“U.S. Auto Workers Will Gladly Join The Union” ~msnbc.
The above quote as well as the full article below was published on 12/29/2011 by mnsbc.com. Are these folks misguided, uninformed, out of touch, not well researched, not well read, or all of the above? Mr. King, and his Southeastern lead organizer, Gary Casteel have been rebuffed by key German labor leader, Bernd Osterloh who says he won’t promote United Auto Workers’ efforts to organize Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant. Then we’ve got VW management and employees letting the UAW know that they’re not interested in the UAW. Further, we have Bob King publicly stating that he is backing off of his goal to organize an Asian or European auto manufacturer by the end of the year. King’s recently negotiated contracts with the Big 2 1/2 left a number of constituents wanting, and those contracts faced difficult ratification. The wage/benefit/cost of living differentiation between those represented by the UAW, and those that are not is marginal…toss in the job security, or lack thereof associated with petitioning for an election and this is a “no brainer.”
DETROIT/HAMBURG — The United Auto Workers union is staking its future on the kind of struggle it hasn’t waged since the 1930s: a massive drive to organize hostile factories.
This time, the target is foreign car makers, whose workers have rebuffed the union repeatedly. Specifically, Reuters has learned, the union is going after U.S. plants owned by German manufacturers Volkswagen AG and Daimler AG, seen as easier nuts to crack than the Japanese and South Koreans.
It’s a battle the UAW cannot afford to lose. By failing to organize factories run by foreign automakers, the union has been a spectator to the only growth in the U.S. auto industry in the last 30 years. That failure to win new members has compounded a crunch on the UAW’s finances, forcing it to sell assets and dip into its strike fund to pay for its activities.
In dozens of interviews with union officials, organizers and car company executives, a picture has emerged of UAW President Bob King’s strategy. By appealing to German unions for help and by calling on the companies to do the right thing, King hopes to get VW and Daimler to surrender without a fight and let the union make its case directly to workers.
Central to this effort is the belief that if car companies refrain from actively opposing a UAW organizing push, workers at German-American factories will gladly join the union.