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Latest News - April 2014

April 14, 2014
What has UAW done for members?
Source: Detroit News

Outgoing UAW President Bob King has proven recently just how out of touch he is — not only with auto workers in other parts of the country, but right here with the rank-and-file of his own union as well. King’s “southern strategy,” which has cost current UAW members tens-of-millions of dollars, has been a complete failure.

King has himself stated, “If we don't organize these trans-nationals, I don't think there's a long-term future for the UAW, I really don't.” But not only have King and the UAW failed to win a single organizing vote of the southern transplants that they have targeted, they have also misjudged their current membership’s willingness to pay for the effort.

The UAW, under King’s leadership has raided the memberships strike fund and spent 1/3 of it on non-strike related expenses, using the strike-fund as more of a slush-fund. Now the UAW leadership is campaigning for a 25 percent dues increase specifically to replenish the fund claiming “a healthy strike fund is an important bargaining tool.” Well, if it’s so important, explain why the fund was raided of $300 million?

What has spending hundreds of millions of dollars of the memberships money gotten the UAW and its members? Not much besides a black eye; they recently lost a vote by the workers of Volkswagen in Chattanooga, Tenn., who rejected the UAW by a 54-46 percent margin in spite of the fact that Volkswagen management did not oppose the UAW’s organizing efforts.

In fact, Volkswagen management sided publicly with the UAW, and welcomed the organizers into their plant to campaign prior to the vote.

Besides failed organizing drives, King has spent his union members’ dues on his political agenda, which has included the ill-fated Prop. 2 ballot initiative in 2012 that sought to roll back many of Republican Gov. Rick Snyder’s legislative accomplishments, as well as to constitutionally ban right to work from ever being introduced in Michigan. Prop. 2 was defeated by the voters in November 2012, and ironically led to Snyder signing right-to-work legislation in December of that year.

The last two rounds of contract talks have yielded nothing for UAW represented workers but give-backs and concessions, and now the UAW bosses want to increase the amount of dues paid by members by 25 percent.

The timing for this push to increase dues could not be worse, as UAW members in new right-to-work states Michigan and Indiana will be able to resign and stop paying the UAW any dues for the first time ever, when the current contract expires in September 2015.

Maybe the UAW leadership team should rethink their strategy before the upcoming Constitutional Convention.




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