UAW Death Watch: Day 1

Bob King, UAW

Is this a group you'd want to get involved with?

Well, here’s an interesting development in the United Auto Workers saga:

It appears the UAW wants to unionize the workers of foreign automakers not because it’s looking out for worker’s rights, but because it needs the dues money.

We reported recently on the UAW’s coming efforts to organize American workers at Honda, Toyota, Volkswagen and other foreign automakers who operate plants in the United States. We figured these efforts spawned from a genuine, though misguided, desire to assist American autoworkers through union representation.

Turns out that’s not the whole story, at least according to UAW president Bob King, who let slip his real intentions with this quote given to Automotive News, via InsideLine:

If we don’t organize the transnationals, I don’t think there is a long-term future for the UAW.

So King wants to turn this latest effort into a pity party, huh? We knew the stakes were already high, but with this latest nugget, King confirms that it’s an all-or-nothing effort. Fail to organize the transplants, and the union will eventually die.


In its story, InsideLine also said,

The UAW is down to 400,000 active members and 600,000 retirees. Without the employees of transplant carmakers, membership will continue to fall.

King’s efforts certainly seem like a desperate end-of-game Hail Mary pass, and one that’s not likely to end in success. After all, it’s not as if the UAW hasn’t tried to organize transplant factories before, without ever coming close to succeeding. It already looks like history is repeating itself, with Honda being the first to comment on the situation, via spokesman Ed Miller to Bloomberg:

Honda has had no dialogue with the UAW and has no interest in a discussion with them.

Now that King has announced his succeed-or-die-trying mantra, the transplants have more incentive than ever to politely decline. It might just be the last time they’ll ever have to say no.

Does Bob King’s quote just make him appear desperate to keep the UAW alive?


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1 Comment

  1. The unions are needed. There needs to be a reason for companies to provide a safe environment for their workers. Anyone who has not worked for Honda has no idea how bad it can be depending on where you are in the plant. Employees are poisoned, always dizzy and sometimes fall down due to air quality issues.

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