UAW Membership Increases!

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

And no, it’s not an April Fools day story! Bloomberg reports

The United Auto Workers membership rose 6 percent to 376,612 last year, the first gain in six years as U.S. automakers began hiring amid a recovery in sales.

The UAW’s membership increased by 21,421 members from 355,191 in 2009, according to a union filing today with the U.S. Department of Labor.

UAW President Bob King has wasted no time in declaring this a sign of recovery in what you might call the UAW’s “core business”:

This increase is a reflection of new organizing by the UAW, the recovery of the domestic auto industry and UAW members who won a first contract during the year. We hope to continue this growth in 2011 and beyond, as we fight to win a more fair and democratic process for workers to organize.

Of course, King’s attempt to link this minor improvement in his union’s membership to the recovery of the domestic auto industry is the real April Fools joke here…

The Freep reports that, of the UAW’s 21,421 new workers, nearly half are obviously from the non-automotive sector.

In 2010, the UAW won new members after organizing 6,500 postdoctoral researchers at the University of California, 2,500 casino workers at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut and 700 workers at Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City, N.J.

So, about half the union’s growth is coming from autos and the other half is coming from universities and casinos. Meanwhile, King admits that his union has lost the ability to dictate terms to even the automakers that are still UAW organized, telling his membership [via Bloomberg]

My heart aches. We don’t have the justice our members deserve. We let unionization fall so far that we don’t have the power to do pattern bargaining.

Which is why King pins the long-term viability of his union on its ability to organize transplant and overseas auto workers. If that effort fails, says King (and it looks like it might),

I don’t think there’s a long-term future for the UAW — I really don’t,

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Don1967 Don1967 on Apr 02, 2011
    Which is why King pins the long-term viability of his union on its ability to organize transplant and overseas auto workers. King pins. What an appropriate literary device in this context.
  • Dean Trombetta Dean Trombetta on Apr 02, 2011

    The UAW had a nice scam going here in Michigan. A law was passed very quietly that required you to join the UAW in order to get a license to open a day care center in the state. This is the kind of stuff that really angers people about labor unions. This is just a scam. These workers are not willingly joining a union to stop exploitation by evil capitalists. The union dues are funneled in to largely democratic party campaigns who then pass laws like this to increase the union dues which then get sent back to the politicians and so on and so on. It is one big party and the taxpayers get the bill.

  • Wjtinfwb "If I had asked idiot traitors what they wanted, they would have said faster horses".... What they wanted, vs. what they'll actually pay for are clearly two different things. It's not hard to want the vision of EV's the Biden admin sold everyone; inexpensive, fast charging with long-range, charging on every corner, minimal impact on the environment. The government delivered none of that. They threw automakers under the bus at the last minute after many of them made huge investment in tech, plants, R&D. Then Biden and his hapless bunch just walked away, built no charging stations, no support for natural resources and doubled down by stoking the labor fires increasing automakers costs substantially. EV's are absurdly expensive for the utility they provide and time is demonstrating their resale value to be in par with a 80's GM diesel wearing a Yugo badge. Sorry, it's not the consumers job to make a fairy tale come true. Making and selling cars is extraordinarily capital intensive, the automakers aren't throwing good money after bad betting on a senile old man who has delivered on none of his promises and is rapidly making himself irrelevant in the national conversation.
  • Fred As a British Car Fan I liked them, but then I sat in one and changed my mind. I like the unique looks of the newer ones.
  • FreedMike Not much to look at, but these were sweet to drive.
  • EBFlex Ford finally making a good decision although they should shut down their EV operations and investment all together. Why lose that money too?
  • Mike Lol. This is the king of suvs. And its made by GM.Why is everyone trashing it?Top of its its class for a quarter century.