Ford UAW Members Meet To Receive Info On Leaving Union

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon
ford uaw members meet to receive info on leaving union

UAW members at Ford’s Sterling Heights, Mich. plant met to gain advice on how to leave the union or stop paying dues under Michigan’s new right-to-work law.

Two meetings were held Wednesday to discuss the topic ahead of the union’s impending contract negotiations with the Detroit Three, Detroit Free Press reports. While some will, indeed, bid farewell to the union while still being allowed to continue working on the factory floor, labor experts don’t see a mass exodus from the UAW in the foreseeable future.

At one of the meetings in Sterling Heights, plant worker and right-to-work proponent Brian Pannebecker proclaimed that union members should send a message to the UAW by not paying any more dues until it addressed its members’ needs. He added that the right-to-work law wasn’t an effort to destroy or do away with unions, but one meant to use the collective bargaining process to the members’ advantage.

Michigan’s law prohibits employers from requiring employees to pay union dues in order to work. In turn, those who opt-out of dues cannot vote on union contracts, but the unions must represent those workers in matters of conflict within a given company.

[Photo credit: Michael Miller/ Flickr/ CC BY 2.0]

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  • ClutchCarGo ClutchCarGo on Apr 30, 2015

    "He added that the right-to-work law wasn’t an effort to destroy or do away with unions" Riiiigghht, Gov. Schneider and his minions just want to make the unions a better place for their members. Oh, look, there's the Easter Bunny... It's time to stop calling these laws "right to work" laws. Nothing before prevented someone from working, people were just prevented from free-loading at other's expense, so these are "right to freeload" laws. Republicans usually despise freeloaders but somehow these don't count.

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    • Landcrusher Landcrusher on May 01, 2015

      @Landcrusher Clearly the right idea.

  • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Apr 30, 2015

    I'll withhold judgement on the law because I know it will be interpreted by the courts. In California, a challenge to the closed shop in state employment was upheld, with the judge ruling that the state constitution prohibited forced union membership, producing de facto right to work. The judge then ruled that in collective bargaining units, the employee still had to pay his/her share of the unions' collective bargaining expenses, and told the unions to provide a breakdown of what portion of the dues were benefits of union membership, the rest being collective bargaining expenses. ALL the unions declared that the value of union membership was one dollar of the dues. The rest was C-B expenses. So much for that. A few years after that, the office staff of a state engineers union threatened to strike unless they got immediate raises and benefits. The union's office staff was unionized - by the UAW!. The engineers' union had to dip into it's emergency fund to pay for the unplanned first year office staff expense, and raised dues for a year to replenish the fund. When an engineer complained, he was told it's a bargaining expense - with the engineers as employers, their union bargaining with the UAW-unionized office staff.

  • Ron B. Ron B. on Apr 30, 2015

    "Having the relation with an employer fettered with the interference of a legally privileged organization is an infringement of your right to participate in the market place. The only way to prevent unions from destroying the market place which they claim they are trying to create balance in is to keep them from being able to takeover unchecked (see Michigan History)." Here in Australia qwe have seen the utter destruction of any industrial base since the days of the pathetic Whitlam government. In the years since the clown was kicked out of office the unions have indeed made themselves into a legally privileged group. The result of their unfettered power has been the pricing out of the work place the majority of skilled manual workers as their employers shut up shop or moved manufacturing to Asia. it has been noted here in Parliament by Bob Katter that once a country loses it's ability to manufacture an electric motor it's industry base is doomed. How right he was. The previous labor government tried impose a carbon tax on the economy.An economy in which it is damned hard to employ anyone because of the red tape and the expense . This carbon tax was the proverbial coffin nail and saw off GM,Ford and Toyota and myriad small manufactures engaged in the supply of small components . The expense required of an employer to engage someone for work is caused by the said unions success in forcing Labor led governments to award huge pay increases .Most of those pay increases had nothing to do with productivity but the desire for those on top to remain there at any cost The reliance on mining,a 19Th century approach to economics has failed as the chicom government plays silly buggers with the prices.So this has left a vast pool of former mine workers now looking for work .Work,they believe should earn them upwards of $2000 per week clear. I couldn't imagine a US miner ever taking home that much each week . In the meantime the union bosses, most of whom are lawyers and would be MPS and most of whom have never actually been employed in the work or unions they represent get rich on salaries beginning at $500,000 per year. They have no concern for the shop floor worker ,and see them as a vote or a rung on the ladder to what they perceive as greater things. This nonsense of sharing the wealth as spouted by those who have read far too much into the works of Marx and Engels or use hackneyed phrases from the 1930's to justify union methods of negotiation has priced most workers out of a job .Simple really .

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    • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Apr 30, 2015

      @Ron B. The facts you mention are more or less accurate. But I do think your interpretation is different from mine. Manufacturing is done and dusted in Australia. We don't have the market size to effectively develop a competitive manufacturing base. The Left or Labor Party had done a couple of things that have been beneficial for the country. Opening up the country to freer trade and superannuation comes to mind. Also, remember that the Right or Liberal Party squandered some the resources boom. If during that period the country was better managed we wouldn't be where we are now. And even now, we are much better off than most any other OECD economy. It's just it wasn't what it was during the Mining Boom. The mining boom wasn't really a boom as such. The boom was the investment into the infrastructure for the boom. We are now in the phase of the boom where there is much production. In a supply and demand system prices will drop. The prices will rise as the lower performing miners are removed increasing demand from the remaining miners. Australia will do well down the track. We will enter an agricultural boom for the ever affluent Asian economies. India will open up gradually and we will export not manufacturing to China, but something of more value, services and the associated tech. The Chinese are expanding their internal economy which will improve the lives and create a more affluent Chinese economy. This is where we will excel. All is not grey and lost.

  • Lou_BC Lou_BC on May 01, 2015

    Pity the fool on the assembly line floor getting the same wages and benefits as everyone else and not paying into the union. Some unions have gotten too greedy and in the case of the auto industry got too strong and like any parasite that gets too prolific, the host soon dies. Does that mean one has to kill all unions or does that mean one needs to restructure how unions work? Unions are suffering in the USA partially because things like NAFTA mean that some things do not need to be built in the USA. American Axle was a prime example. The union was told, "all unskilled workers will take big pay cuts or we will set up shop out of country". No need for "right to work" legislation when the employer decides it has the "right to work" in Mexico.