By on August 2, 2017

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The United Auto Workers has accused Nissan of illegally intimidating workers at its Canton Manufacturing and Assembly Plant in Mississippi, calling its activities one of the “nastiest anti-union campaigns in the modern history of the American labour movement.” The alleged misdeeds include running anti-unionization videos on loop in factory break rooms and convincing plant managers to pull workers aside to discourage them from voting in favor of the UAW this Thursday and Friday.

However, if Nissan is guilty of rabid anti-union measures, the UAW is likely guilty of countering the company with its own door-to-door campaign. Southern states haven’t been as receptive to unionizing as the UAW would like, and the organization has doubled its efforts to get the Canton workers on board, hoping to negotiate higher wages and improved benefits. 

UAW Secretary-Treasurer Gary Casteel said the union is confident a majority of workers support unionization but expressed bitterness toward the automaker’s tactics to dissuade them.

“I’ve not seen it worse,” he said in an interview with Automotive News. “I’ve seen some crazy employers. But these guys’ rap sheet now reads like Al Capone. They just break law after law. Most companies of this size, if you look at any of them, have certain things they just don’t do because it’s unethical.”

While the Capone reference is probably ill-advised, considering labor racketeering was a common practice for the famous gangster, his annoyance with Nissan is understandable since his success is dependent upon beating it. But Nissan has a lot to lose if its Mississippi workforce unionizes. Many automakers shifted assembly to the southern United States to avoid paying the higher wages associated with northern, UAW-affiliated plants.

The extent of Nissan’s in-house propaganda is currently unverified, but public displays of union opposition exist. The automaker has taken out anti-union ads that run on local television networks and enlisted the help of Republican governor Phil Bryant. “If you want to take away your job, if you want to end manufacturing as we know it in Mississippi, just start expanding unions,” Bryant said last week.

However, Casteel said it goes much further than that, accusing Nissan of threatening or bribing workers to vote no while also forcing them to attend routine anti-union roundtable group meetings.

“It’s a mixed bag,” he said. “I’m sure they’re deterring some people, but others are saying, ‘I’m not going to take this or be pushed around on this issue.'”

Nissan has called the UAW’s intimidation claims “baseless” and “false,” saying it respects the rights of its roughly 3,700 workers at the Canton plant to choose whether to unionize. “Nissan employees have the right to know the company’s position regarding UAW representation in our plant, as well as important information about the UAW,” a Nissan spokeswoman said in an official statement. “The UAW has advocated employees only hear one side of the story — the union’s side — and that’s wrong.”

“The latest UAW corruption scandal in Detroit and the history of strikes, layoffs, and plant closures at UAW-represented plants, along with the many false claims and promises made by the UAW during this campaign are among the many reasons we do not believe UAW representation is in the best interest of the employees of Nissan Canton,” she continued.

The scandal she’s referring to is the Justice Department’s allegation that late UAW Vice President General Holiefield and former FCA labor chief Alphons Iacobelli conspired to steal millions of dollars from a corporate training fund to buy things for themselves — $37,500 pens, for example.

“We were apprehensive about some of [Holiefield’s] behaviors, so we cut him out of the leadership team,” Casteel said, regarding Holiefield’s exit from the union in 2014. “Lo and behold, when we found out, we took every action to cooperate with [the U.S. Justice Department]. It’s the actions of one individual.”

On Friday, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) — the independent US government agency responsible for enforcing US labor law — filed the latest in a series of complaints against Nissan. The NLRB believes Nissan violated the law in its anti-union sessions by warning workers would lose wages and benefits if they supported the union, while also promising raises to management who encouraged employees to vote “no.”

Meanwhile, UAW is under pressure from the Mississippi Manufacturers Association, which has come out against unionization. “I have not heard any articulation by the UAW as to why they need a union and what benefits there would even be,” said Jay Moon, the association’s chief executive. “We don’t believe that anybody ought to be between the employee and the employer.”

Moon’s assertion is that the union desperately needs more member dues in order to survive, something Casteel refutes based on the organization’s growth over the past decade. He claims the push to unionize is all about corporate accountability and fairness.

“If you told somebody years ago we’d be paying people $12.50 an hour assembling cars, nobody would’ve believed you,” he said. “We talk about American jobs and bringing jobs back onshore, but the bigger issue is when you bring them back, what are the conditions of them? The standard of living these jobs create is not good.”

The final vote that decides whether the Canton factory unionizes (and opens up the South to UAW), takes place at the end of the week.

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106 Comments on “Nissan Accused of ‘Nastiest Anti-union Campaign’ in Modern U.S. History...”


  • avatar
    bikegoesbaa

    If the “nastiest anti-union campaign in modern history” consists of videos in the break room and sidebar conversations with management then the UAW must have it pretty good nowadays.

    “If you told somebody years ago we’d be paying people $12.50 an hour assembling cars, nobody would’ve believed you”

    Things change, so what? If $12.50 an hour is the actual market value of automotive assembly work then that’s what it will pay.

    The UAW isn’t in a position to do much about this unless they have a time machine to 1962 they haven’t told us about yet.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      Hah… I guess… I make slightly more than double that working a schmuck job in retail.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      I know it’s hard for you to not side with corporations that don’t have your best interests in mind, but…

      Try living on 12.50 an hour. You will have to live with several families in the same household.

      Also – I’ve lived in the poor south where my plant was averaging $10/hr with little to no benefits and we still were outsourcing manufacturing jobs to China and Mexico.

      Market this and market that – your mindless opinion still won’t save you from paying tons of taxes to the new generations that will be raised on the government draw. Once you go welfare, you don’t go back. You’re effectively losing generations of people who used to be raised to work. I’m sure you’re the kind to b*tch about values and what not going to sh*t also.

      • 0 avatar
        bikegoesbaa

        I think you misunderstand my point. I’m generally quite anti-corporation and trust Nissan about as far as I can throw a Pathfinder.

        If the real value of assembly labor in Canton is $12.50 an hour (and it appears to be) then I don’t know what the UAW can do to help improve this. If you ask a person or organization to pay more for something than it is worth they’ll either find another cheaper supply of it or do without. This applies to labor as much as it applies to anything else.

        I’m actually OK with a European style model where I pay more taxes to support people who don’t work, especially if the alternative is paying them artificially inflated wages at low-value make-work jobs. Or are you proposing something else? If so what is it?

        I am not inclined to “b*tch about values” as I generally regard 2017 values as much superior to those of previous generations.

        Also, $12.50 an hour is $500 a week without overtime. I just checked and saw what appear to be nice rental houses and apartments near the Nissan MS plant for ~$800-1000 per month. In a two-income household with 0-3 children this math would probably not require having multiple families under one roof.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus

          Mississippi has one of, if not THE lowest cost of living in the country. The only things as expensive as everywhere else are vehicles.

          You can’t take $12.50 out of context. Well, I can’t live in San Francisco on that! Its impossible! Well, if that’s what Tesla was paying its California employees, that’s an issue. Things are much more expensive there.

          But, lets take the one advantage this plant has and destroy it, so the next thing you know, Titans and vans are built in Mexico, with a few “assembled” by a heavily slashed workforce in the plant that builds them from scratch now.

          Nevermind that Mississippi needs those jobs perhaps more than any other state. Forget that those jobs today keep people OFF government assistance (making $500/week easily cuts you off from everything including food stamps). Might as well push Nissan into the arms of Mexico. Exactly like we’ve done the big 3. Then we will sit around and b¡tch about it.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus

            *bikegoesbaaa, I did reply to you, but “you” in my post is not directed at you specifically. I was just expanding on your points.

        • 0 avatar
          tresmonos

          I pay more money for items due to their value stream and where materials and labor are sourced from. I don’t trust the government anymore than a corporation to entrust how to pay off the lower class to sit at home and do nothing.

          Labor costs on a vehicle and it’s value stream are minimal. You’re not going to balk at a new car over $500-$1000 difference. If you do, you’re likely not a new car customer anyway.

          I supposed I should be just happy this assembly plant hasn’t been outsourced yet. Give it time. Your dreams of lowering our living standards across the board are coming true.

          • 0 avatar
            jkross22

            You don’t shop at Target, home depot, Lowes, or a national supermarket chain? Because if you do, you’re definitely supporting the opposite of what you say you do.

        • 0 avatar

          Employers have been known to distort markets. A union helps distort it the other way.

          Markets are great but they are not the answer to everything, and tend to distort even quicker when unregulated.

          My favorite thing about comments and Unions is the usual find another better paying job. It’s a statement that leads to a race to the bottom and can be taken to illogical ends. Town taxes to much well move, why not move out of the state or the country, at some point people need to cut and run but many times wouldn’t they be better served trying to fix the problem?
          Union membership declines have resulted in a rather shocking drop in benefits and pay for formerly union positions. They had some effect.

          Now 12.5 an hour. After takes were around $430 a week less health insurance premium likely under $400 week now. Less $800 a month rent were left with $800.The USDA says a low cost grocery cost for a single male is $200 a month were down to $600 without paying for any utilities or transportation. Lets put it another way 12.50 is not a great living even in MS.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Union membership has declined not because of union popularity but because traditional union jobs have been in serious decline. Unions *were* the domain of unskilled labour. Automation has decimated that workforce and to a great degree has hammered unions along with it.
            I do believe that there has to be a balance between workers and business/owners. Labour law only does so much. In non-union shops the deck is staked in favour of the employer. Unions tend to shift it 50:50. It is a pendulum and is always dynamic.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          bikegoesbaa in my mind is the worst flavor of “progressive”

          Screw the working man! Put him on welfare!

          For most people, there is an intrinsic value and pride in working for a living to support their family. Tres is on point: once you hook someone up to freebies, it can have quite a degenerative effect that ends up lasting generations onwards.

          I would honestly rather pay the costs of somehow subsidizing/supporting manufacturing or pay the costs of more expensive consumer goods to keep people gainfully employed and functioning as productive members of society rather than paying the extra tax burden for welfare and perhaps even more importantly pay the social costs of increasing the rate of unemployment (namely the crime, drug abuse, broken homes that come with it).

          • 0 avatar
            bikegoesbaa

            “bikegoesbaa in my mind is the worst flavor of “progressive”

            Screw the working man! Put him on welfare!”

            Not sure how you came to that conclusion.

            I suppose you are right that I don’t see “work” as an inherently valuable thing in and of itself. “Work” is usually something you do to achieve some separate desirable end state. In *some* cases the work itself is also a desirable activity, but that’s not a given.

            I would much rather live in a society where people are free to do the things that they find valuable and rewarding rather than forced into subsidized make-work jobs at the widget factory.

            We are living in a post-scarcity society. We don’t need everybody to be out laboring, at least not in the developed world. I think this is a good thing, and don’t want to force people to labor out of some Protestant work ethic belief that it will help to “develop their character” or similar.

            I am a fan of the “working man” but I would rather like to see him become the “X-ing man” with X being the activity or pursuit(s) that he freely chooses rather than the menial task he is forced to do to avoid starvation and exposure.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “I would much rather live in a society where people are free to do the things that they find valuable and rewarding rather than forced into subsidized make-work jobs at the widget factory.”

            people who live to work generally (IME) do so because they have little else to live for.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            “I would much rather live in a society where people are free to do the things that they find valuable and rewarding rather than forced into subsidized make-work jobs at the widget factory.

            We are living in a post-scarcity society. We don’t need everybody to be out laboring, at least not in the developed world. I think this is a good thing, and don’t want to force people to labor out of some Protestant work ethic belief that it will help to “develop their character” or similar.

            I am a fan of the “working man” but I would rather like to see him become the “X-ing man” with X being the activity or pursuit(s) that he freely chooses rather than the menial task he is forced to do to avoid starvation and exposure.”

            Universal income (which is what you are undoubtedly referring to here) will just be the current welfare system with all of its extrapolated social costs (dysfunctional family unit, crime, having more kids than you can reasonably support/raise) on steroids.

            “the menial task he is forced to do to avoid starvation and exposure.”

            Removing this basic motivation from society is a mistake.

            The idea that we’ll have this utopia where masses of people will come out of the woodwork as fantastic artists, musicians, etc and that we’ll enter some sort of enlightened new-Renaissance period is beyond laughable.

            I’d prefer to create conditions under which decently paid work (work that one can sustain a household with) is made available/attainable to all levels of society. If an able-bodied person cannot be motivated enough to go look for said work in this hypothetical situation, not much else can (or should) be done for them.

          • 0 avatar
            bikegoesbaa

            “Removing this basic motivation from society is a mistake.

            The idea that we’ll have this utopia where masses of people will come out of the woodwork as fantastic artists, musicians, etc and that we’ll enter some sort of enlightened new-Renaissance period is beyond laughable.”

            Nice of you to decide for people how they should spend their time, and that valueless labor motivated by the threat of privation is the answer.

            I’m willing to give people the freedom to decide what they want to do with their life.

            If that’s drink whiskey and watch Captain Kangaroo all day I’m fine with it as long as they’re not hurting anybody else.

            That still beats having people do dangerous industrial work because somebody decided that they needed “basic motivation”.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            “Nice of you to decide for people how they should spend their time, and that valueless labor motivated by the threat of privation is the answer.”

            This is literally how the world works, and has, for millenia. Hunter-gatherers doing hard work to eat, to sustenance farming, to agrarian labor to sell what we grew, to industrialization and people moving from the fields to factories for work, to higher tech fields with less manual labor. A constant in all of this is people being motivated by necessity to provide for themselves and their families. Not without some issues, injustices, etc, but in general it’s been a pretty good system, particularly once we got rid of feudalism and slavery. I’m not “deciding” anything for anyone, nor am I just handing them over my money to do as they please. If you can make a living as an artist, great. If you seek higher education, good for you. If you want to make a reasonable living doing lower-skill labor, I support initiatives that provide that outlet.

            My predecessors lived through forced farm collectivization, my own family lived through the degradation and eventual collapse of the laughably inept/inefficient Soviet system. You won’t find a fan of basic universal income in me.

          • 0 avatar
            bikegoesbaa

            “This is literally how the world works, and has, for millenia.”

            Sure, and for millenia people routinely died of starvation, animal attack, and curable diseases and the average life expectancy was 35.

            I’m glad we as a species did something about that rather than just saying “Welp, it’s been this way for millennia so I guess we have to live with it.”

            You appear to be a fan of a guaranteed basic income as long as somebody is willing to show up and do a valueless task in exchange for it. Anybody who is willing to work makes a reasonable living, regardless of whether that work is actually desirable or productive.

            You seem to be advocating the same thing I am, with the curious addition of requiring people to spend 40 hours a week doing non-value menial labor in order to get that income.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            The absolutely key difference is the disconnect between doing something value-added for society (making some sub-assembly to make a refrigerator so people can have refrigerated food counts) and knowing that in the back of your mind that you are being compensated for spending your time and effort on this.

            Versus just being given money for absolutely nothing. I’ve seen with my own eyes the absolute degeneration of society with the latter, particularly in the vicinity of my old neighborhood (urban Midwest metro area). No thank you.

            Most reasonable parents I know have some basic understanding of chores in exchange for allowance with their children, or many kids grew up with paper routes, lawn mowing, etc. for some spending money. The few kids I knew growing up that just got allowances and didn’t help out much around the house were universally bratty and ungrateful. Extrapolate the same analogy to adulthood.

          • 0 avatar
            bikegoesbaa

            Honest question: Does it have to be traditional “work” to count.

            Is it possible that in the back of somebody’s mind they are “being compensated for spending your time and effort on” things like raising and caring for their children or an elderly/disabled relative?

            What about trying (with or without success) to invent a new useful thing?

            I submit that there are lots of worthwhile activities that people could be doing that are currently unpaid or not thought of as “work” and that most of them would be better uses of human cognition and ability than making parts that could be more efficiently manufactured by a machine.

          • 0 avatar
            bikegoesbaa

            I also grew up in the post-industrial Midwest, in such well-known garden spots as Flint and Youngstown. I am not unfamiliar with urban decay and societal failure.

            I understand your childhood example and see its validity; but have a counter-example for you to consider.

            I know a lot of capable people who are far less productive than they *could be* with their abilities and work ethic, because they did not have the resources to take risks or focus on making the most of their talents. They had to go to work, get paid, and put food on the table.

            I also know many people who grew up with access to resources that let them think longer-term and really take full advantage of their abilities and opportunities because they were not sweating how they were going to eat and pay the rent from month to month.

            It seems to me that this could just as easily be extrapolated to adulthood.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            There are definitely valid examples of people who could take advantage of opportunities if they weren’t shoehorned into just working to make ends meet. I will simply keep pointing to where generational welfare-ism has brought us in terms of productivity or peoples’ inventiveness or inclination to engage in activities that benefit society at large. In many cases it is the exact opposite. In my old neighborhood, it was the people that went to work 8-5 during the day that had to worry about those ‘idle hands’ breaking into their homes and taking what they had earned. Sad to say, but I personally prescribe to the theory (backed up by years of observation) that a subset of the population of human beings are wired in a ‘path of least resistance’ sort of way. Give them some food and shelter, and they are disinclined to make significant expenditures of effort/risk to improve life further. Kicking back and just living on the dole is good enough. The lack of self-consciousness about being unproductive or a leech on society in general is not enough to incentivize them to change their circumstance (ie get a job) either. Perpetuate this for several generations and this disconnect is simply furthered. There is an assumption that money/food stamps come from somewhere and that’s what way it is.

            Caveat to all that: I’m not saying ALL people or even a majority of people on welfare are abusing the system.

            The good news (to me) is that most people in our country still have that self-consciousness about handouts and will go out and work or do some kind of hustling/entrepreneurship to improve their situation. Purposely discouraging that with universal income would be absolutely disastrous for the overall health of our society IMO.

            It’s like communism: sounds good on paper, horrible failure when applied in the real world. And like communism, we have real world examples of “basic income” in the form of the current welfare system to point to and say “hey we tried it and it didn’t work how it was supposed to.”

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          “Also, $12.50 an hour is $500 a week without overtime.”

          GROSS.

          that’s above the federal poverty level, so now deduct tax withholding, FICA etc. And if they’re offering health insurance deduct the employee’s portion of the premium.

    • 0 avatar
      Frylock350

      That’s $12.50 is an example of “race to the bottom” wages determined by globalism. It’s also why I try really hard not to purchase from non-union companies. Here’s more reasons:

      https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2017-03-23/inside-alabama-s-auto-jobs-boom-cheap-wages-little-training-crushed-limbs?mc_cid=496472ef0b&mc_eid=0588318619

  • avatar
    crispin001

    It’s 2017 not 1937. If people don’t like their pay and benefits they can switch employers or upgrade their skills. Employers that try to screw employees over will attract the worst people, which for OEMs is very dumb in a Toyota world. $12/hr + 401k + profit sharing + HMO health care might be competitive in Mississippi, where a nice house goes fo $60,000.

    • 0 avatar
      bikegoesbaa

      It’s pretty clear that whatever Nissan is offering their workers is competitive, because if it was not competitive they would not be able to staff the plant with adequately skilled people.

      It appears as though they have found 3,700 people who think the combination of compensation and working conditions at Nissan are the most “competitive” for which they are eligible. It somebody else was offering a better deal they’d work there instead.

      • 0 avatar
        stingray65

        Bike – you hit the key point exactly. If Nissan advertises 3000 jobs available at $12.50 per hour and gets 20,000 qualified applicants why should they pay a higher wage? The cost of living is irrelevant to the discussion.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      “It’s 2017 not 1937. If people don’t like their pay and benefits they can switch employers or upgrade their skills.”

      oh look, another “bootstrapper” who thinks all people have every possible option equally available all the time. It’s kind of amusing in a sad way when people dispense advice they themselves have clearly never had to use.

      1) there’s no “job store” where you can just go pick a new one off the shelf if you don’t like the one you have. If people are lining up to get jobs that pay this little (e.g. Amazon) it’s safe to assume there aren’t a lot of jobs to go around.

      2) re-training/re-education is not something you can do in a weekend for free. case in point- my co-worker’s husband is trying to get his BSME so he can step up from being a CAD jockey. he’s about 3 years in to the program with several to go, and this is alongside working full time and herding three kids around. and they’re fortunate enough to be able to afford the tuition from a school which is worth a damn.

      3) nor is this the Matrix where you can plug something in to the base of your skull and in an instant know Kung-Fu.

      • 0 avatar
        caltemus

        To the contrary, anybody can go online, learn a craft or skill, and just start making things. The concept of expanding your skills to get better employment is not limited to a college education. You seem quick to say that the opportunities aren’t out there, while only dismissing the single pathway that was presented. If there aren’t jobs where you are; MOVE. Teach yourself to program and work from home. Join the military. While the concept of ‘pulling yourself by the bootstraps’ has been overused, there certainly are far more opportunities today for the unskilled worker than there were even ten years ago.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          People tend not to think beyond their own socioeconomic constructs i.e. thinking outside the box.
          It isn’t very easy for most people to go out and pick up a new skill set.
          We are bound rather tightly by our paradigms.

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      For $60K you get a starter house in a decent neighborhood anyhow…

      Still, you are warm and dry and you can put food on the table.

      I think the key bit of info left out of the discussion is stability. Folks chasing these kinds of jobs at that wage point are looking for a job that they can depend on for a while that delivers opportunities to move up. They are taking those jobs and have little to offer except the ability to learn and employee reliability.

      These are not the folks who are valued for their trades.

      These are folks who bring with them their ability to learn and arrive at work on time. Nissan provides the rest of the training.

      Don’t like $12.50 per hour, then ask your supervisor for more training and opportunities to apply to the maintenance crew or return to college night classes so you can be one of the engineers or tool and die guys, etc.

      Who takes a job expecting to work that job for the sale wage forever?

      They aren’t topping out at $12.50 an hour, they are starting at $12.50. If you are a good employee, you get raises.

  • avatar
    baggins

    Unless the UAW is calling the last few years the “modern era”, I very seriously doubt Nissan has done anything approaching the “unions are full of commies” battles of the post WW2 era, much less the days of the Pinkertons.

    Videos in the breakroom. The horror!!

  • avatar
    ATLOffroad

    The UAW claims this is the “nastiest anti-union campaigns in the modern history of the American labour movement.” Well they haven’t spoken to the Air Line Pilots Association about a certain anti union airline in Utah. Now there is a blood bath in the making.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Has the UAW actually converted any of the transplant locations? My only purchase requirements are North American non-union made. I’d hate to see my selection dwindle next time around….

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      Not that I’m aware of. VW is considered the most likely to be “organized”. Although as we all remember, when the VW first came to Pennsylvania in the late 70s, they embraced the UAW in their factory and quickly went out of business for a variety of reasons.

      When Honda set up the first plants in Ohio in the 80s, they wouldn’t even interview you if you had been a salary worker in a UAW shop. They were very concerned about unionization.

  • avatar
    HahnZahn

    Oh boy, let me brace myself for all the comments about “market rates” and “get a better job.” The libertarian disconnectedness is gonna be rough on this one.

    • 0 avatar
      bikegoesbaa

      Be constructive and explain how you propose to determine the value of factory labor other than markets. They’re not perfect, but as far as I know humanity has yet to devise an all-around better means of establishing value.

      I’m willing to be convinced if you have a better idea.

      I’m also not a libertarian.

      • 0 avatar
        Andrew Justus

        Thru some sort of contract negotiation process? Where employer and employee are represented by professional negotiators? Seems like that would assess the value of factory labor pretty satisfactorily.

        • 0 avatar
          Middle-Aged Miata Man

          1) Employer places ad seeking assembly line workers at $12.50 per hour.

          2) Lots of potential employees answer ad.

          What part do you believe is missing from this process?

          • 0 avatar
            Andrew Justus

            And people working in the Triangle Shirtwaist factory were willing to work in a firetrap. What don’t you like about my scenario?

          • 0 avatar
            Middle-Aged Miata Man

            If someone comes through my door willing to do the job for $12.50 an hour, I have no real responsibility or obligation to pay them $13. Adding “professional negotiators” to the hiring process only brings extra bodies in to complicate what should be a simple matter, and – of course – each one will be looking for some dollars of their own.

            Oh, and lots of things have changed since 1911.

          • 0 avatar
            Erikstrawn

            During the Great Depression, it was proven that people will work for unsustainable wages just to put food on the table today. Just because someone who is desperate and starving is willing to take a poverty wage does not make that wage appropriate or healthy for our long-term economy. Workers need to be paid living wages or you end up with legalized slavery.

          • 0 avatar
            jkross22

            Erik, Since you feel so strongly about wages, have you looked into opening a company and paying what you feel are fair living wages?

            More often than not, it’s people who have never worked to meet a payroll.

          • 0 avatar
            Erikstrawn

            No, I haven’t, but if I did have a business and couldn’t pay a living wage, I’d rather close shop than pay a crap wage. The question boils down to whether you have respect for other people.

        • 0 avatar
          bikegoesbaa

          “Seems like that would assess the value of factory labor pretty satisfactorily.”

          Do you contend that legacy UAW pay and benefits were an accurate assessment of the value of the labor they represented?

          In fact, do you have any evidence that union-negotiated wages are more accurate than those determined by open hiring? I can think of many examples that say they are not.

        • 0 avatar
          Pete Zaitcev

          Unfortunately, in the real life the employee is represented by mafia. And if the employee wants someone else to represent, employee will sleep with Jimmy Hoffa tonight.

        • 0 avatar
          jkross22

          We’re all professional negotiators. Some of us are better than others at it.

  • avatar
    johnnyz

    Yea, and 12.50 might be the lowest paid person to assemble automobiles. What other wage would the UAW quote.

    • 0 avatar
      N8iveVA

      That’s what I was thinking. $12.50 may sound low to many, but we are given no context like the fact that the cost of living in that area is extremely low. Not to mention what percentage of employees are actually brought in at that rate or will they be making $18 an hour after 5 years.

  • avatar
    Ol Shel

    It’s terrible when workers do well.

    We all should hope that workers suffer and that only a small number benefit from the hard work of many. That’s the American dream, after all.

    Screw everyone who isn’t me or isn’t supported by AM radio!

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    One big problem at GM was that many of the hourly workforce believed they worked for the UAW, not for the company. They were indoctrinated from their first day in the plant on this point by the “UAW Training Center” folks. It lead to a very toxic situation. Plant union officials (and not just a handful of them) made big money because they were (theoretically) “on the clock” for a huge number of hours each week.

    The union filed thousands of grievances which dragged on and on until the local contract was negotiated every 3 years, then most of them were “thrown into the pot” and a big settlement from the company paid out, essentially to buy approval of the contract.

    Not sure since the bankruptcy if any of this has changed or not.

  • avatar
    Tele Vision

    When I was an unwilling Teamster ( had to join to get the gig ) we would have a union rep show up once every few months. He couldn’t initiate conversation and would therefore sit in our lunchroom for an hour smiling at anyone who’d look his way. Our ‘shop steward’ used his position mainly to further his softball-playing opportunities – even calling for a strike ( no pun ) because he couldn’t get time off for a tournament. It was a joke. Good job at the time, though.

  • avatar
    tresmonos

    So my new hole of choice for my pr1ck works for a tech firm based out of San Francisco. She rakes in 120k+ being a CSR rep and analyst for a software firm. She works from home, gets paid OT, gets stipends for food each month, crazy french benefits that I hear of the old timers at my work talk about back in the 70’s when I first started and before they all got laid off in 2008.

    Her job is literally the same kind of job major OEM’s have already outsourced to India. She just works for a company that has crazy amounts of investor cash because wallstreet and private investors (she meets movie stars that invest in her org) rewards them.

    The only thing that separates her from being outsourced or penny pinched to f*ck is 100 years of lean practices.

    I’m willing to bet all the *ssholes that pipe up in this thread about how 12.50 is awesome don’t know d1ck about where they stand in terms of the relative global work force. none of you motherf*ckers are special. you can all be replaced. Even the unionized ones.

    Go hug your families tonight and reassure them that big government and big corporations will make sure they keep buying chinese made crap and eating garbage so they can keep this sham of a work turning. Once your job is kaput we’ll put you on fixed income and bump up education and connectivity costs just enough to silence you and keep you from gathering together and disrupting this worthless utopia.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      DW ……………………… and what makes BIG UNION better?

      Fnck off! They are in it for themselves, like big government and business.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        I’m not pro union – I’m in it for better wages for the blue collar worker. Go fnk yourself.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          tresmonos,
          But, the job must be of value to warrant these higher wages you speak of.

          You can’t say all farmhands should be on $50k a year. It would be nice.

          These people are where they are. For them to advance, they must be the ones to make changes in their lives.

          Why should an employer give them change for little or no value?

          Straight up if the UAW becomes involved their wages will reduce to pay the dues.

          So, then to equal the pay they are currently on the cost of production for Nissan will rise.

          How smart is that?

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            Read up on the new poverty cycle in the deep south. It’s troubling. It’s extremely hard to break free of it.

            Once you’re part of an unconventional ‘family’ household (each individual specializes in either child care, owning the car, etc) and everyone works. Once you’re living with your father / mother of your kids and several other other ‘family’ members, leaving the support system means you’re putting them at risk. It’s prevalent and is a circle back to the late nineteenth and early 20th century before we saw the good effects of industrialization and the war economies.

            You’re oversimplifying a very complex socioeconomic situation and making up your mind on scraps of data. We are here due to globalization without the US investing proper amounts of money into the public education system. We reaped the benefits of the good economy and instead of investing in our nation’s future, we pocketed the money along the way. Now we’re f*cked.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            tres,
            I understand the problems and disparity of the South.

            But, income is not going to resolve the problems.

            I know I’m “saying Australia” again, but our States have a process in place where the taxes the Federal government gets is divvied up proportional to the wealth and standard of living between the States.

            Our Federal government also collects 80% of all taxes generated within the country.

            This money is used to reduce the disparity between states. So, Australia has far less disparity between states and within society and believe it or not we pay less tax as a product of GDP than the US, only 0.2%, so our taxation is comparable.

            There are many instruments to use other than income to reduce disparity first, then income equalisation will follow.

            You first need to have an environment for a fair wages or industrial relations system to evolve.

            The first real problem in the US is to set a realistic minimum wage. I do read how some say it’s up to the individual to get that higher paying job, but there are only so many middle class jobs.

            The minimum wage needs to be set so you can abolish food stamps. I believe once anyone who works in the US doesn’t need food stamps is when the US is heading in the right direction.

            Protection of blue collar jobs is not what it should be about.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “I understand the problems and disparity of the South.”

            Like hell you do.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            DenverMike,
            What?

            The disparity of the South started way back in the 18th Century.

            Believe it or not what gave the North the wealth was the Civil War.

            The North industrialised and the South was reliant on Great Britan for it’s wealth from agriculture and eventually it’s military protection.

            As we all know the North prevailed and what happened to the South?

            What also, occurred is how the States in the United States function. The power of the States themselves contributes to some of the disparity that is occurring.

            Read up on US history. Follow the history like a bouncing ball and you will understand your and mine country.

            You seem to project this distorted and nostalgic view of the US. It sounds nice, but sometimes people like yourself build barriers to protect yourself from the truth.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            tresmonos is correct and you, Big Al are not. (No surprise).

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      The Prophet of the Church has spoken.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        This website and it’s commentariat is sliding into the abyss of stupidity h3ll.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          Word.

          Shift managers at fast food places in metro-Detroit make $14/hour and general laborers (unskilled) in construction make $16 to $20.

          Most people who opine on wages and difficulty (and risk of repetitive stress injuries) regarding assembly line jobs, who have never worked such a tedious, schedule-intensive job, hafe no clue what they are talking about.

          Even by Mississippi standards, $12.50 for full-shift assembly line work blows.

    • 0 avatar
      N8iveVA

      oooh “crazy french benefits”. Oui oui I’m intrigued.

  • avatar
    Joss

    Meh some union labor lawyer musta crossed over to make more as a union-busting consultant for mgmt. Carlos switched depts too.

  • avatar
    here4aSammich

    From the top of the article:

    “The United Auto Workers has accused Nissan of illegally intimidating workers at its Canton Manufacturing and Assembly Plant in Mississippi, calling its activities one of the “nastiest anti-union campaigns in the modern history of the American labour movement.””

    For those who didn’t scroll down, the article also said this:

    “The extent of Nissan’s in-house propaganda is currently unverified”

    I’m not that old (or so I choose to think), but there was a time when the media actually VERIFIED news before publishing it. If you haven’t VERIFIED it, then at best it may or may not be true.

    This type of “reporting” is fake news, and shreds TTAC’s credibility.

  • avatar
    packardhell1

    I get why unions exist and I think they have their place. My dad retired from a union factory after 37 years. I have worked in a unionized position for a big communications company as a CSR. There was propaganda both ways – from the company and the union. What I didn’t like was that positions were based solely on seniority and there was nothing I could do to move higher up, aside from hoping the person above me retired.

    I now work for a non-unionized employer. I started as a CSR and my starting wage was a few cents higher (as an entry-level position) than after the 7 years I spent at the unionized CSR job. I have promoted 5 times within 8 years (through 3 hourly and 2 salaried positions) and I now make about double what I started at. This happened because I could promote based on merit, knowledge, and performance – not because I could breathe and had been there 40 years.

    You can argue all you want about the salary, but if you go union in a place like that, your only raises are going to be during contract renewals. Sure, you can promote – as long as the person above you retires, quits, or passes away. There is no room for advancement based on anything other than seniority.

    I know this is going to sound cold, but I’m guessing there have been vast enhancements to vehicle manufacturing processes. Does it really take as much skill to build a 2017 Nissan Altima as it did a ’57 Chevy Bel Aire, ’70 Chevelle, mid-80s Chevy Caprice, or Ford Probe? If the skills they need to do that job really are worth $18/hour, then they should be paid $18/hour. However, if that position’s skills are worth $12.50/hour, then why is that the wrong wage?

    • 0 avatar
      stingray65

      Packard – you bring up a very good point. The biggest problem with unions isn’t the higher than market wages they negotiate, its the damn work rules they force employers to accept. Among the worst of such rules is that an employer can’t promote or fire based on merit, they have to promote or fire based on seniority. Similarly, the unions force strict work rules so an “assembly line” worker can’t push the “on” switch of their machine, but are instead forced to to call the “electrician” over to do that job. Unions are all about reducing productivity increases (to protect jobs) and protecting the least productive workers, which is why they end up killing just about every industry they get their hooks in.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @stingray65 –

        Seniority is simple to implement and enforce. Merit is not.

        Trade lines and strict duties can be abused and thus leads to “featherbedding” but they do improve workplace safety.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    If the UAW gets it’s way and Nissan don’t like it, just close the plant down and move on.

    This way the next round will be dealt with differently by the workers.

    The reality is they don’t own the business. If the workers were that great they would be out there working 18 hour days and self employed.

    I don’t believe 12.50 and hour is great, it is around what the minimum wage should be in the US.

    So, if a minimum wage is provided and you think your skillsets are better than your income then get a new job and if that means moving across the country so be it.

    But, generally higher wage areas come with higher costs of living.

    • 0 avatar
      TonyJZX

      I’m of the opinion that Nissan could have offered $10 an hour and STILL would have gotten 20,000 applicants for 3,000 positions….

      • 0 avatar
        redapple

        A great wage ‘crush down’ has happened over the past decade. The recession/depression of 2008 and the rush to Mexico and China has smashed US workers. Most who have taken new jobs since 2008 have seen their $ go down 20-40% (me).

        In the paper yesterday, lines down the street to apply for Amazon warehouse jobs. $12 an hour. Lines down the street.
        They interviewed people who got offers that day. They were exuberant. Like that just landed a big money job. They acted as if a huge weight had been lifted off their shoulders. Huge Weight.

        A giant scythe has cut down the working class. And it s going to get mush worse when the depression hits in 1-3 years. These may be the golden years we look back upon in 20-30 years.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          redapple,
          I do believe the US has to move on from these jobs if it wants a better standard of living.

          Whilst the US tries to compete against developing nations the US itself has set a course to become more like a developing nation.

          • 0 avatar
            TonyJZX

            Henry Ford paid his workers more so they could afford to buy the Model T – I wonder if the guy on $12.50 could actually afford a mid range Nissan without employee incentives?

            Or is the parking lot full of 1992 Nissan Sentras?

          • 0 avatar
            joeaverage

            Nissan versa, MSRP of $12K.

            Make it last a decade and do it again.

            I can be done on that kind of wage.

            We bought a starter house, a $20K car, and paid for daycare on two $10 an hour jobs here in the south in the late ’90s.

            We were tight on money though. Were we to do it again I’d skip the car payment and drive something much more used.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            TonyJZX – Henry Ford paid his workers more so he did not have to deal with the typically high turn over rates of employees.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    The truth is, the employees are screwed either way. You bring in UAW, and initially not much will change. Nissan will probably in a year or two switch your product to something higher margin if they can to absorb the extra costs. If UAW succeeds in getting other Nissan plants, Nissan will be looking to offshore some (or all) UAW production. You reject UAW, you still get the prevailing union wage, but Nissan is more empowered to pull their bs and work you like dogs as need be. What is really needed is an auto union other than UAW, which is dying and losing influence. One without all of the baggage and hopefully with completely fresh faces at the helm.

    “He claims the push to unionize is all about corporate accountability and fairness.”

    I was on the GO train from Pickering to Union last week and I happened into a conversation with two of my Canadian brothers. I said, I noticed as I grow older I am becoming more libertarian but also generally impatient with obvious bullshit, to which they also agreed. Because, life is too short and we already have enough problems to further add terrible propaganda or bs.

    I read this and I say to myself, if he pulled a CT Mel-o-dy and said “we’re looking to grow the UAW brand” or even “we’re looking to improve on our legacy of helping working Americans”, or some kind of half believable non-sense, I would “m’eh” it and continue on. But this, this incredible piece of beautiful chicanery takes the cake for me. Corporate accountability? Fairness? YOU’RE THE F**KING MAFIA. You don’t care about what’s “fair” BECAUSE LIFE IS NOT FAIR, and you don’t care about “accountability” at all because YOU WERE A MAJOR FACTOR IN THE AUTOMOTIVE CRASH AND YOU STILL GOT REWARDED. Where was the accountability from about 1975 to 2008 jag off? Where did your dignity and ethics go when you worked your way up the chain from shop-steward, Casteel? Why don’t you take your brown shirt street tactics and use them AGAINST THE FED who devalues your wages yearly, instead of things like “fight for 15” and other subversive and STUPID causes? Do you wonder why every plant keeps rejecting your toxicity?

    Be a con-man, be a shyster, run your protection racket and kiss ass of the Tier II workers pretending you give a hoot while you collect your $120K salary, whatever I don’t care. But be ***honest*** and ***proud*** about what you do. Don’t bring fake news. Don’t be that guy.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    The truth is, the employees are screwed either way. You bring in UAW, and initially not much will change. Nissan will probably in a year or two switch your product to something higher margin if they can to absorb the extra costs. If UAW succeeds in getting other Nissan plants, Nissan will be looking to offshore some (or all) UAW production. You reject UAW, you still get the prevailing union wage, but Nissan is more empowered to pull their bs and work you like dogs as need be. What is really needed is an auto union other than UAW, which is dying and losing influence. One without all of the baggage and hopefully with completely fresh faces at the helm.

    “He claims the push to unionize is all about corporate accountability and fairness.”

    I was on the GO train from Pickering to Union last week and I happened into a conversation with two of my Canadian brothers. I said, I noticed as I grow older I am becoming more libertarian but also generally impatient with obvious bullshit, to which they also agreed. Because, life is too short and we already have enough problems to further add terrible propaganda or bs.

    I read this and I say to myself, if he pulled a CT Mel-o-dy and said “we’re looking to grow the UAW brand” or even “we’re looking to improve on our legacy of helping working Americans”, or some kind of half believable non-sense, I would “m’eh” it and continue on. But this, this incredible piece of beautiful chicanery takes the cake for me. Corporate accountability? Fairness? YOU’RE THE F**KING MAFIA. You don’t care about what’s “fair” BECAUSE LIFE IS NOT FAIR, and you don’t care about “accountability” at all because YOU WERE A MAJOR FACTOR IN THE AUTOMOTIVE CRASH AND YOU STILL GOT REWARDED. Where was the accountability from about 1975 to 2008? Where did your dignity and ethics go when you worked your way up the chain from shop-steward, Casteel? Why don’t you take your brown shirt street tactics and use them AGAINST THE FED who devalues your wages yearly, instead of things like “fight for 15” and other subversive and STUPID causes? Do you wonder why every plant keeps rejecting your toxicity?

    Be a con-man, be a shyster, run your protection racket and kiss as* of the Tier II workers pretending you give a hoot while you collect your $120K salary, whatever I don’t care. But be ***honest*** and ***proud*** about what you do. Don’t bring fake news. Don’t be that guy.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Scott Walker (R)-WI is very disappointed. He thought he had that title all locked up.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    I’m going to get blasted for saying this, but people living in an economically depressed area need to either move, figure out a way to get a decent paying remote job or learn a trade. There aren’t many large employers in these areas that compete with each other for talent, so if a company like Nissan moves in, they’re not competing with other large companies for people and can pay less.

    I know it’s easier said than done.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      There was a reporter (danged if I can remember the news outlet or the name) that did go around to the economically depressed areas of the Midwest and Blue Ridge/Smokey Mountain area asking that question of people who had associates and bachelors degrees but were stuck waitressing etc. He made the point that their degree would likely be valuable in another part of the country.

      The response he got was generally a shocked expression and: “This is MY community.”

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      A person with no skills has to take what they can get. If they don’t like that then get some skills.

      Lots of people in these small towns (mine too) that are “married” to the place.

      married into a family and the whole family lives here and that represents their social circle in its entirety. They won’t live far from Mama.

      Also married to this place in the sense that they married the town. The love their town and would never imagine living anywhere else. I’ve lived in several big cities and Europe. I don’t want to live in a big city anymore. This place works for us. I’m sure there are other places that would work for us too but we’re settled.

      That said – if were unemployed or under-employed (and we are doing fine) we’d move in a hurry.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    I guess I have one simple question to give this conversation a bit more context. What is the actual wage being paid to line workers at the plant, or the average wage?

    Something tells me it is not $12.50/hour. That might be the starting wage for a janitor at the plant or something, but I doubt that is the average. There have been several stories about how transplant plants are not that far off from UAW represented plants. That may also be a generalization as workers in Ohio at Honda may make much more than those at Nissan in Mississippi.

    But for the sake of context, are we really assuming that $12.50 is the wage all of these workers earn? I highly doubt it.

    • 0 avatar
      bullnuke

      @thegamper – You’ve expressed what I’m thinking about this.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      “That might be the starting wage for a janitor at the plant or something, but I doubt that is the average. ”

      janitorial/housekeeping services are almost always outsourced these days to companies like Cintas or Voith.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Jimbob,
        Yup, I’d say you’ve much experience in this field.

      • 0 avatar
        thegamper

        Im sure that is true at the transplants and maybe even today at UAW Plants. I have a somewhat unique glimpse into the UAW as my job has led me to depose many, many UAW members at each of the big 2.5. The $100k/year Janitor exists, even today. The amount of waste, sloth and general disregard for their employer’s financial health and overall success is truly remarkable. Its obvious that I am not a Union supporter, at least not what the UAW has/had become. Its pretty disgusting to hear actual testimony of these things.

        Personally, I believe it is a natural consequence of a situation where an employee cannot be fired from his/her position barring some sort of massive screw up, unexcused absence, criminal conviction, etc. I do believe a lot has changed since the early 2000’s, but I can totally understand why EVERYONE who doesn’t have UAW employees would like to keep it that way.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    This is a great link with the average wages/salaries in the state of Mississippi.

    Have a read.

    From what I can see, the Nissan workers are not on the lowest wages in Mississippi. They are nowhere near the top. But, I think most of these Nissan workers don’t have any quals and most likely didn’t finish school.

    So, maybe they should do some night school to gain further skills to help move on.

    https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ms.htm#00-0000

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Here is a list of jobs with hourly and yearly pay at the Canton Plant.

    I wonder how many are on this $12.50ph?

    Why didn’t TTAC do some quick and simple investigative work like I have just done??

    It ain’t fncking hard!

    You will be surprised.

    https://www.glassdoor.com/Salary/Nissan-North-America-Canton-Salaries-EI_IE4441.0,20_IL.21,27_IC1141359.htm

  • avatar
    cicero1

    “UAW would like, and the organization has doubled its efforts to get the Canton workers on board, hoping to negotiate higher wages and improved benefits.’

    should have read:
    “UAW would like, and the organization has doubled its efforts to get the plant closed and everyone laid off”

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      I doubt Nissan would walk away from a plant which contains billions of dollars worth of investment.

      I’m sure though they’ll fight for their investment.

      I can’t see any reason to be a UAW employee anymore. Maybe a modest bump in wages. Along with the wages comes a myriad of UAW rules though.

      I’ve visited Nissan plants. The company makes an effort to be a good and safe place to work. Why screw that up?

      These folks could do alot worse than Nissan. ALOT worse.

  • avatar
    mikey

    @Big Al…I belong to a world wide support group..Health care related.. I’ve shared my story before, and I won’t repeat it..Lets just say we all share common ground.

    We have many members from Oz..If the timing is right, I’ve chatted one on one, with lots of citizens from down under.

    From what I understand, Australia, and the Australian system, does have some flaws. Canada most certainly has its own share of flaws. The USA the U.K, all have some issues that need to be resolved.

    Personally I believe its up to the citizens/voters/taxpayers of their own particular country to either fix whats wrong, or to live with it.

    I understand you have duel citizenship ( something I wish I held) ..However you have chosen Australia as your home. As such,,I don’t see where you have a license to criticize a system, however flawed it may, or may not be.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      mikey,
      I do believe you vote for what you have, as you do.

      Canada and Australia were lucky enough in many ways to see some of the flaws in the US system and try to avoid them as we are younger countries. We were lucky enough to avoid the ever present volatility of the US.

      But, as you state we have problems and like most modern nations Australia needs to change and move forward. But, this is difficult because of the baby boomers, us, me.

      I can only see the baby boomers hanging on to the remnants of the past. You can see this in many of the writings by baby boomers on TTAC.

      My belief, not Australia’s, is we must stop industrial/commercial welfare. But, we do the opposite and criticise the less well off in society.

      I do truly believe if the consumer is protected then business and prosperity will follow. The way in which we currently manage our countries will not work as well in our futures. Our economies are totally reliant of ever increasing wealth. As we have witnessed since the GFC this might not be possible into the future.

      There are many who mistakingly cling onto a false, nostalgic past, that never really existed. Not all lived the American, Australian or even Canadian dream. There were always the poor and needy.

      It’s just how you manage to reduce the difference between the poor and the rich is what separates Australia and Canada and the USA.

      You were talking health, well Australia has the second most expensive healthcare system in the world, but it is still half the price per person as the US system and yes we do have many immigrants and all are covered.

      Our health system costs will rise dramatically as we, the boomers age and who is going to pay for this. The US will have a double whammy because of their expensive health system which doesn’t reach all.

      I believe the $12.50ph in Mississippi is not unreasonable as not all would be getting this. How much is rent and the cost of living in Canton Mississippi?

      I remember as a kid we lived in a tent for a couple of years when we immigrated to Australia, (Americans didn’t qualify for welfare) but we had food every night and the country offered opportunity.

      And this is the difference between Canada/Australia and the US we offer more opportunity. Yes, in the US you can make it bigger, but on average you will be worse off than in Canada or Australia.

      This is why we have less disparity better, health and education.

      As you stated the US voted for what they have right now and they voted for this guy because he made them believe to resolve the many issue in the US is simple, but it ain’t.

      Mexicans and Chinese are not the problem for the US. The people of the US must realise they must change, no one will change because they say you will change. The US has lost much of that influence.

      The US will harder to fix than most any other developed nation.

      • 0 avatar
        joeaverage

        I very much hope the American voter is getting an education courtesy of the current POTUS.

        Simplistic solutions and wedges issues do not make a functional government. It takes objective, carefully reasoned intelligent people who take the long view on everything and make moderate choices.

        You can’t just walk in and throw everything off the table to the floor, insult everyone and expect to get anything done.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    35 years ago I fled a union-required job in a strong union state. As a young man I didn’t want my options for advancement based on anything but my competence, abilities and interest. Nearly everything my union did chafed my ass. They were determined to make management and the company fight for every single inch, regardless of the cost to the community or company. I believe fleeing there saved my sanity.

    My younger brother recently landed a union-required position at a university in mechanics and restoration. After 3 months he’s disgusted with the constant chatter of union demands, as well as criticisms towards him of “doing too much” and “eager to please”. He just wants to work at his usual efficient pace, and he just wants to meet the immediate needs of the facility. He doesn’t need to be a certified electrician to change out office florescent bulbs, he just wants to get the job done.

  • avatar
    Eyeflyistheeye

    I remember the UAW thinking that their big break with transplant factories would have come after the VW vote in Chattanooga in 2014, where they were rejected.

    I wonder why every transplant factory the UAW has organized has closed or if in partnership with a domestic automaker, the foreign partner has pulled out.

    NUMMI (Toyota bailed out when they could, and the UAW still can’t get their successor, Tesla to unionize. Corollas are now built in Mississippi, Tacomas in Baja)

    Auto Alliance (Ford/Mazda, Mazda left and set up shop in Mexico)

    VW Westmoreland (The UAW was the icing on that cluster muffin that served as the inspiration for Gung Ho)

    DSM/MMNA Normal, IL (When importing cars from Japan makes more sense and nobody else wanted the plant knowing it was UAW)

    I’m not against unions per say, and I drive a UAW-built car. However, it is terrible that the only two choices in the United States are letting old-school unions have their way of protecting incompetents and druggies like at Chrysler while having a non-constructive relationship with each company they organize or no representation at all. The 1935 NLRA is outdated and borne back in the era of River Rouge and Harry Bennett, which will never happen again. Jim Hackett and Ford Motor Company isn’t going to pay someone to beat up their workers. Having an company union similar to Germany and Japan where union reps sit on the board of directors is probably the best option, but then again, there’s one political party that doesn’t want to lose a big donor base and free advertising every four years, even though their efforts were in vain last year seeing how Trump won Michigan.

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    I guess the 1st Amendment only applies to Unions and not owners of a company.

  • avatar
    Dr. Claw

    The only difference between Southern states with their resentment for actual paid labor and Mexico, China, (anywhere they offshore and “people” complain about) is that it’s in the U.S.A. and thus somehow “better”.

    It’s the same “race to the bottom” BS that ought not to be tolerated, but…


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  • Mark Baruth, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States