By on June 7, 2013

When there was labor unrest in South Africa, the UAW was quick to spend union dues for a long trip to the scenic South African locale, ostensibly to show  their solidarity with South African union brothers who, coincidentally, fought against Mercedes and Volkswagen. Back home, the UAW pulled a whole packet of race cards. It headlines, a bit strenuously: “South Africans have more rights than workers in Mississippi.”

It would have been more a propos if the UAW would have flown to South Korea to show solidarity with workers  who are about to go on strike against GM, the company, ooops, that is partially owned by the UAW.

“General Motors Corp has told its South Korean labor union it has no plans to produce the next-generation Aveo small car at its key Asian base for the time being, prompting the union to threaten strike action,” Reuters writes today.

Workers were told by Sergio Rocha, head of GM Korea, that the new Aveo/Sonic will be made  in China and the United States, and that South Korea could possibly produce the model two years after its launch.

GM and its South Korean unions are in wage talks, and GM has made many not so subtle hints  that it might reduce its South Korean presence if workers don’t fall in line. Instead, the Korean unions now threaten strike:

“Should there be no change in the company’s stance, the labor union will be able to launch strike action – our biggest legal weapon.”

The acrimonious, and often militant labor disputes in South Korea  are being steadfastly ignored by the UAW. In the last month, the UAW’s website  did not mention “Korea” once, if Google is to be believed. It’s easy to show solidarity with “our brothers and sisters in South Africa.” It seems to come a bit harder when the union brothers and sisters threaten strike against a company you partially own.

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5 Comments on “Selective Solidarity: Ignored By UAW Bosses On A Jaunt To South Africa, Korean Union Threatens Strike Against GM...”

  • avatar

    Nice try.

  • avatar

    Has nothing to do with UAW owneship of GM, GM owns GM S.A., just as much as GM owns Daewoo, the only difference is that korean manufacturing represents a real threat to the UAW in terms of location of manufacturing (Korea vs. US), while South Africa does not present that threat in any way shape or form. What the UAW is “smart”, they would love a strike in Korea and even better if the militants burn the factories down.

    In fact wouldn’t be surprised if they are activily engaging in rumor/fear mongering (of course not via official channels) hoping to make the situation worse.

    • 0 avatar

      It might just be the “acrimonious, and often militant labor disputes…” that Korean unions engage in that’s the turn-off for UAW. The Koreans are doing what what was done here in the 1930s, but the UAW is a kinder, gentler union now.

  • avatar

    Its fitting the UAW’s best spokesman (apparently) is a washed-up actor; Danny Glover, really? And the UAW complains about Mississippi, but Soweto Township is far more like, uh, Detroit.

    I’ll take Mississippi.

  • avatar

    The UAW didn’t spend “union dues”. They have an investment fund to use for political and organizing purposes. This piece is just anti-union and anti-UAW propaganda.

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