UAW Will Spend Less On Transplant Organization Campaigns

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon

Though the United Auto Worker’s fight for organization of the transplants in the Southeastern United States rages on, the union will not be taking as much from its war chest to fund the fight than in previous years.

The Detroit News reports UAW Secretary-Treasurer Gary Casteel informed reporters at the end of the 36th UAW Constitutional Convention that there would be news this week of the union’s plan to organize the Mercedes-Benz plant in Vance, Ala. despite the lack of support for the UAW. He also says he will remain in Tennessee to help with the renewed fight for the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, where the union lost in a contentious election back in February amid allegations of anti-union interference.

As for what those plans entail, or how much less the union was willing to spend on them, Casteel did not offer specifics; the UAW spent $15 million under the term of former union president Bob King, whose term ended with the election of new president and former secretary-treasurer Dennis Williams. He also said his union would not be affected by Canadian labor union Unifor’s efforts to organize Toyota’s plants in Ontario, nor did he believe if Chattanooga had been won, all of the remaining transplants would soon follow:

I don’t really believe in the domino effect. If Volkswagen had been successful, I didn’t see this domino effect with the other transnationals and vice-versa.

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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  • Xeranar Xeranar on Jun 09, 2014

    The constant UAW bashing never gets old in this crowd. I'll just point out that the Vance plant per a TTAC article has 30% of workers signing cards already. They aren't exactly getting the cold shoulder. The system is more complex than simple economic arguments, you have culture, you ignorance, you have an active political organization and corporate management fighting against them. But time will tell. Though it seems to be on the side of the UAW and the left in general.

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    • Xeranar Xeranar on Jun 09, 2014

      @Old Man Pants Don't worry, kenny. Years ago I learned when people try to play off your intellectual remarks with silly responses they represent no threat. You're just my big bisque friend who likes to be silly. Not that I don't chuckle...I mean if you can be funny or right you definitely chose well. ;)

  • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Jun 09, 2014

    Many on TTAC would consider me anti-UAW, but I'm not, really. I'm against poor and selfish judgment. The UAW really needs to find a platform to reassure potential rank and file personnel it can deliver. When I say deliver, I mean the UAW must be able to show that it can not only deliver to the rank and file, but also to the auto manufacturers. The demise of Detroit was one of the biggest blows to the UAW. Many assume that the greed of the UAW is partly to blame, and rightly so. It's also apparent to the potential rank and file personnel the support the taxpayer had to give to the UAW due to exceptionally poor and selfish work arrangements. Maybe they don't want the 'South' to be another Detroit. Really is Detroit a great example of management? People see this around the globe.

  • 05lgt 05lgt on Jun 09, 2014

    I believe there are some politicians who are better than others. I'm not talking about left vs. right idiological differences, more like term ends in jail thieves and traitors vs more able stewards of our trust. My disgust with the UAW isn't because they're Obama or Reagan, but rather that they're Rob Ford of Toronto.

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    • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Jun 09, 2014

      @Lou_BC You wouldn't believe one of my best friends was a shop steward. Anyway, what I don't like about some unions (and commenters on these sites) is the fanboi like dedication to a political party or institution. Militancy is like fanboism. I'm not as 'radical' as you would think ;)

  • Dirty Dingus McGee Dirty Dingus McGee on Jun 10, 2014

    I am a partner in a small company that does specialized work on specific types of manufacturing equipment. Over the last couple of years we had some work in a plant that was represented by the UAW. It is in a "right to work" state, so not everyone is a member of the local. There were however some there that were major union supporters, as evidence by words and actions. When one in particular found that we are NOT unionized, the cooperation level we had been receiving dropped to nothing. We had to go up the food chain and have another person assigned to assist us. It became easier to spot the hard core union supporters. They were the ones wearing shirts and hats supporting the union, never one supporting the company. Got me to wondering if perhaps they thought the union was the one that was paying them, as opposed to the company that actually signed their check. I have no problem if someone wants to support a union. In my mind you are letting your employer know that you don't have the ability to think independently, and are likely best suited for the one task you have been trained on. Someone who wants to advance in a corporate structure, other than the union hierarchy, will likely not stay at this company for a long time. And for those who might think I have no idea what unions really do, I have in years past worked in different companies; 1 was represented bu the machinist union, anther by the steelworkes. When I left either of those companies, I found better pay and nearly identical working conditions, with far greater opportunities for advancement. It may have required a move to a new state, or region of the same state, but if you wanna grow you better be ready to go. Thats just my $.02, your opposing opinion is worth the same.