Skip to comments.Why autoworkers must say ‘no thank you’ to unions
Posted on 07/31/2017 7:25:45 PM PDT by T Ruth
As a 21-year autoworker in Michigan, and a forced dues-paying member of the United Auto Workers for 19 of those years, I have watched union officials waste millions of dollars attempting to organize manufacturing facilities in the South. It has done so as workers in those factories have clearly rejected their efforts, time and again.
This time, the target is the 6,400-plus workers at Nissans facility in Canton, Mississippi, who will have a secret-ballot election August 3-4. Those workers should proceed with caution and pay heed to the long-term consequences of their decision.
Organizers will make many promises; promises they are under no legal obligation to keep. Between the UAW spending piles of dues money to defeat a decertification attempt and the fear and intimidation that unfortunately is prevalent, voting yes for a union just to try it out, as some Nissan workers are being urged to do, is not the best strategy. ***
Outside of union representation, the UAW spends millions on a political and social agenda that many workers find offensive. The residents of Mississippi can expect to see the UAW pursuing their own agenda, spending large amounts of dues money to influence local and statewide elections that may not reflect the interests of Nissan workers.
Nissan workers have a big decision to make. Do they bail-out a union desperate for their dues money, or do they control their own destiny? Do they tie themselves to a union that needs additional workers to beef up a Retiree Medical Benefits Trust underfunded by about $20 billion, or do they say No thank you, to decades of failing union management?
Terry Bowman is a 21 year UAW-Ford autoworker.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...
Isn’t miss a right to work state? Let’s hope they vote against the UAW there. The last car l bought l made sure it was built in a right to work state.
The Nissan workers at Canton MS are mostly African-Americans. They are probably more union-friendly than are the workers in a place like Chattanooga or Spring Hill TN, who are mainly whites. If the Nissan workers vote to install the UAW at the Canton plant, you can bet that other auto manufacturers will take care not to locate new plants in areas of the South that have majority black populations.
In other words, mountain regions yes, cotton belt no.
Anyone who wants to should be able to join a union, without fear of termination for that reason alone. It’s a free country.
And by the same token, no one should be forced to join a union. And that’s where the problem is. Too many states are closed-shop states. If a majority of your fellow workers votes to form a union, you must join that union, and you must pay union dues. That is not a characteristic of a free society.
(Oh, and some closed-shop states allow for a “fair share” option, where you don’t have to join the union. But you still have to pay something like 90% of the union dues. How’s that for nonsense?)
Most unions should be decertified, and certainly ALL government “worker” unions. They should all be busted under RICO statutes as nothing but extortion rackets and RAT money laundering operations.
The paper trail is all there, for anyone to see. Just look at opensecrets.org.
I know people that paid union dues to work at a paper mill in the town where I live. The paper mill closed and they union didn’t do a thing for the people that had paid dues for many years.
The people I know say no way they would ever belong to a union again. They just took part of their paycheck and offered nothing in return.
If the Nissan workers in Canton, MS want a union, Nissan should start moving those jobs to other states.
> They should all be busted under RICO statutes as nothing but extortion rackets and RAT money laundering operations. <
I continue to believe in the concept of unions, as I believe in giving people as much freedom as is reasonable. And that includes the freedom to form a union, and to speak with one voice.
Oh, and I also believe that every employer should have the freedom to reject union demands, and tell the workers to go back to work or be fired, permanently. The even playing field.
Anyway, yeah, you’re right about most unions. Unfortunately they have devolved into semi-criminal organizations. And that’s because the law would rather not prosecute them. Too many votes at stake.
And here’s the irony. Many rank-and-file union members wish the law WOULD go after the corrupt union leadership.
Actually it doesn't give them freedom. It promotes mediocrity and subsidizes the low energy drones. It absolutely denies the go-getters the ability to earn merit-based compensation.
and to speak with one voice
Why would you want that? They're not all equal.
Now if unions were basically self-policing organizations that would work with a level of employment, no money involved, voting dirtbags out of the shop, and making sure they could bring noobies or lower skilled workers up to speed....you might have something.
If you outgrew your position....you'd go into another trade "association".
> Now if unions were basically self-policing organizations... <
I guess that’s our main point of disagreement. I think of a union much as I would think of a lawyer on retainer. The job of the union (or the lawyer) is to represent you, not to police you.
It is the job of the employer to police you, to get rid of the deadwood, and to offer serious merit-based pay.
But employers too rarely do any of that. They instead take the easy way out, and sign contracts that give the unions all the cards.
Now, I’m not saying it would be easy for an employer to stand up to a union. Some states make it very difficult to hire permanent replacement workers. And then there’s the violence by union thugs, violence that’s ignored buy local elected officials.
I say much of this from personal experience, as I have worked in both union and non-union shops. I’ve seen union guys exercising their right to free association. And I’ve seen union guys get drunk on the job knowing their bosses would never write them up.
Sorry for being so long-winded here...and maybe that level playing field I want is not possible in reality.
And let me say this. I’ve enjoyed our discussion, and appreciate that you’ve kept it civil. Too often my comments on this issue are met with vulgarities.
I suspect they got pretty good wages, insurance benefits and paid vacations they wouldn't have gotten without the union...
Because working for $10 less an hour is so much better.
$58 at General Motors
$57 at Ford
$48 at Fiat-Chrysler
The $10 difference is about $250 per car.
Reference is from march 2015
GM CEO $13,500 per hour.
Ford CEO $9,015 per hour
Crysler CEO $35,000 per hour.
Thank unions for NAFTA and the ridiculous pricing of anything made in unionized areas. They've outlived their usefulness and are a drag on the whole of the country.
They can stick their unions up their collective yankee backsides. Leave that crap "up there".
I suspect they got pretty good wages, insurance benefits and paid vacations they wouldn’t have gotten without the union...
Like they do at Nissan now without a union.
Union v. Non-union, right to work v. Non right to work means nothing. The price of the car the consumer pays NEVER goes down...Only more profits.
>> If the Nissan workers in Canton, MS want a union, Nissan should start moving those jobs to other states <<
If you had seen how truly gigantic that plant is, you’d know that it’s not so easy to “move” the jobs. The building is about half a mile long. Almost took my breath away when I caught a glimpse.
Therefore, even though Nissan may never want to expand the plant and create more jobs there, the plant is such a massive investment that I doubt the shareholders or the board of directors would approve a shut-down — and maybe would not approve even a major cut-back of the plant’s output.
On the other hand, a pro-union vote would probably dictate that when various auto manufacturers are searching for other plant sites across the American South, they will want to avoid the black-majority cotton-belt counties.
>> Thank unions for NAFTA <<
In a way, yes. Can’t argue with you.
But at the same time, we need to thank NAFTA and similar agreements for weakening the power of unions in American manufacturing.
Specifically, unions have been steadily losing ground in the private sector for the past 30 years. And the competition from Mexico and Canada (plus especially Germany and Japan) has definitely contributed to that weakening.
I’ve seen the plant. I know people inside the plant and others that visit regularly.
I agree that if the plant votes to go union, Nissan and others should do their best to avoid black-majority areas. All they would need to do is get a blue vs. red election map. Stay out of the blue areas and you should be fine.
There are a lot of tier 1 and tier 2 automotive plants that should make note of the red/blue maps too if they decide to go union.
Insurance benefits are being cut, the pension has been frozen, wages have been stagnant, and Nissan has a two-tiered work force with about half of them provided by an outside contractor who is paying their staff about half of what Nissan pays their people. Those are the primary beefs with the Nissan workforce that I've read about.
Best way to keep out a union is to keep your workforce happy.
There is only so much they can do. Every business is having the same issues with insurance.
Wages have been stagnant but so have sales and profits. If the unions come in, they will have to raise prices. This would hurt sales. Hyundai is currently down 19.4%. A union certainly wouldn’t fix their problems.
If the union comes in, Nissan should try to greatly increase the outside contractors. Most of the Nissan employees aren’t highly skilled workers so they should be happy with what they’re getting.
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