UAW: Government Was Not Involved In Negotiations After All

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

In a newsletter to members of Local 598, an editor revealed an interesting wrinkle in the recently-ratified contract negotiations, writing

With the option of strike off the table and the government still a part of our negotiations (literally sitting in the room with us ‘observing’ our talks), I don’t believe any better agreement could have been reached,

But now, reports Bloomberg [via Automotive News [sub]], local shop committee person Dana Rrouse insists that there was not actually a government official present at union negotiations. He tells the news service

That was a misprint. I didn’t get to proofread it. It went out and then I said ‘Where did you get that from?’ I mean, I talked about us still being under government, but nothing as far as they were sitting there.

The government still owns a large portion of GM’s stock, but it too says it was not involved with negotiations with the UAW. Which is probably the right position to be taking: with so much acrimony generated by the latest round of negotiations, there are few reasons to be associated with them. Still, it’s strange that such an explosive “misprint” should have made its way into a union newsletter. Even if the government were not involved in the slightest, as it insists it was, there’s clearly a perception among UAW members that the government remains a consistent presence in the auto industry.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • CJinSD CJinSD on Nov 12, 2011

    The current regime does what it wants and lies. Someone in the UAW didn't know what the message was and inadvertently told the truth. Their miscue has now been 'corrected' by another good comrade of the cause. Shouldn't the administration be looking out for our 'investment' and making sure that the UAW doesn't sink the ship before we can salvage it? Of course. Do they want their UAW thugs to know that the Obama administration played a role in not letting them cash in during contract extortion time? Absolutely not! They don't want to alienate their foot soldiers come election time, so they don't want the rank and file to know that they acted to avoid a backlash among people who don't get cash payments for perpetuating Obama's war on the Constitution.

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    • Mike978 Mike978 on Nov 14, 2011

      @mike978 No cage. I do recall EPA reports being re-written during the Bush era regarding environmental damage and climate change. But I know in your world all evil started January 2009!

  • Tparkit Tparkit on Nov 12, 2011

    So the elephant was not in the room! The Administration is intent on putting space between itself, the UAW, and the auto bailout. For a close parallel to this effort, consider the White House attempt to identify with Occupy Wall Street. The message is "We're on the side of the 99%!" The truth is that, led by Goldman Sachs, Wall street firms collectively were the single largest doner to Obama's 2008 campaign and the DNC, gave millions to fund Obama's inaugaration, and have contributed at least a third of the money raised so far for Obama's reelection. Jon Corzine was a major fundraiser. The Administration is crawling with people passing lucratively through the revolving door between Wall Street and Washington, and earlier this year a major fund-raising event for Wall Street donors was held at the White House. Yup, they bought their bailout honestly. What's next? Perhaps we will watch Team Obama try to put daylight between itself and the $billions it has been funneling to dicey "green energy" firms led by big donors.

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    • Geeber Geeber on Nov 14, 2011

      @damikco The part where this simplistic mantra shows a basic ignorance of who already pay taxes, what steps are really needed to reduce the deficit and who will have to pay for them, for starters.

  • Mikey Mikey on Nov 12, 2011

    "Clearly a perception among UAW mmembers, that the government remains a consistent presence in the auto industry". Perception ?....I don't think so. "Reality" might be the better word. Of course the government is a consistent presence,as would any other major shareholder. I don't know about the USA, but up here in Canada we opened our 2008 contract three times. The third time was because the Provincial Liberal led government,along with the Conservitive led feds, demanded it. Our contract is good untill Sept 12. We havn't got a product for the Impala line after build out, due in the first quarter 2013. 2400+ jobs will be impacted,then the ripple effect. Me thinks the feds, and the provincial governments are twisting arms right now to get the CAW and GM to the table, a little earlier than Sept 12.

    • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Nov 12, 2011

      I think you've called it. No US administration wants to see more jobs lost when US unemployment is 9%+. The Obama Administration is union-friendly, and with the US government still interested in getting its money back, it does the US govt no good to see negotiations fail and the unions get blamed. "Observing" is all anyone says happened; I have no problem with that.

  • NormSV650 NormSV650 on Nov 12, 2011

    If the Government wasn't involved Obama missed a chance at allot of votes in last week's elections and presidential election one year from now.