For some reason, few things get under my skin like talk from the UAW.
This month the union, which represents some 120,000 hourly auto employees at Ford, GM and Chrysler, will attempt to unionize workers at Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai, Kia, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen.
Rather than acting as a powerful advocate of U.S. labor laws, the UAW reminds me lately of a group of 8-year-old boys who aren’t getting what they want.
The UAW has attempted to organize workers at foreign automakers’ plants before, without success. There’s really one simple reason for that: Workers at those plants are happy, paid well and treated with respect. I would bet that Ford, GM and Chrysler workers today would feel the same without UAW involvement. There’s no need for a therapist when the marriage is fine.
Rather than acknowledging defeat, the union decided to throw a series of tantrums. When Toyota closed its only unionized plant, NUMMI, which was a joint-venture with GM, the UAW threw a fit and picketed Toyota dealers.
The most child-like trait of the UAW’s leadership, though, is this: They’ve built a wooden fort with “Keep the foreigners out” signs plastered on the sides.
Metaphorically anyway. But they might as well have, because there’s a strict “no foreign-built cars” policy in the parking lot at UAW headquarters. MSN has a story on the topic that says,
“The only cars that you can actually park in their parking lots have to have a VIN number starting with a one or two,” says [Sean] McAlinden, executive vice president of research and chief economist at the Center for Automotive Research, and a former UAW worker. “They look at it from the guard shack.”
Yeah. Real mature, guys.
My take: I think it’s time for the guard shack to come down. The UAW is an antiquated organization that should have died when GM filed for bankruptcy.
Am I wrong here? Does the UAW serve a greater purpose that I am missing?