posted on Nov, 13 2013 @ 11:38 PM
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Anti-union conservatives are worried that if the UAW successfully organizes Volkwagen's Tennessee plant, it will create a domino effect in the
After Volkswagen issued a letter in September saying the company would not oppose an attempt by the United Auto Workers (UAW) to unionize its
1,600-worker Chattanooga, Tenn., facility, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) was flabbergasted.
"For management to invite the UAW in is almost beyond belief," Corker, who campaigned heavily for the plant’s construction during his tenure as
mayor of Chattanooga, told the Associated Press. "They will become the object of many business school studies—and I'm a little worried could become
a laughingstock in many ways—if they inflict this wound"
Leaked documents obtained by In These Times, as well as interviews with a veteran anti-union consultant, indicate that a conservative group, Grover
Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, appears to be pumping hundred of thousands of dollars into media and grassroots organizing in an effort to stop
the union drive. In addition, the National Right-to-Work Legal Defense Foundation helped four anti-union workers in October file a complaint with the
National Labor Relations Board claiming that Volkswagen was forcing a union on them.
As the only major VW plant in the United States, Chattanooga is also the only plant whose workers have no opportunity to join German-style “works
councils”—committees of hourly and salaried employees who discuss management decisions, like which plant will make specific car models, on a local
and global scale.
Organizing with the UAW, workers say, would help them to both form new works councils and gain representation at existing ones—which, in turn, would
attract more jobs to the area.
“I personally feel like not having a union and not participating in a works council is going to do more damage for future expansion and new product
development in Chattanooga than any unionization would do,” says Volkswagen employee Justin King. “The way VW works on the international level,
[management] almost expects to work with a union. Now, we aren’t able to say, ‘Hey we would like to build that new SUV, or we would like to hire
some new workers.’ We are only hurting ourselves by not going union.”
Read more on: inthesetimes.com...
Very interesting article on the matter. In a way it is like clash of the cultures. After all Volkswagen is a German-based. Unions are very popular in
that area, especially in manufacturing. That is one of the things behind German success in that area. I found a good article in Forbes, which explains
the reasons behind it.
ow Germany Builds Twice As Many Cars As The U.S. While Paying Its Workers Twice As Much
In 2010, Germany produced more than 5.5 million automobiles; the U.S produced 2.7 million. At the same time, the average auto worker in Germany
made $67.14 per hour in salary in benefits; the average one in the U.S. made $33.77 per hour. Yet Germany’s big three car companies—BMW, Daimler
(Mercedes-Benz ), and Volkswagen—are very profitable.
There are “two overlapping sets of institutions” in Germany that guarantee high wages and good working conditions for autoworkers. The first is IG
Metall, the country’s equivalent of the United Automobile Workers. Virtually all Germany’s car workers are members, and though they have the right
to strike, they “hardly use it, because there is an elaborate system of conflict resolution that regularly is used to come to some sort of
compromise that is acceptable to all parties,” according to Horst Mund, an IG Metall executive. The second institution is the German constitution,
which allows for “works councils” in every factory, where management and employees work together on matters like shop floor conditions and work
life. Mund says this guarantees cooperation, “where you don’t always wear your management pin or your union pin.”
I personally see companies more as a collective. At the end, without employees there would be no products/services and no profit for the company.
Employees are what make a company and that is the reason, why they should also have a voice and rights in order to ensure no person is exploited for
maximising the profit. Without them there would be no profit, thus they should be respected as people, not taken as nobodies, machines that can be
easily replaced, for gaining more profit.
I understand there are issues in US with the unions, although that is one area which deserves much more attention. Get the system working properly,
not fight it, and it would benefit the nation greatly in the long run.
edit on 13-11-2013 by Cabin because: (no reason given)