UAW Surrenders. Transplants Remain Unorganized

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
uaw surrenders transplants remain unorganized

The UAW called off the transplant war. It won’t even identify an organizing target among foreign automakers with U.S. operations, UAW President Bob King told Reuters (via Automotive News [sub] ):

“We are not going to announce a target at all. We are not going to create a fight.”

At the beginning of this year, the United Auto Workers pledged that it would launch a campaign to organize the foreign-owned, non-union “transplant” factories in the US. Organizing at least one transplant was branded as a matter of life-and-death for the union.

A week ago, the UAW back pedaled and said it would simply pick an automaker to target by the end of 2011.

Even that isn’t happening.

Instead, King said meekly that the UAW is in talks with all of the German, Japanese and Korean automakers with U.S. factories and expects to continue to make progress toward organizing workers in their operations.

Some day. Maybe.

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14 of 39 comments
  • MarkP MarkP on Dec 08, 2011

    The point is not that unions will create jobs, but that unions can help protect the interests of labor instead of letting management control everything. I understand that it was a long time ago, but there is ample evidence of how that works out if you read the history books.

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    • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Dec 08, 2011

      @SCE to AUX To be clear, I love my job and I have an excellent employer. In my career, I played the poker game once in order to stay and get a better deal (which wasn't about money, by the way). My employer doesn't require me to work long hours; I do it as a matter of choice so that I can meet the commitments I've made. However, the tacit understanding is that a long-enough record of missed commitments makes you more likely to be let go. Union protection could help me avoid this concern, which is widespread in the technical world. Inevitably, I'd be paid less - or be unable to find work - if I had union protection, because employers will always be able to find someone else who is willing to work for less money to have less pressure on them. I'll rather take the money, and enjoy a good relationship with my employer.

  • MarkP MarkP on Dec 08, 2011

    Technically, if you are truly a white-collar employee, I believe that you are considered to be exempt from certain labor rules, like overtime regulations. As an exempt employee, you are salaried, and thus there is no such thing as "overtime," because you are not paid on an hourly basis. You are expected to continue until your work is done. Of course if you work for a company with a government contract, you will find that you are treated as an non-exempt, hourly worker in every way, but still considered exempt when it comes to coverage by those wage and hour rules.

  • Philadlj Philadlj on Dec 08, 2011

    Stock in Giant Inflatable Rat manufacturers plummeted following this news.

    • Indi500fan Indi500fan on Dec 08, 2011

      LOL I'm guessing those Giant Inflatable Rats came from China. The Obama administration Labor Secretary should issue a rule that GIFs can only be used if manufactured by the United Steel Workers (who absorbed an imploding United Rubber Workers union in the 90s).

  • Andy D Andy D on Dec 08, 2011

    yah yah, unions this and mgt that. Tell it to the families of the 29 coal miners who died a few yrs ago. They have fined the operators and some may go to jail, but 29 men are dead , due to safety procedures being ignored. Stuff that wont fly in a union mine. I think you cube rats are forgetting why unions were formed. Just saying is all.

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    • Daveainchina Daveainchina on Dec 09, 2011

      @SCE to AUX If I worked in a mine and joining a union would increase my safety factor, then I'd gladly pay the dues a union charges. But in the auto industry at the transplants, I don't see the cost/benefit ratio working in the Unions favor. I think for most people they are smart, they will join a union if there are obvious benefits that are worth the cost to them. If not, then they won't be interested. Management at these places knows this so they will always work to keep the cost/benefit relation close enough that the average worker will not be able to perceive any added benefit. It's a pretty simple equation, if you can make people happier ie, higher pay, better safety conditions etc. You can get them to join a union, if you can't, then they just see it as an extra burden that they don't want.