, “legal plunder.”

    To me, they are all different names for the same rose.

  • avatar
    oboylepr

    This would not be the first time that this kind of gangsterism was used by UAW/CAW. Do not expect the far seeing folks at GM to understand that forcing Denso to unionize is not in their long term interests. GM has proven time and again that it lacks any sense of business ethics when it comes to their suppliers. My employer is the victim of a deal made between GM and it’s union to force suppliers to organize as a condition of being awarded supply contracts. As it was newly outsourced work the union agreed to it if GM pressured the successful supplier to unionize. Cheating, lying, deceit is the order of the day.

  • avatar
    KatiePuckrik

    Looking at this from the UAW’s point of view, they must “branch out” and “expand” because even they must know, that Detroit is bled dry and needs new victims members. They only logical place is the transplants. Can’t blame them for trying. If the UAW are to have any clout in the 21st century (without adopting 21st century attitudes) then they must go after new blood participants.

    Now let’s look at it from the Transplants’ point of view. They must repel the UAW at all costs. If they are to retain ANY kind of grip on their plants, this is priority number one. However, Denso do have one secret weapon, Toyota. Toyota own a significant stake in Denso to help Denso repel the UAW.

    Now speaking neutrally, the non-union members could profit from this scene because Denso will happily give them extra perks to stop the unionisation. It’s much cheaper in the long run. Keep their employees happy so they say “No” to the Union. However, the UAW must survive in another form. As much as I love “import” cars, I do wonder if their staff would be treated as well, if the UAW weren’t around. It’s the THREAT of unionisation which keeps bosses from raping their employees. It’s a shame a symbiotic relationship can’t be maintained.

  • avatar
    GS650G

    Denso probably has unions in Japan, although unions in Japan typically help companies succeed through working partnerships, unlike here where the UAW sees only tons of money not being paid to the worker.

    It’s not a far stretch to think that Denso could walk from these shores in a few years if they have to take one for the team, much like the transplants could do.

  • avatar
    guyincognito

    If I were UAW management and I wanted to stop the loss of jobs for my members and expand into new companies, I would not come out and try to threaten/extort/wiesel my way into these new ventures. Instead I would build teams of lean manufacturing and six sigma experts who would offer assistance to companies in structuring work rules that allowed flexibility while still ensuring a safe and ergonomically acceptable workplace. In fact, I would use the vast experience of my workforce and outside help to pioneer new techniques for touch labor manufacturing. I would engage management and show them how they would be better off with the UAW than withouth them. Then I would start recruiting workers who wanted to work at these companies for a reasonable wage based on their skill levels. And I would set up programs to help those workers gain education and potentially move into salaried roles in their respective companies.

  • avatar
    Psionic Wibbly

    Denso is the Toyota of auto suppliers, literally and figuratively. toyta owns 23% of Denso, another 10% at least (in bits and pices so as to make it less obvious) is owned by the toyota zaibatsu (daihatsu, hino, toyota industries, aisin-seiko aka the transmission supplier to the big 3 etc) no way these guys are ever gonna allow denso to be unionised. toyota and its puppet companies can take up whatever slack that will arise if the big 2.8 decide to go elsewhere. remeber that a large part of toyta’s purchases are made from non japanese suppliers in the usa for political rather than economical reasons. denso will not be hurt one mm if the big 2.8 go elsewhere!

  • avatar
    Luther

    Why is the James Taylor song on my mind… "Ohhhh Mexico, It sounds so simple I just got to go". Maybe the Denso employees will put a horse-head in Gettelfingers bed. 

  • avatar
    jolo

    Katie wrote: It’s the THREAT of unionisation which keeps bosses from raping their employees.

    It must only happen in the auto industry because other manufacturing plants outside the auto industry are thriving nicely without a union due to the simple reason that THEY TREAT THEIR EMPLOYEES WELL. I am sick and tired of people thinking that if it’s a manufacturing plant, management must be bending over their employees on a regular basis.

    And since the union has been in the auto industry for over 70 years, they have no idea what it is like to be screwed over. They watch engineering and supervisors get screwed regularly, mostly by the hourly workers, but they have not experienced the type of abuse they make sure that supervisors and engineers have to experience.

  • avatar
    Redbarchetta

    guyincognito when I was young that is exactly how I thought the UAW functioned(I was very young). I made sense back then that they would be an asset to the parent company by providing services just like you discribled, talk about a slap in the face when I found out how it really was, a blood sucking leach.

    I also don’t think a union NEEDS to be there to set wages and benfits for the whole industry. With a responsible company that rarely becomes an issue.

  • avatar
    ex-dtw

    @William,

    I have to disagree with your political analogy, supporting a candidate that “adopts” your political views is called free speech. Anything more is quid-pro-quo and is, rightly so, illegal.

    Sunshine is is the best disinfectant there, “nothing wrong with it, just let us know about it…”

    As for GM caving, oh how typical, and yet another reason Ricky should be run out of town Old Western style. He probably thinks, so what (i.e. screw the customer) as it will equally affect ALL OEMs.

    ‘Cept Toyonda seem smart enough to be able to get around paying the newly exhorbitant UAW rates. How? I dunno, make more cars in Japan with Japanese parts? Isn’t that what Toyata has been threatening recently?

  • avatar
    ex-dtw

    UAW + Healthcare = I don’t even want to think about it.

    Makes my head hurt which makes me want to see a doctor which makes my head hurt more which makes…

  • avatar
    jthorner

    I would be shocked if Denso caved in to any attempt by the UAW to get into their pants, er plants.

    As Frank says, the options for Denso to stay clear of this mess are easy.

    The customer, even if they are huge like GM or Ford, has no business involving itself in the unionization of a supplier. The Detroit thugs have gotten used to having their way with suppliers, but Denso doesn’t need to play that game. If GM, Ford and Chrysler are dumb enough to drop Denso as a supplier, Toyota can simply increase it’s purchases from Denso and decrease it’s purchases from Delphi, Visteon and other unionized US suppliers. Denso walks away unharmed and the union takes another shot in the gut.

    Perhaps Toyota, Honda and Hyundai should start pushing their US suppliers to get rid of their unions. Goodyear, Delphi, Visteon and others all are doing everything they can to increase their business with these customers and would be in an even bigger world of hurt than they already are without them. If it is ok for the 2.8 to push it’s suppliers to unionize then it should be ok for the Asian companies to push in the opposite direction.

    The UAW-Detroit-Democratic Party circular firing squad still doesn’t get it.

  • avatar
    Dynamic88

    Plunder their workers ?

    I’m going to stop reading Mr. Williams.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    Dynamic,

    What are you talking about? I really enjoy sparring with you, so I think you are misinterpreting. Certainly, it is not out of bounds to accuse the union of robbing and fleecing the workers? If you disagree with the UAW’s regular business plan, that’s how you see it.

    It could either mean that the union means to take them away – which is exactly what they do because they then cease to be truly employees of the company to be become union members. The other interpretation would be that they intend to take dues from the employees, which means taking their money. Plunder means to rob or fleece, so what’s the problem?

    Even if it works out for the workers in some way, it has been proven to be a long term negative for the communities in which the union ideals become an infection.

    Let’s pretend that the union was great for companies. How would the world be different? No one would be harping about it! Or at least less of us. Why would I care? My only connection is as a potential customer.

    OTOH, let’s pretend the UAW was a terrible disaster for every company it touched. What would be different? What could the companies do about it? Very little, and that’s a problem wouldn’t you say?

    UAW – it has hurt every company it has touched, buys politicians at every chance, uses class warfare and even thuggery to get its way, yet, they are protected by law because without them some company MIGHT take advantage of it’s employees who then SUPPOSEDLY would have no choice to get another job? Seriously?

    Where else in this country can you get a monopoly to provide services other than government ones?

  • avatar
    jthorner

    “It’s the THREAT of unionisation which keeps bosses from raping their employees.”

    That seems to be the accepted wisdom in some places, but I don’t buy it. Silicon Valley, CA has one of the highest average incomes in the nation and other than governmental employees there are very few unions to be found and even fewer threats of unionization. The pay is high because the demand for highly skilled employees is high.

    “The TTAC crow has become rabbidly anti-union. It is ILLEGIAL to for a company to interfere with an organinzing campaign. I done readding TTAC forever. You guys just dont get and your anti-worker.”

    Wow, more spelling errors in that one post than I have seen in a long time, and I don’t spell very well. Anyway, it is not ipso facto illegal to resist unionization of a factory. Certain methods of doing so may be illegal, but not all are. A company has every right to say that if facility XYZ votes to unionize the workforce we will close the doors and do business elsewhere.

    It is the company which puts up the money to buy the land, build the factory, design marketable products and establish a sales channel. Why should the people who choose to work there have the right to shut the place down? If you don’t like it, don’t work there.

    What I wonder is why the now massively well funded unions like the UAW don’t open their own businesses and show everyone else how a model factory should run. They have the money. They think they have the talented people. So where are the union owned success stories?

    I’m not anti-worker. I am for freedom for workers and investors. Why should a marginal worker with five years on the job get paid the same as a stellar performer with the same “seniority”? That makes no sense and is a slap in the face of the great worker, who will soon learn to dumb themselves down to the lowest common denominator or better yet, get the **** out of there.

  • avatar
    tentacles

    The US-centric debate here seems often seems to lose sight of one minor fact: Detroit’s European and Japanese competition have workforces that are, for the most part, ALREADY UNIONIZED. The US workforce’s unionization rate is quite a bit lower than that of either Germany or Japan. In fact, German companies like VW and MBZ are, by law, required to have union representation on their boards. That’s generally speaking, for publicly held companies anyway (I don’t know how it works at Porsche or any of the less widely held firms). The Ferrari plant in Modena is (supposedly, so I hear) one of the more desirable places to work, and even they had a strike just recently.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?xml=/money/2007/05/07/cnferrari07.xml

    It seems to me the question isn’t “Should we have a union”, but “What kind of union”.

  • avatar
    KatiePuckrik

    For the record, I’d like to clarify something.

    When I said “It’s the THREAT of unionisation which keeps bosses from raping their employees.” I was only talking about the auto industry, especially in context of the US’s Big 2.801 Vs Japan’s Big 2.56.

    I work un-unionised yet I am treated especially well by my employer.

    I was just wondering that if the unions weren’t a viable threat anymore, would Japan’s big 2.54 be as generous with their perks as they are now?

    I certainly agree that Denso won’t get unionised because Toyota will NOT allow it and Denso will tell US’s big 2.801 to sod off. There’s more money in the transplants. Plus, Delphi will lose out which means the unions will lose their iron grip in the auto world.

    I strongly believe that the UAW should make no concessions to the US’s big 2.801 because Detroit have made approximately zero effort to turn around so why should the UAW lose out? I believe in being treated fair. Like I said before, I wish they could have some sort of symbiotic relationship with management. So, for the record, I am NOT “anti-union”, some of my best friends are unionists……! ;O)

  • avatar
    claudster

    To the guy that mentioned that the non-union companies treat thier employees well…I have this to offer. I worked for Magna for many years, and they do not treat their employees well at all-especially the unskilled general production workers. I was a Tool and Die Maker and I was routinly abused by both management, engineering and production. It seemed that management thought that the trades were only a step above a general production worker. My supervisor routinly abused me for refusing to work the never ending 60hr weeks plus the “mandatory” weekends. I was fired in a very round about way to prevent me from bringing up any legal action against them for thier work habits.

  • avatar
    BerettaGTZ

    While 45 percent of DENSO’s North American business comes from Detroit, that’s 45 percent of the 21 percent of the company’s total business that’s done in North America, or just over 10 percent of the total. If DENSO tells the UAW’s Detroit puppets to go pound sand, the company retains 90 percent of their current business.

    Using your numbers, that also means that 55 percent of Denso’s North American business comes someplace other than the UAW-represented Detroit 3 (like Japanese transplants) globally, the Detroit 3 only account for 10 percent of Denso’s total business.

    So it sounds like GM/Ford/Chrysler really don’t have much leverage with Denso in the first place.

  • avatar
    Orian

    Katie,

    Like the rest of non-unionized businesses in the US, they would adopt the benefits and pay structures of other businesses in the particular state or geographic area where they build a plant, which makes sense economically.

    Look at Detroit now. Because of the Union inflating wages they are in an economic disaster as plants close or people get laid off. The pay rate was too high for the area, and now that the plants are laying off, people cannot go find another job in the area that pays the same as their Union jobs did. The other companies cannot afford to support salaries like that.

    I live about 30 miles from where I work. I commute because the businesses in the small city I live cannot afford to pay me what larger companies can where I commute to work at. If there were a Unionized plant where I live they would be the only one paying above the median salary for the area, and once the plant closed, they would be financially hit because they could not find another similar paying job there.

    The other catch is that most of the assembly line work is classified as non-skilled labor (that’s certainly debatable, but that’s how it is classified). I worked in a distribution center for a few years after high school and quickly realized that I wasn’t going anywhere doing manual unskilled labor and took steps to make sure that I didn’t get locked into that. I went to college, worked up the ranks, then left the place for better pay, benefits, and more on the job training in my field.

    I know not all people are going to look at it that way, but I realized early on that I was expendable and I need to learn some skills that I could use to find other jobs. I also realized and concluded that I do not need to pay anyone to represent me to my employer – I can do that on my own free of charge. If I don’t like their response I’m free to find another job, and have done that on occasion.

  • avatar

    I think many have it backwards. Unions many times make the argument that non union workplaces treat their workers better due to the threat of unionization. That may be true about pay but it has been my experience that employers who are decent will never have to worry about unions because they are decent employers while employers who rape their employees bring on and ultimately deserve unions because they are in fact a**holes.

    jthorner it is not illegal to fight unionization, however many on this forum don’t understand that some of the actions urged are illegal.

    I’ve often read people say if the UAW organises a transplant plant, that the parent company should then simply close it down. The UAW may have priced themselves out of the market with their retiree benefits and plants may be closed and moved because of high cost structures, BUT it is illegal to simply close a place down simply because its workforce voted to unionize.

    True it may be hard to prove but it is no less illegal than it is to simply refuse to hire workers of certain race etc.

    I can understand people having viewpoints that differ from mine and I can certainly understand many of the anti union comments but it is my experience that every large corporation that has a union has one precisely because they brought it upon themselves.

    I am college educated former small business owner whose parents fled the communist take over of China in 1949. I am anti communist anti socialist pro low taxes Ronald Reagan Republican who has never voted for a Democrat in my life. I own a Toyota (Scion) and before that I owned two Hondas. I will probably never buy a domestic car again because they have destroyed my trust.

    Having said that I work in one of my jobs in a union workforce. I work in a southern right to work state. I belong to my union by choice because my employer had the biggest a**holes you can imagine as managers.

    Believe it or not, unions and union members are not monolithic walking stereotypes. You can hate unions but they exist because of piss poor management, yet they are used as a crutch and an excuse by piss poor managers as the reason for their lack of performnce.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    I have so many responses that I have not time to quote or acknowledge to whom I am referring. I apologize.

    1. It’s not the “company” that does all that stuff you mentioned, it’s the investors and managers. They are people. Some governments allow unions to steal those people’s property and won’t even let them sell the assets to avoid the theft.

    2. If you worked for Magna, did you do so in Canada? I worked in Canada, and the business enviroment there is nasty for everyone. So much so that it’s hard to believe that their are Canadians doing business in Canada! I blame the UK classist roots combined with high taxes and American influences combining in an ugly way. Just my opinion though. I use Canada as an example of the problem with unions. They infect the whole society with some strange since of self importance and entitlement.

    3. I have rarely met anyone outside a union that continued in the same job that they were otherwise quite capable of graduating from. Unless one finds they love their work, or that their work is continously challenging, they likely should look elsewhere. Unfortunately, unions seek to remove job challenge through work rules and reward staying in the same job with non portable retirement plans.

    4. And yes, paying high wages for many of these jobs is BAD for the neighborhood. Not only are the communities then likely to take a beating if the plant closes, but the reward for excellence system goes out the window. The whole economy and social structure gets distorted in ways that are not good for the long term.

    5. The japanese unions hardly compare. The european unions are also rather different since the state has basicly been taken over by them. Strangely, this has resulted in a more rational reward system because so much of the economy is equally distorted. They are currently trying to fix the distortions.

    Lastly – TTAC is clearly both anti-union and anti-management. They appear to be pro car, and they are obviously frustrated with our country’s present offerings. Seems to me that they do a good job beating up on management, unions, and government for their part in the mess.

  • avatar
    tankd0g

    The problem is not with unions in general it is with the corrupt and stagnant UAW. If Toyota was in a position where there employees were actively seeking a union (so far they don’t seem to be), they would do well to help them set up their own with the Japanese model as an example. There are some companies out there that clearly operate on the backs of their lower echelon workers, such as Walmart, if Walmart had all it’s employees unionized by the UAW tommorow, they would almost certainly be out of business by the weekend. However that is not to say that another less militant union that doesn’t expect $30/hr and a retirement package for the guy that gets the shopping carts each night couldn’t swoop in and raise the workers standard of living while keeping the company profitable.

  • avatar
    yankinwaoz

    The last post has hit the nail on the head. I too wonder why whenever anyone says ‘union’, they assume that it us the UAW. If the employees at a Toyota plant want a union, why do they have to become a UAW franchisee?

    Why can’t they start their own union?

    As I see it, why if I were unhappy why my company, what would bringing the UAW in?

    What is there to prevent the UAW from replacing me with a more senior union member from another UAW factory (a closed 2.8 factory)? Would getting in bed with the UAW only guarantee that I am giving my job to someone else within the union?

    You can’t tell that the employees of the companies that the UAW want to get inside of are not thinking of this.

  • avatar
    olddavid

    I am trying to understand the high level of antipathy to unions on this site. Have none of your lives been influenced and/or improved by either financial or literal association with union members? Does your anger come from jealousy or some perceived threat by the union movement as a whole? While any sentient human will agree that there is trouble in Detroit, to lay that at the UAW’s doorstep, is to ignore the fact that most co-operations require two members, ergo the benefit was to BOTH parties, not just “those competition- stifling money-grubber’s at (fill in your villain)”. Does anyone out there really believe that trusting management to do the right thing is in the best interests of the American middle class? While abuses of power by unions is a fairly new phenomenon, abuse of workers has been going on since society organized into groups independent of hunting and gathering. Please do not forget that management used to respond to strikes by getting the National Guard called out and throwing the leaders in jail. They also hired the Pinkerton Agency to do select murders to intimidate organizers, when not actually firing indiscriminately at families in the style of Carnegie in Colorado in the Coal strikes of the late 19th century. The venom of the commentators, and certain moderators on this site amazes me. While moderation should be the goal of both sides in the current negotiations, I would find it hard to look a union member in the face and ask for trust. If memory serves, it was Santanya who spoke of learning from history so as to avoid repeating it. The stakes are too high for polarization.Yet that is precisely what we are experiencing throughout society. Divide and conquer has worked again. What we all need to remember is that we sink or swim collectively, and rational dialog is needed now more than ever. I do not want history to judge us as the first to leave our children with a lower standard of living than we have enjoyed.

  • avatar
    ex-dtw

    @tankd0g

    The problem is not with unions in general it is with the corrupt and stagnant UAW.

    No, this argument applies to ALL unions. The effects are just more obvious in the case of the UAW.

    Unions are nothing more than member-exclusive, political action commitees. Plain and simple.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    olddavid,

    No, I can’t say any union has ever been a positive to my life. Of course, I lived most of my life in Houston, TX. If I were living in Michigan, then it would be hard not to have had some positive effect somehow due to the overwhelming presence.

    OTOH, I could type here for DAYS about negative encounters. I have been threatened physically, financially, and socially. I have been extorted. I have suffered from their strikes, and I pay out the wazoo for the results of their political influence. All of that in spite of spending most of my days here in Houston where, “we rednecks don’t much like them commie union b—-d’s”.

    The days of corporations being that bad are long gone, but the unions still have to bring them up to justify themselves. Not to say that there are not bad places, but the market can take care of that. If all the people who could reasonably easily get better employment would just do that, those companies would change or die. The days of poverty being life threatening are virtually over. Only the mentally ill are still in danger.

    Lastly, we do not sink or swim collectively. Collectively, WE WILL SINK. It happens everywhere it is tried, including Michigan and the 2.8.

    We swim as individuals, hopefully one of the stronger swimmers can get to shore and send a boat before we all drown! Perhaps some others might be able to help some of the weaker swimmers long enough for the boats to get there. You can’t force the stronger swimmers to do this, or guess what, no one will be a stronger swimmer. When we set up a “fair” system, we all drown together.

  • avatar
    yankinwaoz

    I am trying to understand the high level of antipathy to unions on this site.

    Cause two wrongs don’t make a right.

    I don’t trust UAW or the Teamsters. Too much corruption, intimidation, organized crime meddling in the pension funds, etc. Not something I am interested in being a part of or funding.

    I’m not interested in having a chunk of my paycheck go to a union who then ignores me, or does things with it that I don’t want done.

    I’d rather spend my time and energy into educating myself and my family, making my own investment decisions (401k’s and IRA’s), and making my own path in life. I don’t want to be told what I can’t or can do by a union. Having two bosses is enough (work and spouse). Having 3 would be too much.

    Just like the big 2.8, the UAW has also squandered our trust and sympathy. You are doing no better than the 2.8 with their “Trust us. We’ve changed. Really” campaign of cheap talk.

    It is hard to sympathize with you when you insist that your members have unlimited health care and prescription coverage at no cost to them. It is hard to sympathize with you when hard work and education means nothing simply because someone else has seniority over you just cause they are older.

    Please note that not many people have a problem with unions. They have a problem with the UAW. Big difference there.

  • avatar
    ex-dtw

    Well said Landcrusher, well said.

    As to the point that unions saved us from evil corporations, did they?

    Robber barons were simply insiders that used their power and influence to extract rents from the un-connected. Today we have laws and oversight (the fourth estate) to keep this from happening again.

    Is there really a need for unions in the modern era?

  • avatar
    Madisdaddy

    I am currently employed by Denso in Maryville Tn. I wish that we could get the UAW in but Denso is very good at using scare tactics to keep people under its thumb and I really doubt that Denso will ever be unionized because of fear. Production employees have not had a raise in two years now and our health insurance is about to go way up in January 2010. The only reason that Denso pays what it does is because of Alcoa which is unionized and has a pension as well as a 401k plan. Denso is using the current economic climate as an excuse to cut us back to 32 hours per week, raise our insurance premiums, and cancel our bonuses, as well as not giving us a raise. If it were not for the threat of a union I would hate to see where we would be today. I don’t plan on staying at Denso long term but there aren’t many decent paying jobs around here for anyone who doesn’t have a college degree. Not everyone can afford to spend the money or time that it takes to get a degree these days. I do have a long term plan and I hope for the sake of my family that it works out okay. I would still like to see a strong union in place for all of the poor souls that will be there long after I’m gone but I guess if they don’t want it for themselves then there’s nothing that I can say or do about it.

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