By on December 27, 2010

As Bob King and the United Auto Workers gear up for their January organizing campaign aimed at converting transplant automakers to the union way, the UAW is picking up support from outside the automotive industry. Automotive News [sub] reports that Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition has expressed its interest in organizing the non-union auto assembly plants, and that the Detroit bureau of the NAACP has pledged assistance as well, offering to request assistance from its national leadership. Even the Ohio-based Farm Labor Organizing Committee, which organizes migrant farm workers, has said it would join the fight if King asks. And though AN’s writeup uses the imagery of conflict to describe King’s “soldiers,” King insists that its strategy is not confrontational. As far as the President of the UAW is concerned,

Transplant workers in the South will want to be part of this “winning team,” King said.

King points out that his union is already moving towards a less confrontational organizing strategy, and points to his suspension of ugly anti-Toyota protests as an indication of the union’s desire to take “the high road.” But all it will take to get the UAW to declare all-out war on the transplants is the failure to sign the union’s “Rules For Fair Campaigns,” which the union insists is the only way to fairly determine whether transplant workers want to join the UAW.

But if the carmakers obstruct the drives, the UAW will ratchet up the pressure, possibly with the help of allies that King has cultivated over the years.
In an exclusive interview last week, King, a bespectacled, 64-year-old law school graduate who once thought about being a priest, said the union intends to take “the high road” in the drive.

He said the UAW will accept the results of the organizing campaigns as long as plant workers get a free and fair election opportunity without intimidation by the automakers.

But, as Toyota’s Mike Goss points out, intimidation hasn’t been necessary to keep its US-based workers out of the union. The Japanese automaker’s record, he says, speaks for itself, as Toyota

has never laid off an hourly employee since opening its first U.S. plant in Georgetown, Ky., 25 years ago…That’s despite several economic downturns that prompted other automakers to lay off and buy out thousands of workers.
And the UAW face another challenge: its own talking points. After the UAW became part-owner of GM and Chrysler during the government-led auto rescue, the union-friendly Center for Automotive Research proclaimed that the UAW made so many sacrifices that
between 2013 and 2015, Toyota could even be paying $10 more per hour than GM unless the Japanese company reacts and lowers wages.
That’s good for justifying the UAW’s stakes in GM and Chrysler, but it certainly hurts the pitch to transplant assembly workers. After all, why be associated with a declining union that refuses to represent all of its members and has allowed (or, some might argue, helped cause) massive layoffs, when said union won’t even pay them more than they could expect without the union? If the union couldn’t convince transplant workers to organize before the bailout, it’s impossible to see them doing it now.
Which is why this marshaling of allies from Jackson to the NAACP makes so little sense: what do civil rights organizations have to do with a union that has nothing to offer workers besides a record of failure and an ownership stake in the competition? Is the UAW preparing to accuse the transplants of racism? King’s union may have little else to go on…
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26 Comments on “UAW Recruits Activists For Transplant Assault...”


  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    Transplant workers in the South will want to be part of this “winning team,” King said.
     
    Best laugh I had all day.

  • avatar

    why so they can get “two tiered”? King is a hypocrite who protests for Koreans while backstabbing his own members. Joke is right. they’ll be lucky if Big 3 workers don’t vote to decertify.

  • avatar
    nova73

    I’ll bet that not a single one of the clowns in the photo have spent so much as a single doing any thing useful, much less working on an assembly line.  This is just another Jesse Jackson shakedown scheme.  I wonder how much the automakers will have to pay to buy him off?

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    Comments:
    – One day, time will ensure Mr. Jackson won’t be around to perpetually insert himself into such issues (I wonder who will try to take up his mantle…)
    – If the transplant workers were so interested in UAW representation they would have demanded it already. What is the UAW’s game here, to force workers to accept them as their bargaining representatives??

  • avatar
    Dimwit

    It’s good. The more they talk, hitting their “points” the more idiotic they sound. I’m waiting for them to really put their foot in it and have one of the already member plants to rise up in protest as they try to appeal to the nonUAW people with a better offer than what the UAW mambers can get.

    King is a moron.

  • avatar
    tklockau

    Am I the only one who thinks Bob King looks like Mr. Carlin from The Bob Newhart Show?  It makes these stories all the more amusing.

  • avatar
    newfdawg

    So Bob King says he wants to “take the high road” in labor negotiations with non-union
    assembly plants–yeah, right.  What a joke.

  • avatar
    NotFast

    Jesse needs to boost his bottom line to support more mistresses and their babies.

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      Jack Baruth, Bertel Schmitt, and I would likely argue that any man with any sort of leadership capability tends to have a voracious sexual appetite.  A man with “drive” is generally driven in many aspects of his life.  (Of course if he’s truly smart he either finds a woman that can keep up or put up with him {God willing} or he’s smart enough not to “knock up” his mistresses.)

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      Additionally the only time I give two sh(%s about a politicians morality is if he’s trying to lecture me about mine.

  • avatar
    George B

    Will be funny to watch urban professional protesters get bussed to the rural transplants, yell at the locals, and then go home.  That will win friends and influence people.  An interesting countermove would be to try to get a county-by-county right-to-work referendum on the ballot for one of the less hopeless Rust Belt states like Indiana.  Force the UAW to eventually play defense in many separate local elections.

  • avatar

    The Reverend Jesse Jackson?  The man with no job, no church, no sense?  Unions may have provided a service at one time but this is a new time.  Get rid of them.  I was a member of a union and they did absolutely nothing for me except take my money.

  • avatar
    anchke

    Read the headline. Look at the picture. Do these three fellas look like they have the cred to lead an “assault” on behalf of young workers? Time is. Time was. Time is no more . . . 

  • avatar
    obbop

    Jackson, Sharpton, others of their ilk….. non-productive parasites skimming wealth from those who are productive.
    Found in aspects of USA organizations, hierarchies, etc.
    From medical care to wherever REAL working folks are found.
    Parasites.

  • avatar
    Tommy Boy

    Mr. Niedermeyer,
     
    It’s not your area of expertise, so there was no reason that you should have known this before you posted, but what King is attempting is a classic “corporate campaign” organizing strategy.  (There’s an excellent book tracing the roots of this tactic back to the 1960’s radical movement, by a Professor Jarol Manheim, called “Death of a Thousand Cuts”).
     
    What his “high road” schtick is really about is to force the transplants to sign what are called “neutrality agreements” and force them to agree to “card check.”  Neutrality agreements are basically gag orders prohibiting the employer from “disparaging” the union (i.e., not informing their employees regarding the downsides of unionization and the history of the UAW), and to provide the union with home addresses of employees (so union goons can “visit” and persuade the cornered employee that it’d be in their best interest to sign an “authorization card”).
     
    Which brings us to “card check.”  It bypasses the secret ballot election process’ the employer “agrees” to recognize the union if a simple majority of employees sign cards. Note that the employees are not asked if they want to give up secret ballot election.  Of course under “card check” it is the professional union organizers that solicits and collects the cards, and so know how people “voted,” and so also knows who hasn’t signed and so can target them for additional “persuasion” and threats of retribution if they’re still not convinced that they want to pay dues to the UAW in perpetuity. Until they hit the 50% +1, at which point they don’t even have to bother talking to the rest of the employees, who may find themselves unionized without ever even having been given the opportunity to sign a card, or refuse to sign a card.
     
    The Jesse Jackson etc. folks are willing props, intended to make the union organizing drive appear to have “community” support and/or be some sort of civil rights / worker rights issue, and so to make the employer look like a bad actor. It’s all street theater propaganda.
     
    ACORN and “Jobs with Justice” are union funded behind the scenes, and so are on call to become props as “community groups” siding with the “workers” in corporate campaign organizing drives.  Pure AstroTurf.
     
    Follow the money.  It’s all about roping in new dues units, by any means necessary, whether they want the union or not.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    Unions transfer income from others to their members, workers who could never exact such remuneration in a free market (absent union monopoly):

    The power of unions: Average stagehand at Lincoln Center in NYC makes $290K a year

    How to account for all this munificence? The power of a union, Local 1 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. “Power,” as in the capacity and willingness to close most Broadway theaters for 19 days two years ago when agreement on a new contract could not be reached.…

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/2010/12/power-unions-average-stagehand-lincoln-center-nyc-makes-290k-year#ixzz19MxFuSN2

    • 0 avatar
      Tommy Boy

      This works so long as there is little or no competition for the product or service, and no substitutes available to the consumer if the price of the unionized item ceases to have enough “value” to match the price.
       
      Just ask the hundreds of thousands of now unemployed UAW workers.  Or steelworkers.  Of former employees of Braniff, PanAm, TWA, Eastern …
       
      Perhaps the tourists wanting to experience a Broadway play at least once in their lives are prepared to pay premium prices, and to that union can get away with it.  But those types of de facto monopoly situations are few and far between.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    >>But those types of de facto monopoly situations are few and far between.

    Wrong.  Government workers and the UAW.   Sure, UAW is dying and the cause is itself.  But they are still a monopoly the “once Big Three” must deal with.  Government unions are growing because there is no competition.  And their pay handily outstrips their private sector counterparts, the people paying them.

    Look at what public sector unions did to California since Jerry Brown gave them the power of collective bargaining.  Now that he is guv again and must deal with his handiwork, that’s condign punishment.

    • 0 avatar
      Tommy Boy

      Agreed regarding government workers.  In fact the AFL-CIO is now majority government workers (as the private sector unionized companies either went out of business or moved offshore to rid themselves of unions).
       
      One could argue that the “domestic” auto industry (i.e., UAW) is also government, since the Obama administration used extra-bankruptcy procedures to “take care” of the UAW with taxpayer bailouts.
       
      The government unions can’t forever insulate themselves from economic reality, it’ll just take longer and be more painful for all of us.  Municipalities (and states) will either go bankrupt (the ability for states to do this is unclear), or will be bailed out by the feds.
       
      Given that the feds are already borrowing money from the Chinese in order to send out Social Security checks, that bailout will require the Federal Reserve to print even more trillions of fiat currency.  So the government workers will find that they’ll still get their pension checks, but it’ll be a hollow victory, since the post hyper-inflated purchasing power will be nil.
       
      But so too will the purchasing power of “our” private sector dollars …

  • avatar
    441Zuke

    I am sure many southerners will be “sympathetic” to the causes of Jesse Jackson

  • avatar
    segar925

    Since the union thugs were successful destroying so many domestic manufacturing jobs, they obviously won’t be satisfied until everbody is unemployed.  

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