By on September 29, 2014

PosterMXAnyMeans

While former EICs Schmitt and Niedermeyer documented the increasing co-operation between the UAW and IG Metall, recent developments have taken the relationship to new twists and turns. First there was the appointment of IG Metall bigwig Bernd Osterloh to VW of America’s board of directors. Now, Reuters is reporting that the two unions, along with the VW global works council, have signed a letter of intent to represent VW workers at its Chattanooga, Tennessee plant.

Since the UAW lost a 2013 vote to represent the plant’s workers, various machinations have occurred. A “voluntary” union local was established by the UAW in an attempt to organize the plant’s labor force, only to be met with another outfit that was distinguished by its anti-UAW stance.

Despite the “voluntary” nature of the UAW’s Local 42 (as its known), the bargaining unit could be recognized by VW if a majority of workers decide to join it. This would be a major coup for the UAW, which is desperate to make headway in organizing a foreign plant, as well as IG Metall, which would further solidify its influence in Volkswagen Group affairs, after causing a stink at the massive Wolfsburg assembly plant, where VW is experiencing labor unrest amid a bumpy rollout for its new MQB based cars.

Osterloh’s appointment to the VWoA board and the organization of Chattanooga workers under the auspices of the UAW may simply be the price that Chattanooga has to pay for getting the new 7-seat VW crossover. VW, ever careful not to piss off IG Metall, has never adopted an anti-UAW stance despite insider reports claiming that unionization was not a desired outcome. But in the spirit of “Solidarity Forever“, IG Metall appears to determined to bring their UAW brothers into the plant, even if they have to let them in via the side door.

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71 Comments on “UAW, IG Metall Working To Jointly Organize Chattanooga VW Plant...”


  • avatar

    I’d like to ask whoever chose the picture above, why that image was selected to run with this story?

  • avatar
    Xeranar

    Short list of how TTAC Backslid on their own promise to not be so right-wing on unionization:

    1.) Using Malcolm X as their catch image for the piece. I understand Malcolm X’s position, I studied critical race theory, the average reader here is white and male, Malcolm X is seen in a highly negative light by that group so clearly this has some underlying meaning or why not perhaps use Norma Rae’s iconic image?

    2.) Putting voluntary in quotations. It is by definition voluntary. Just because the author has opinions and thoughts that seem to indicate otherwise labor law is clear on what the voluntary local is doing and if they do become the official group they would switch from a voluntary bargaining unit but otherwise implying it puts an insidious spin on what is a legal and ethical tactic to use. Just because you dislike it doesn’t make it wrong.

    3.) ACE is just a right-wing front group meant to mimic an union as a legal entity but not actually support union goals. Qualifying it as a horse race is just reinforcing a previously held viewpoint without putting any consideration towards its accuracy.

    That being said, solidarity forever, my brother. :)

    • 0 avatar

      ” I studied critical race theory, the average reader here is white and male, Malcolm X is seen in a highly negative light by that group so clearly this has some underlying meaning or why not perhaps use Norma Rae’s iconic image?”

      Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar…

      BUT, I will say that Alex Haley’s autobiography is one of my favorite books of all time.

      Lastly, there was, and never will be, any promise to adopt any kind of stance on any particular issue. Our prerogative is to call it like we see it. There will be no, if I may use this term, affirmative action, on topics such as labor, where we tread lightly on certain issues.

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        And sometimes a right-winger is just a right-winger trying to reinforce their particular view?

        I’m fine with it. I didn’t call you a terrible journalist for making an opinion piece, I pointed out where I felt you didn’t measure up to your own previous statements. You’re free to write what you want, I commented respectfully on the matter. You have the megaphone, I have a voice in respect to that (in terms of this website). But if you feel I spoke out of turn on the matter I think you should say so.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Why is everything race and politics with so many of your comments? I realize labor law is your passion and livelihood, but your comments would be far more interesting with some analysis attached and Das Kapital left at home for the day.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            Why? Not everything is race or politics with me, you just take note because I tend to post more when those come about. I remarked about the Hudson Museum without much more than a passing remark on historical changes to museums and funding.

            The only mention of race was injected initially by the use of Malcolm X who is a controversial figure in US history largely for self-segregationist attitudes and militant approach on civil liberties in the face of oppression. Long story short: I didn’t bring it up anymore than it was forced upon me. As for the rest, what is there to say if I disagree?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Truthfully I don’t catch everything you say but more than once the topic seems to gravitate in that direction. I agree Malcom X is controversial but I doubt his image is being used to convey some sort of right wing message. The story is a German and US union openly joining forces to unionize a German owned plant in the US. This topic alone is worthy of your analysis.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            Ah, well, the fact that international unions are working together more often is something that needs more review. It was for a long time the European unions and international unions working together and the Americans alone even though technically the Americans had a slew of international unions because of the cross over into Canada and occasionally Mexico.

            This is more obvious in the auto industry but German unions are starting to feel the pressure of capitalists making plays to cut down some of their power. In Germany the people avoided a huge depression by being better setup to manage the risks and were able to absorb the downturn because income was more balanced. Some arguments have been put forward that unionizing Americans will keep jobs in Germany which is somewhat true but it ignores the ideological positions these people take. The problem for Americans and the labor movement is that the countries that we’re fighting for labor over are in totalitarian states (China is effectively one).

            That being said, the voluntary membership approach to climb towards a majority of membership is actually a fairly effective method. Anti-union forces are always going to outspend the union but sitting there and holding down a foothold while the forces spend huge sums to fight them is actually a great way to fight a war of attrition with them.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            What do you foresee in say the next twenty years in countries such as China (PRC), Thailand, and Vietnam? A success of unionization or is unionization a Western idea more than an Eastern one?

          • 0 avatar
            probert

            Gee – I guess you didn’t see the picture which leads the article. Even without knowing it’s Malcolm X , you might have read about the recent murders and brutalization of black men and women by the boys in blue. Perhaps you could synthesize these 2 events and come up with a thought.

            My thought is that this is very purposeful, being that 2 of the major fears of the far right are black people (with or without guns – but guns sure add spice), and any semblance of worker’s rights (well rights in general – but trying to be on topic here).

            Pretty ugly stuff.

        • 0 avatar

          The image was chosen for the three words at the bottom more than any racial/socioeconomic/political messages. It’s a comment on the unrelenting quest by organized labor to represent workers at Chattanooga. Nothing more. How many times can we run the same photo of a Passat sitting outside the factory, or an helicopter shot of the assembly complex?

          I don’t see how that makes me a “right-winger” or how that contradicts any statements I apparently made (as far as I recall, I haven’t).

          • 0 avatar
            Jeff Waingrow

            I take Derek completely at his word. I’ve never sensed that he has an agenda. If I were in his job, I doubt I’d be a fair-minded as he is. And I’d probably screw up plenty too.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I would suggest using other VW pictures (classic Bug, Scirocco, 90s Golf etc) does the image really need to have a Chattanooga tie in?

          • 0 avatar
            ClutchCarGo

            There are four words at the bottom of the image, and a quick Google search for the phrase returned me several choices of image involving Malcolm X, many that did not involve a rifle. We all make choices; we must all own what is behind those choices.

          • 0 avatar

            Derek I just don’t see how the image fits with the story and therefore had to question why you chose to use it.
            If its for the caption how does that with the story?
            I’m not trying to “get you” but I truly wonder why you selected so polarizing a subject (it is Malcom X right?) and an image of him with weaponry?

          • 0 avatar

            I wanted an image with “By Any Means Necessary” on it, as a play on the Malcom X phrase. That’s an iconic image with the caption attached to it.

          • 0 avatar
            sirwired

            I agree the caption is catchy (and not entirely outlandish), but given that there haven’t been any reports of violence linked with this organization drive, perhaps you could have located that didn’t hint at violence being involved.

            FWIW, I agree that the UAW should be abandoning the drive for full recognition and trying again when they are eligible to run another election. In the meantime, they can certainly have a local, have protests, make requests, etc., just without the collective bargaining authority that comes with a real election.

          • 0 avatar
            levi

            “The image was chosen for the three words at the bottom more than any racial/socioeconomic/political messages.”

            “[Jane] Fonda said she didn’t realize at the time the effect posing with the anti-aircraft gun would have. “I know the power of images,” she said in the 1988 interview. “To have put myself in a situation like that was a thoughtless and cruel thing to have done. … I take full responsibility for it.” – http://academics.wellesley.edu/Polisci/wj/Vietimages/fonda.htm

            Images are just as powerful as words. Maybe more so. The words may have fit the topic, the image does not and was a very poor choice.

          • 0 avatar
            natrat

            Perhaps a picture of the westmoreland plant in ruins would be more apropos, cuz we all know where this mess is headed.

          • 0 avatar
            el scotto

            Derek,
            I call complete and total hogwash. You could have picked a picture of any blue color person. Or you could have shown a pic of union picketers. Instead, you chose a pic of Malcolm X wich has little or nothing to do with any union. God only knows what was going through your mind. Now you’re trying to be disingenuoius and say that’s not what I meant, nope noting like that at all and nothing to cause controversy. Hogwash indeed.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I knew where you were coming from, but this choice of phrasing and the accompanying photo necessarily carry a lot of baggage.

            It would be similar to having a definitive answer to a problem and referring to it as “the final solution.” You just can’t divorce yourself from the history or politics when using certain terminology.

          • 0 avatar
            Rod Panhard

            I recognize your editorial conundrum and have been there myself many times.

            “The image was chosen for the three words at the bottom ”

            Just remember that the picture is worth a thousand words, and the caption is but three words. Given the times, some folks, who are vociferous, remain sensitive to images of guns and angry black people. Put the two together, and unintentionally, a fecal storm rains down on the young blogger. Yes, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, but what’s happened in the 21st Century is that many people can’t get past the symbolism, and focus on the concrete. Hence, we have bipartisan rancor.

            Hence, your job gets a shed ton more difficult.

          • 0 avatar
            ect

            I seriously wonder how many readers would have recognized the figure as Malcolm X. I sure didn’t, and I’m of the right age and political awareness for it,

            The words are evocative, as Derek says. The photo is something I saw as situational, not political.

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            @ect

            First glance, I thought “Panthers, Columbia”.

            But then I saw those Lombardis and realized this was THE sorority-girl heartthrob of the era.

            After JFK got croaked, anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      The image is certainly polarizing. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but let’s not pretend that it isn’t.

      • 0 avatar
        Dave M.

        But the caption is perfect. Why play fair when you can win by force. The UAW issue was answered a few months ago…so now they will achieve the results they wanted.

        No harm no foul.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          The caption is perfect if the goal is to appeal to hyperbolic wingnuts of the right.

          Otherwise, the image detracts from the story because it focuses the reader on the photo instead of the content of the story.

          (I am presuming that the author wanted people to read his story, and not just look at the picture.)

      • 0 avatar
        IHateCars

        Hey, it’s generating clicks & comments…isn’t it?
        Mission accomplished.

    • 0 avatar
      petezeiss

      “Malcolm X is seen in a highly negative light by that group..”

      My heinie!

      Look how slender, ’60s and Negro he looks! And that skinny tie! And Lombardi glasses! SHABAZZ!!

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Provocative headline and photo aside, all of the UAW/IG-Metall’s machinations will not succeed. Last year’s vote was pretty far apart, and it will be very tough to close the gap.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      “all of the UAW/IG-Metall’s machinations will not succeed”

      Oh yeah!? Read a little further….

      “… signed a letter of intent to represent VW workers at its Chattanooga, Tennessee plant.”

      Whether the VW workers want to be represented by a union or not.

      It may be of interest to some of you that Tennessee is known as the Volunteer State and that it is heavily Democrat, aka a Blue State.

      But to their credit, although heavily Democrat, the Tennesseans are known for voting for what is right, in politics, in local elections, and now re union representation at the VW Chatt plant.

      But that vote doesn’t matter to the UAW. That’s why the continuing and never-ending assault to unionize those stupid Americans who do not want a union to take a cut of their hard-earned wages.

      And that’s what it is all about — the money.

      I applaud Derek for his article. It only underscores what many of the B&B have been saying all along that the UAW will fornicate its way into this plant “by any means necessary.”

      Flash! The UAW will win this battle until the regime is replaced with a more business-friendly one.

      • 0 avatar
        Sobro

        As a Tennessean I can tell you that it is not even close to being a Blue State. In fact, if Al Gore had won in Tennessee, the Florida vote would not have mattered. And East Tennessee, where Chattanooga is located, has been a bastion of Republicanism ever since they refused to secede and sent an army of Volunteers to fight for the Union (the Federal one, not the mobbed up one). Just kidding about the mob.

        As for the picture… well, it’s meaningless in regards to the text.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Sobro, Tenneseans pride themselves on being fiercely Democratic but have a long track record of picking the best candidate for the job. Gore was not the best candidate for the job and that’s what brought on the Florida vote.

          Ob*m* wasn’t the best candidate for the job but he won and now look at the mess America finds itself in!

          Obama’s War! aka as OW!

          On the one hand it is ironic that the most inept and incompetent anti-war president and administration in recent memory should find itself in this predicament, but on the other hand it could not happen any better if it had been scripted in Hollywood. Oh the irony! The irony! And so well deserved after ragging on Shrub for years.

          Hey, where are all those anti-war peacenik fascists now? Nary a peep out of any Uber Left Liberal ‘crats, eh? Wait ’til the body bags start coming home again.

          America’s chickens have indeed come home to roost as proclaimed by the prophetic words of Pastor Jeremiah Wright in 2008. Who knew!? He must have a direct line to God and be in good standing to be able to forecast that far into the future.

          BTW, Tennesee sent their Army of Volunteers to fight for the Union because it was the right thing to do. Slavery was the wrong thing to do but the Democrat Southern slave owners had a different point of view. Same facts, different interpretation.

          And even though most Tenneseans do not want the UAW in their state, it does not matter to the UAW because the UAW will continue to press for unionization of Tennesee and the South, by any means necessary.

          The fight between good rtw and evil unions continues.

          • 0 avatar
            bosozoku

            “Tenneseans pride themselves on being fiercely Democratic”

            No, they don’t.

          • 0 avatar
            Rick T.

            All statewide offices are held by Republicans. Both Senators are Republicans. Seven of nine Representatives are Republican. In the General Assembly 26 out of 33 state senators are Republican as are 71 out of 99 state representatives. The parts that are still Democratic are solidly Democratic – Nashville and Memphis and not a lot else.

            Tennessee did sent more troops to the Union than all of the other Southern states. It is possible that they also sent more troops to the Confederate Army but no one really knows.

            Now that you mention it, where ARE all of those anti-war protestors these days….

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    They lost an election. They aren’t taking the will of the workers for an answer. What does this tell you about how much they’ll care about the workers once they have control?

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      By that logic, we should just stop having elections broadly. We already voted in Obama, so let’s not hold a presidential election again.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        Your challenge is incorrect. Union shops don’t vote every four years on whether or not they wish to remain union-represented.

        In this case, the unions will keep pressing until they win, or run out of energy/money to maintain the effort.

        I don’t blame them for trying once, but they don’t realize how lopsided the vote really was. 53-47 is a big loss. It’s really a wasted effort at this point.

        To take CJ’s point a bit further, I think it also shows how belligerent the union might be toward VW once they get in there, if they ever do.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        The UAW lost an election last year. What they are doing is more like an opposition party impeaching a freshly elected President because they don’t want to accept the results of an election than it is like holding scheduled elections for a post. And as SCE to AUX pointed out, there won’t be any way for their hosts to get rid of them once they force their way in against the will of the workers. Your post couldn’t have much less to do with reality if that were your intent.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        This is really more like a referendum than a presidential election.

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          Like an EU referendum, where a nation’s populace must keep voting until the collective’s desired result is returned?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Exactly. I was in Dublin in October of 2009, the only graffiti anywhere in the city were things to the effect of “no means no” and “we love our constitution”. Some of the Irish people we encountered were very fired up on the subject.

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      Its a rare moment when I agree with CJ, but I got to say he has this one correct.

      I don’t get it. The membership spoke. They made it clear. No union at this time….Fair enough. Lets move on.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        I was hoping to leave open the possibility for the workers of Tennessee to evolve their thinking.

        People’s views change. 10 years ago, the vast majority of Americans opposed gay marriage. Now?

        • 0 avatar
          thornmark

          >>I was hoping to leave open the possibility for the workers of Tennessee to evolve their thinking.<<

          Americans are evolving. They are increasingly evolving against unions and especially the UAW, given its history.

          IG wants a failure and w/ the UAW that's a near certainty. The past is prologue w/ VW and the UAW.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            thornmark,
            If we go by the % of workers in the private sector, you are indeed correct. Union participation has been falling for quite a while in the US.

            But there are signs that American workers are getting fed up with an increasing sense that the rich are getting richer, while they are treading water.

            It will be interesting to see how this plays out; perhaps it could mean an increasing openness to unionization, but only if unions show they have made a break from the mistakes of the past.

          • 0 avatar
            turboprius

            Ironic that most of these rich folks are liberals with multiple houses in New England that preach “Oh, evil conservatives are becoming richer and richer. Poor people, we’ll help you.” Yet rather than helping the poor, the liberals take the money and buy another new Wrangler Rubicon for their seventeen year old daughter.

            But that ain’t my problem. (sips Great Value water bottle).

        • 0 avatar
          Carl Kolchak

          And some still do (such as myself). In fact, that may be a small part of why the UAW lost as is s “married” to the Democratic party. If the unions were apolitical, maybe there would be much less backlash against them.

  • avatar
    50merc

    Xeranar, “by any means necessary” means just that: unions and their useful idiots will keep maneuvering until somehow the VW plant is brought under their control. I think it’ll eventually happen; after all, VW management is in bed with IG Metall, just like school administrators are in bed with teacher unions. The UAW has hundreds of thousands of actively working members enjoying old above-market wage scales and retirees enjoying lavish retirement plans from Detroit’s salad days. They’ve got to be fed. It’s like Social Security: receipts from new members are required to cover the legacy liabilities.

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      1.) Useful idiots – I wouldn’t throw stones, you live in a glass house.

      2.) School administrators are in bed with teacher’s unions? That’s news to me. In fact most of the research I’ve read is that administrators who make salaries in multiples of the average teacher generally have been trying to stop any teacher salaries from growing even while the educators who choose to teach over entering a private business field make less over their life time. But again, it’s a social perception issue that is completely disconnected from reality.

      3.) Above-average market wage scales? Are we talking about the individual markets in which they operate or industry? Individual markets have routinely held manufacturing jobs at higher wages and they generally boost the surrounding economy as more of that money flows back into the community instead of HQ a few thousand miles away. If we’re discussing industry then VW & most of the transplants are slightly below industry levels but that creates downward pressure and any group would want to avoid that while the capitalists would want that because it benefits them.

      4.) Your attempt to qualify the argument as a Ponzi scheme fails on multiple levels. The presumption in a Ponzi scheme is you’ll pay in X amount of dollars and receive a larger pay out but in the case of Ponzi schemes they’re using the pay out from new investors. SS works differently in that workers paying into it now will receive only fraction of their money in an annualized term. In other words: Ponzi schemes collapse because they run out of investors to keep increasing the previous returns on. In SS there are multiple ways of correcting for this by either raising the rate of taxable income (the income cap is roughly 117K right now), raising the rate of taxation for it, and lower benefits. The most effective would actually be in the order previously stated. Just uncapping SS would resolve most of the issues for decades unto itself.

      That being said, unionization actually benefits from a larger base because it creates more collectively bargaining. Technically the dues paid are different from legacy cost benefits though in the UAW case I believe there is some crossover as necessary but your argument falls flat in terms of it being a massive case of Ponzi.

      • 0 avatar
        TW5

        Uncapping social security would raise taxes by 15.3% on upper income working class, which would increase tax liability by about 50% for some households. Furthermore, it would transfer even more wealth from the working productive to the working unproductive, which creates less for seniors in the long run. It’s not tenable, and it’s not going to happen.

        If you’ll stop blathering about your left-wing agenda, and study the US entitlement system, you’ll see that we are prolific sloppy spenders. Our programs are over-funded, yet our politicians achieve considerably less. The American Left is a morbidly obese lout complaining that he’s being starved to death. Hardly. Your dietary demands are so immense that your starving others.

        • 0 avatar

          I agree with FDR who said “the best welfare program is a job”, and if you are arguing we should be vegans, many of us already are. If you want to discuss poor nutrition in poor neighborhoods we can discuss that too, Michelle Obama has some great programs I support.
          And Social Security is not an entitlement its is a paid into by its recipients.

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            SS is defined-benefit pay-as-you-go aka entitlement. Defined-benefit pay-as-you-go is outlawed in the private sector for its volatility and lack of generational equity, and few countries still use it to administer pensions. Over the last 2 decades, the international community has pressured the US to change, since SS/MED could endanger the global economy (too late?), but we’ve done nothing except expand benefits and raise taxes.

            SS is the embodiment of a careless entitlement. Everyone sees grandma getting her check, and they feel good about it, but few people pay attention to the rip-off by financial planners and their customers, who’ve already milked the tax-subsidized 401k and IRA systems. Almost no one questions the efficacy of allowing seniors to work and collect SS, while not allowing (for all intents and purposes) people to work their way out of welfare and medicaid.

            Compare our defined-benefit profligacy, which encourages older generations to raise taxes on their progeny, to defined-contribution schemes in Europe, which encourage seniors to invest in their progeny because pension benefits are tied to the overall health of the economy.

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            My original reply isn’t showing. Oh well. SS is defined-benefit pay-as-you-go. It is the embodiment of careless pension handouts. If you have any doubts, read the OECD, WTO, IMF, etc reports that have been published since the 1990s.

            Defined-benefit plans encourage seniors to raise taxes on their progeny, which actually undermines the pension by injuring future generations. Defined-contribution encourages seniors to invest in their progeny because pension benefits are tied to the overall health of the economy. Pay-as-you-go is an arrangement that only works with perpetual labor force, income, and population rate growth. Not sustainable.

        • 0 avatar
          Xeranar

          I’m not sure what you’re talking about..It’s somewhere between lies and stupidity.

          SS applies strictly to income made above 117,000 dollars and applies to income paid to individuals and sadly not not on capital gains. Thus it wouldn’t increase tax liability on ‘some households’ by ‘50%’ UNLESS they paid less than 7.5% in income tax and if they’re paying that and making more than 117,000 dollars doesn’t that simply reinforce the basic principles of how broken a progressive tax system is if that is allowed?

          By the way it doesn’t create less for anybody, it isn’t corporate wealth used to expand or reinvest, it applies to individual citizens who would pay more into SS to provide for seniors. You have NO ARGUMENT. Not even a hint of one. You basically blathered on in a pointless effort to make completely unfounded claims.

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            If you uncap SS, it applies to both the individual and the company, which means 15.3% statutory rate increase on income over the threshold. FICA tax is about 14% effective, which insinuates an average tax of 28% from all levels of tax authority (state income, property, sales, excise, etc).

            Yes, the progressive tax system is severely broken, but not for the reasons you imagine. The graduate brackets require the government to create separate-but-equal filing statuses, which are everything but equal. Furthermore, graduated rates create different labor incentives, which exerts undue influence on economic activity and erodes the notion of equal protection.

            If you think I have no argument, it shows how utterly clueless you truly are. The international community has been writing about the dangers of pay-as-you-go and defined benefit since the late 90s, and the CBO has been at it since 1999. Our current system and the people who support it are literally bringing down the country and the global economy, but it will never be said explicitly because the international community and the US bureaucracy are scared that America’s strong conservative/libertarian streak may re-instate the economic policies of Hoover. Their overly-cautious criticism is by no means an endorsement of your ineptitude.

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      @50merc…I don’t know how it works in the USA. I can tell you that in Canada UNIFOR {formerly CAW, and before that UAW} doesn’t cover the funding of my pension.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    This is a pretty interesting situation, labor-law wise.

    Technically, any employee can join an organization that they would like to call a “Labor Union”. Absent a Union election, it doesn’t matter if the organization recruits 1% or 100% of the employees, the employer does not have to recognize it. However the employer can choose to recognize the union if it claims a majority of the eligible workforce as members. (This would be similar to the “Card Check” method of unionization… unions would prefer that recognition be mandatory, but it isn’t, and I’m glad for it.)

    If VW chooses to recognize the UAW with this method, I wonder how long before the workers are allowed to hold another secret-ballot election de-certifying the Union? I imagine it would not be long.

    FWIW, I also think the photo of Malcolm X holding an rifle while peeking out a window was needlessly inflammatory. I agree that “By Any Means Necessary” makes for a catchy caption, but it should maybe have been attached to a photo of Malcolm X not featuring a rifle, as there haven’t even been any hints of violence attached to this election.

  • avatar
    bullnuke

    Not anti-union in any way. Gotta have an advocate for the shop floor. An advocate that cares for the folks on the floor, not just mouthing the words for a power-grab/ego-boost. Unfortunately the majority of unions I have been involved with over the last 40-years could pretty much be summed up with the words on the picture. “By any means necessary” meant for me slashing the tires on the owner-operator’s 18-wheeler just because his wife was an office secretary for the “suits” or beer-canning the fenders of new Travelalls coming off the assembly line at contract-time. Part of the “means necessary” I guess. Pointless and stupid.

  • avatar
    turboprius

    Instagram Metall? What?

  • avatar
    50merc

    For those who still have any appetite for this argument, I recommend the “any means necessary” speech given by Malcolm X on June 28, 1964. The speech can be found here:
    http://www.blackpast.org/1964-malcolm-x-s-speech-founding-rally-organization-afro-american-unity
    It is a very interesting speech, and would be if only because if provides a window into a world of de jure division, oppression and brutality that is very hard to grasp for anyone born since then. I’m 70, so I remember the days when “Negro” was the preferred term of respect, when Birmingham top cop Bull Connor (also a member of the Democratic National Committee)turned fire hoses and dogs on peaceful anti-segregation protestors, and when even non-southern cities such as Topeka, Kansas maintained two school systems.
    Incidentally, about firearms, he said:
    “Since self preservation is the first law of nature, we assert the Afro American’s right to self defense. The Constitution of the United States of America clearly affirms the right of every American citizen to bear arms. And as Americans, we will not give up a single right guaranteed under the Constitution. The history of unpunished violence against our people clearly indicates that we must be prepared to defend ourselves or we will continue to be a defenseless people at the mercy of a ruthless and violent racist mob.”
    The overall thrust of the speech is that change can no longer be deferred; the situation is desperate. And it is in this sense that there is some kinship to that of the UAW. Membership is way down. The ratio of workers to retirees is worsening yearly. (This is the heart of Social Security’s dilemma, too. Pretending the “Trust Fund” is an actual pot of money just misleads some folks from realizing the demographic outlook is dire.)
    By the way, another reason for reading Malcolm X’s speech is that it surprisingly contains some thoughts that Conservatives and Libertarians can agree with.
    Finally, Mikey–my reference to pension benefits only related to the UAW, not Unifor. I have no beef with our Canadian friends. On both sides of the border globalization can be wrenching.

  • avatar
    wmba

    Well, I think the picture is a poor choice. A young Canadian editor has neither the experience nor understanding of the US scene from the past or even the present. He just thinks he does.

    I’m a senior citizen Canadian, and each and every trip to the US reminds me that it is a foreign land, which happens to have a generally similar language. For this reason, both sides make assumptions about the other country that are just plain wrong.

    It can sometimes be comical; at other times it just plain causes problems. Of course, the inexperience of youth means that the editor can claim that nothing was implied and mean it. But it wasn’t particularly smart in the first place. IMHO.

  • avatar
    malikknows

    This American thinks it was a perfect choice in this case. As the caption implies, the Left cares not one whit for democracy, when it fails them they will use other means to achieve their goals. Just read a bit of Saul Alinsky. There are few examples of failure in social policy as stark as that of unionization and the auto industry, yet the collectivists are undeterred. Yes, we do have distributive justice issues in the USA but unionization has been tried and it has failed. Let’s move on.

    • 0 avatar

      Please don’t over generalize about the Left, it just proves you don’t know us and if you think we don’t care about democracy you will be surprised on election night how many voters we registered (with proper ID), and how many we took to the polls (without ACORN).

      If you wish to have the discussion of who really believes in democracy bring it on.
      I’m ready with facts and citations and I’ll try to disagree with you without being disagreeable.

      • 0 avatar
        malikknows

        The Left cares about democracy when it suits them. Otherwise, not so much. Look at gay marriage. Couldn’t win a the polls, had to rely on a politicized judiciary. The Left are masters at politicizing bureaucracies, which is where they achieve most of their “social change.” And why they love unions so much. They care about results, not about process, esp. one as potentially unreliable as democracy.

        • 0 avatar

          Malik please be specific.
          I can think of many more examples of right wing antidemocratic actions, than I can of left wing, unless I consider Russia and China Vietnam as left wing, which I personally don’t.

          • 0 avatar
            malikknows

            I gave you one, Larry. Gay marriage. The Left routinely relies on bureaucracies and the judiciary to achieve its social goals. In CA and throughout the country, gay marriage voted down, left-wing judges will impose it anyway. It won a popular vote once, I believe, yet it is being imposed by judges across the country, in states where it was voted down. Abortion is another one. Gun rights are another one. The judiciary is the least democratic branch of our government, and the Left relies on it to achieve what it cannot at the polls.

            If your thinking ID requirements for voting are “anti-democratic,” sorry, overwhelming majorities of Americans believe otherwise.

            In this unionization case, no surprise that the Left is not taking no for an answer. They will continue to work this thing until they get what they want. The actual vote of the workers meant nothing to them.

        • 0 avatar
          Xeranar

          So because the majority of citizens want to deny a minority of citizens a basic human right that is acceptable democracy? You don’t understand why we’re a representative democratic republic with protection for minorities do you? Tyranny of the majority is what you’re advocating and I want to know how you feel about that in 2022 when the left will dominate the Federal legislature.

  • avatar
    malikknows

    Xeranar, what are you talking about?

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