Quote Of The Day: The UAW's Last Stand Edition

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
quote of the day the uaw s last stand edition

Once again, the UAW-Transplant battle has produced the most memorable auto-related quote today, as union boss Bob King tells Reuters

If we don’t organize the transnationals, I don’t think there is a long-term future for the UAW

The stakes in the UAW’s crusade were already high, but with this latest gem, King confirms that that it’s all or nothing. Which is an interesting way to frame a campaign that even the objective reporters at Reuters are forced to conclude is something of a fool’s errand. After all, it’s not as if the UAW hasn’t tried to organize transplant factories before, and they have yet to come close to succeeding. But with the rhetoric turned up to “11,” the UAW is on a one-way trip to destiny… and King’s best last-minute pitch to the defiant transplants is

We want to be on the cutting edge of labor relations. That is the opportunity for all these companies.

A tempting idea, to be sure, but now that King has informed the world that the union’s alternative to success is death, the transplants have more incentive than ever to say “thanks, but no thanks.” And it’s already starting. Is this the beginning of the end of the United Auto Workers?

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  • Newfdawg Newfdawg on Jan 18, 2011

    The UAW outlived its usefulness in the United States years ago, Bob King needs to get out of his 1936 mindset. The things the UAW fought for such as the eight hour workday, better working conditions and better pay were achieved long ago and are now part of the workplace. With the growing technology and automation in the workplace, the terms blue collar and white collar jobs are irrelevant. If the UAW wants to do something useful it should be looking after GM workers in China.

  • Lw Lw on Jan 18, 2011

    Organize a Chinese plant?!?! If you don't like the UAW leaders, pray they go to China and try to organize a plant. They will be in prison so fast (if they are lucky). The entire reason China and most of the third world have horrible conditions is because they need to be cheaper to win the business. it's cheaper if you don't have OSHA and don't care about human rights. So if you want to fix the world and make it work like you think it should, then you'll need to do a world domination thang and force everyone to wash their hands after they leave the bathroom and install eye washing stations. "Your eye's just burned out? Then your fired" is A LOT CHEAPER than calling 911 and dealing with years of lawsuits, workers comp, etc. Think of it this way.. How much would a car cost if ONLY UAW labor and ONLY factories on American soil were allowed to have any part in it's manufacturing?

    • L'avventura L'avventura on Jan 18, 2011

      Chinese workers are unionized, in fact they are part of the world's largest union, the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU). 134 million members. And you DON'T mess with them. Period. They are backed by the Communist party, and you don't do business in China without the government's consent. Let's up it this way, Walmart in China is unionized, by the ACFTU, not in America. China's unions however is very different from those in the West, they are tightly controlled. Business interest is weighed with labor interests, and its a lot more complicated situation in China due to immigrant labor (immigrant as in different provinces) relative to the overall health of the Chinese economy.

  • MrFixit1599 MrFixit1599 on Jan 18, 2011

    I have been in and out of UAW plants many times over the past 15 years for machinery repair, and the time required to do basically the exact same job in a non-union plant, vs. a union plant (not just UAW) is roughly twice as much time. My boss loves for me to go to those plants, knowing he is going to be able to charge them twice as much to get the same job done as a non-union plant. The sad part is, in general, I find the actual workers to be as good, if not better at their jobs in non union plants. I honestly see no reason for ANY union to still exist with the evolution of OSHA and all the other government run worker safety programs that are in place. On a side note, I will offer this tidbit. A buddy of mine that I went into the Navy with out of high school went to work at a UAW plant in Northwest Ohio making considerably more than I did for similar work. At the time we had similar backgrounds, so I asked him what other jobs were available there and what the pay was. He told me he wasn't sure what jobs similar to his were, he never told me what he was making, but on the board in the lunchroom was a job posting for a starting level job for a janitor, responsibilties included cleaning the bathroom, pay was 17.50 an hour. This was 1998. Needless to say I was a tad dumbfounded that a janitor working at a UAW plant was going to make 50 cents more an hour than I was making at the time. This in no way is to imply that being a janitor is a bad job, it just seems the UAW valued their worth much more than any other employer. And we all wonder why so many UAW jobs have been moved out of the USA.

  • Andyinsdca Andyinsdca on Jan 18, 2011

    The real reason that the UAW needs Honda has to do with their pension plan for the rank & file workers. New accounting rules for private pension plans will expose all of the bugs that have been hiding under the rock for decades. It's going to be UGLY. http://reason.com/archives/2011/01/18/labors-last-stand