In A Race For Survival, The UAW Plays The Race Card

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
in a race for survival the uaw plays the race card

Two times, the UAW tried to unionize the Nissan plant in Smyrna, Tennessee. Twice, the Union received a black eye. The UAW is trying a third time, this time counting on the fact that “an estimated 70 percent of the workforce is black,” says Reuters in a feature story on the UAW’s last ditch effort to gain relevance in the South.

Says Reuters:

“As the United Auto Workers embarks on an uphill battle to organize Nissan Motor Co’s plant in Mississippi, it is drawing inspiration from the famous struggle waged in the state during the civil rights movement.

The union sees a winning strategy in depicting the right to unionize freely as a basic civil right.”

The problem is, the winning strategy seems to go over the heads of the people it wants to connect with. Says Reuters:

“But the connection between civil rights history and the right to join a union or have a voice in work processes may be too abstract. Workers interviewed by Reuters, both for and against the union, said they simply have not thought about the civil rights link.”

Hate to say it, Bob King: You are no Martin Luther.

Join the conversation
7 of 35 comments
  • -Cole- -Cole- on Jul 31, 2012

    How low can you go? Go Bob go How many womyn are working at the plant?

  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Jul 31, 2012

    IIRC, the UAW has a racist history, and a rather diversity challenged top office. How many UAW presidents have been black? Seems to me the only people still playing the race card are the few fascists left among us. The only more racist people left are the overt ones like klansmen and neo-nazis.

  • Highdesertcat Highdesertcat on Jul 31, 2012

    Even if we disregard the race card, what exactly does the UAW have to offer the workers in ANY non-union plant that they don't already have, except maybe paying the dues every payday? And how many of the non-unionized workers would like to see the UAW collectively bargain their employers into bankruptcy, like GM and Chrysler? Maybe an avid UAW member would like to take this opportunity to educate the rest of us infidels and non-believers.

    • Toomanycrayons Toomanycrayons on Aug 02, 2012

      "And how many of the non-unionized workers would like to see the UAW collectively bargain their employers into bankruptcy, like GM and Chrysler?"-highdesertcat I'm wondering why the IDEA of unions is being attacked merely on the grounds that the UAW has some warts. The idea of capitalism/free markets seems promising. When will we gets some? The world is falling around us thanks to Wall Street and its Washington rent boys. Are you preparing a bonfire for that ideology as well, or just the working/lower class'?

  • El scotto El scotto on Aug 01, 2012

    Former trade union(s) member here. The labor unions have brought us an eight hour work day, guaranteed lunch breaks, guaranteed breaks, and your two day weekend. Ground breaking work done by Walter Reuther and John Lewis. However, all of this was done 70-80 years ago. When the big three were the big three, they agreed to UAW demands, cars went down the line, and everyone was happy. The UAW needs to realize the big three, big 2 1/2? Big 2?,I don't know; are scrambling for their lives. Me? I built things and made a good living. I love the irony of cubicle dwellers who think skilled tradesmen are stupid, until they find out how much we make. I had to get out due to nerve damage and I work with some guys who where in skilled trades. To a man, we miss it every day.

    • See 1 previous
    • Toomanycrayons Toomanycrayons on Aug 02, 2012

      @moedaman "He pretty much felt, and taught my brother and I, that the UAW leadership doesn’t care about the locals or it membership. They basically only care about those union dues because that money gives them a say in the political process."-moedaman Not much different from Management/GOP then in their relationship to other people's money? I guess the issue is which group is doing/has done the least harm. We won't be told.