UAW Launches United Nations Of Chrysler And Fiat Unions

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
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Uh-oh: The UAW has reached out to unions representing workers of Chrysler and Fiat in other countries. They want to form a “global network.” The group will not collectively bargain with the companies, King told reporters from Reuters. The group will be just an innocuous clearing-house for information.

Officially, the group will share information on worthy issues such as worker safety, better ergonomics for workers, better work practices and how to ensure the production of quality vehicles. The new group agreed on a set of principles that includes the freedom of workers to organize in unions, to protect the rights of workers around the world including children and women workers. Now who can possibly be against that?

I’m sure the occasionally quite rabid Italian union has some hot tips.

Similar global union networks were established at Ford and GM. So far, Ford and GM ignore these groups.

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href=""> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href=""> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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  • Old Guy Old Guy on Jun 23, 2011

    Wait'll the UAW finds out about the two-hour siesta Italian workers get every afternoon.

    • See 2 previous
    • Russycle Russycle on Jun 23, 2011

      @Tommy Boy Yet another example of our liberal media fluffing their beloved unions. Oh, wait....

  • Robert.Walter Robert.Walter on Jun 23, 2011

    The UAW announced something like this 10 years ago, and, afterward, I don't recall hearing anything more about it. This is a topic area that I only follow casually, so I could be wrong, but it has always seemed to me that the national unions in Europe had no real interest or incentive to cooperate trans-nationally. Could it now be that the unions realize that they have been outmaneuvered and are subject to whipsawing? News over the last year makes it seem Marchione has been threatening italian unions with moving their business to the US to keep them compliant. Problem is, that with no growth in the US or EU auto markets, and the possibility to produce vehicles in Right-to-Work states (US), or soft-union countries in eastern Europe, or to import vehicles from non-union (here I use "non" to also mean any unionized plant that allows for a marginally-greater fully-accounted profit margin) countries in Asia (or anywhere), the unions are facing a zero-sum game in that if they are not cooperative and competitive, it has never been easier (not to say that there won't be an initial cost to pay all the buy-outs) to move the work elsewhere. Given that zero-sum scenario, I'm not sure that cooperation will be all that useful, and even if the unions get weaker, the more-likely talk of trans-national consolidation would seem to provide no sustainable strategic advantage vis-a-vis the OEM's.

  • Probert Probert on Jun 23, 2011

    I always thought cars were excreted from the ass of glowing blond angel with a come hither look. The shock that workers construct them has given me the vapors. Another Julip Sam and make sure you're wearing your gloves.

  • Herb Herb on Oct 04, 2011

    Volkswagen already seems to have that (c.f. document in German This paper (Charter on Labor Relations within the Volkswagen Concern) talks about an "Europäische Konzernbetriebsrat" (European Workers Council), and even an "Weltkonzernbetriebsrat" (World-Wide Workers Council). Don't know whether this is just a piece of paper or whether it actually works, and how. Theoretically, such an approach would make sense in multinational enterprises. But I don't know how an UAW would fit into a multinational union concept.