AA Takes Off the Gloves and Puts on the Brass Knuckles

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams

Dick Dauch plays for keeps. The Detroit Free Press reports that the American Axle CEO has no qualms about taking his business elsewhere. Dauch, who founded the company, said he had no intention of turning it into an offshore company. HOWEVER "we have the flexibility to source all of our business to other locations around the world, and we have the right to do so." When the Freep asked the UAW for their thoughts on Dauch's threat, they declined to respond. But a couple of weeks ago on a radio talk show, UAW president Ron Gettelfinger insisted as long as AA maintains "the attitude that they're not going to negotiate– that they're going to dictate– we're not going to get an agreement." Meanwhile, the strike is beginning to affect those GM plants they can't afford to close. The pressure is on for AA to get back to work, one way or the other. So who will blink first? Given that Dauch has already moved some production to a plant in Mexico and has the means to increase production in other countries, and the UAW gave in to the Big 2.8 so easily, the smart money's on the union backing down. And GM forking out.

Frank Williams
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  • Rocket88 Rocket88 on Mar 27, 2008

    I totally agree with Sherman Lin and thalter. And soon we will have our own home grown _____ (fill in the blanks), Buzz Hargrove, adding to the confalgration. All the chickens are finally coming home to roost. 40 years in the making and now we reach the grand finale.

  • Captain Tungsten Captain Tungsten on Mar 27, 2008

    Union backing down? Think these guys are any more enlightened than the steel guys were before reality set in? http://www.wsws.org/articles/2001/dec2001/ltv-d27.shtml If AA can't get production alternatives up and running soon enough, this may be a proxy for where we are going.

  • Becurb Becurb on Mar 28, 2008
    Captain Tungsten : Union backing down? Think these guys are any more enlightened than the steel guys were before reality set in? Given how the UAW appears to have sold out their members who work directly for the Debt3, it is hard to see the ancillary UAW members being snookered the same way. Which means, the UAW is pretty much between a rock and a 'hard place'. Unfortunately, for the UAW members, the UAW 'leaders' don't do strike pay - just like the management they so like to point to (and, yes, with reason. Still, ignore the man behind the curtain, thank you very much). So, to preserve their own hides (and income), I can see a situation where the UAW 'leadership' costs the AA workers their jobs. All on the principal of the matter, mind you... And, no, I am not sure the UAW members will accept that the gravy train has run dry. I don't recall that working well with the Kennicott Copper mine in Arizona, which cost many UMW their jobs when Kennicott replaced the UMW workers with non-union workers. Oops. Bruce P.S. Isn't it interesting that all talks of the UAW gaining a foothold in them 'ferrin' plants down south went, well, south after the UAW sold out its Debt3 workers?
  • JOLYNA JOLYNA on Apr 13, 2008

    DICK DAUCH AND THE SHAREHOLDERS OF AMERICAN AXLE ENOUGH IS ENOUGH !!! I am sick and tired of the CRAP that Dick Dauch and American Axle is trying to dish to its employees and their families. I can’t believe that this man has the nerve to sit there and offer insulting wages with insulting “buy downs” and “buy outs”. He should be ashamed of what he is putting our 3600+ families through. Let’s not forget the other hundreds of thousands families that are being affected by this strike too. Not only in our country; but world wide. He seems to think that his “buy downs” and “buy outs” will be “cushy and comfy” for his employees. These figures must be enough to replace the 14 years my husband has in at your company, the fact that we have to completely start over somewhere else – without the same pay – and allow our families to keep our houses. In my opinion, this man will never offer enough for the damage that has already been done and the wrath we are about to endure. He smugly accepts a huge salary and bonuses while he threatens to close our plants because we aren’t making a profit large enough. However, he fails to announce to the world that these 5 plants fund the off shore plants and the off shore plants rake in the profits. How do you expect my husband and his co-workers to produce enough to finance all of these operations? Meanwhile, he is taking machines out of my husband’s plant and sending them to non-union plants. It’s a disgrace! AMERICAN Axle …yeah, real American. I resent the fact that he is turning our lives upside down. I resent the fact we have to start over. I resent the fact we may have to TRY and sell our home and my kids may have to leave their school and the friends they know. Above all, I resent the fact that this is all because of 1 company’s greed! I hope the whole Dauch family and members of the board can sleep well at night with their million dollar salaries; knowing their jobs and salaries are safe. While we are worrying and wondering how we are going to repair this financial and emotional mess that he has thrown us into. We can only hope that he acquires a conscience before it’s too late!