The UAW’s last stand

Bernie Wodall, Ben Klayman and Jan Schwartz

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.

But that belief may be off-base…


The article continues at Reuters.

From the article: an interactive map of foreign-owned US plants.

H/T The Guardian, American union UAW takes on German giants in battle to organise



Update: Boeing Employees Hit Machinist Union with Charge for Discriminating against Workers in Right to Work States; Union bosses abuse process to force Boeing to locate production in state without a Right to Work law.

Three Charleston-area Boeing company (NYSE: BA) employees filed a federal retaliation charge against the Washington State union behind the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) high-profile case against Boeing for building a new facility in South Carolina.

The Charleston-area Boeing employees filed the unfair labor practice charge withthe NLRB Wednesday with free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation.

The charge comes in the wake of the recent announcement of a backroom deal cut between IAM, its Local 751 union, and Boeing officials which led to the end of the NLRB’s case. The Charleston Boeing employees, who were granted intervenor status in the case by the NLRB in Washington , D.C. , were denied participation in the hearing concluding the case…

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