UAW Lives Off Its Savings

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
uaw lives off its savings

With membership down to a quarter of the union’s peak size in 1979, dues are not enough to pay the bills at the UAW. The UAW continues to tap into savings to pay for its day-to-day operations, Reuters says.

According to the UAW’s annual financial filing with the U.S. Labor Department, 16 percent of the UAW’s cash receipts came from investment and asset sales in 2011, while union dues represented 47 percent.

The UAW’s membership increased slightly by 4,107, or 1 percent, to 380,719 last year. The UAW is still America’s richest union, but most of its $1 billion plus wealth is tied up in its strike fund. “As a result, the UAW was forced to sell stocks, bonds and other assets to pay for its day-to-day operations during the most recent U.S. economic downturn as the number of dues-paying members fell,” Reuters says.

Even after adding new members, the UAW is forced to rely on investment sales to pay for day to day operations. Organizing the transplants is key to the UAW’s survival. Failure to do so will result in more money drainage. Already, the balance sheet looks lopsided:

The UAW reported assets of $1.04 billion in 2011 and liabilities of $7.1 billion. Cash receipts and disbursements both fell about 6 percent to roughly $258 million each.

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  • Mark MacInnis Mark MacInnis on Apr 02, 2012

    Two questions: 1. Shall we start a UAW Deathwatch? It'd be great if we could get Farago to drop by and "guest-write" for it.... 2. Does this mean they won't be donating to the Obama/DNC re-election campaigns? I suspect the answer to both is "No!".... I imagine these people are like cockroaches....not easy to get rid of.

  • 50merc 50merc on Apr 02, 2012

    "The UAW reported assets of $1.04 billion in 2011 and liabilities of $7.1 billion." What??? The UAW's balance sheet shows six billion of negative equity? How can that be? A few years ago I started hollering about GM's inevitable bankruptcy filing because the company was already insolvent (liabilities greater than assets) and unable to reverse the downward spiral. It was selling profitable divisions to subsidize the unprofitable divisions--a poor long-term strategy. I couldn't see how the auditors could call GM a "going concern". Now it looks like the UAW is a GM copycat.

    • Bumpy ii Bumpy ii on Apr 02, 2012

      I would assume that most of that liability is a summation of long-term retirement benefits paid out on a planned schedule. GM's problem was that its daily spending was more than the product was bringing in.

  • PintoFan PintoFan on Apr 02, 2012

    Yet another unpleasant side effect of the neocolonial economic strategy pursued in this country since around 1982.

    • See 1 previous
    • VanillaDude VanillaDude on Apr 03, 2012

      How much did you pay someone to teach you that lame brained drivel? Get your money back. It's worthless.

  • Noxioux Noxioux on Apr 02, 2012

    Hmmmm. . . Bloated organization living far beyond it's means? Burn through your savings and max out those cards. Declare bankruptcy and hold your hand out for free money. Seems to be working for everyone else in this country. For now.