Volkswagen Isn’t Fighting Unionization—But Leaked Docs Show Right-Wing Groups Are.

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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 South.

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...


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.

H 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)




posted on Nov, 14 2013 @ 12:32 AM
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reply to post by Cabin
 


Boeing is threatening to move production of it's new plane to a 'right-to-work' state if the union doesn't accept a rotten contract.

Boeing Blackmails Washington Workforce on 777X Production

www.commondreams.org...



The contract doesn’t expire until 2016, but the company is threatening to move production of the huge new 777X out of Washington to avoid the union.
The company’s proposal was not made public until last Wednesday. Union members were then told they would vote on Wednesday, November 13.



posted on Nov, 14 2013 @ 12:45 AM
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People in the USA do not have a 'right' to work.

They have a 'right to pursue happiness'. If the pursuit of happiness requires work be done, work is an elective, as evidenced by the people living off the middle-class dole.

Individual- "I can't afford to get by."
Gov't ... minimum wage goes up.
Landlord - "I can't pay my property taxes."
Gov't ... rent goes up.
Individual - "I can't afford to get by."
Gov't ... minimum wage goes up.
And I intentionally left out the cost of food.



edit on 11/14/2013 by abecedarian because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 14 2013 @ 09:10 AM
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reply to post by Cabin
 


I've been told that US conservatives dislike unions, basically because in the US they are set up disfunctional and are even corrupt.
In contrast to this, unions in Germany cannot afford any criminal behaviour or cronyism/corruption, because they have to function properly and are strictly organised and under public scrutiny.
So (as I was told) you'd have to fix your unions first before you can expect them to bring about the same advantages.



posted on Nov, 14 2013 @ 10:38 AM
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wow. interesting article/thread. I'm glad I got my Passat pre-UAW lol



posted on Nov, 15 2013 @ 01:46 PM
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abecedarian
People in the USA do not have a 'right' to work.

They have a 'right to pursue happiness'. If the pursuit of happiness requires work be done, work is an elective, as evidenced by the people living off the middle-class dole.

Individual- "I can't afford to get by."
Gov't ... minimum wage goes up.
Landlord - "I can't pay my property taxes."
Gov't ... rent goes up.
Individual - "I can't afford to get by."
Gov't ... minimum wage goes up.
And I intentionally left out the cost of food.



edit on 11/14/2013 by abecedarian because: (no reason given)


The "Right to Work" states say the same or didn't you know what "Right to Work" actually mean according to the right.

A least know what you are responding to before parroting something you heard and know nothing about.



posted on Nov, 15 2013 @ 01:52 PM
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ColCurious
reply to post by Cabin
 


I've been told that US conservatives dislike unions, basically because in the US they are set up disfunctional and are even corrupt.
In contrast to this, unions in Germany cannot afford any criminal behaviour or cronyism/corruption, because they have to function properly and are strictly organised and under public scrutiny.
So (as I was told) you'd have to fix your unions first before you can expect them to bring about the same advantages.


Thank you and you are correct. Because of Prohibition (outlawing liquor in the 1920s-early 1930s) we developed this organized crime system and they were (are?) involved in unions.

Yes we need a new and democratic union structure and it is being worked on from a couple of different directions however, the only good jobs in the US are union jobs.

Just the responses to this thread show how much envy there is in the poplulation because of Good Union jobs which were insrumental in building the middle class. These childish and short-sighted people want to tear others down to their level rather then build them up in the hopes they too could have a nice secure Union Job.

US Citizens tend to vote against their own interests - it's our greatest weakness and is born of ignorance.



posted on Nov, 15 2013 @ 01:56 PM
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Right to Work in the US does not outlaw unions. It outlaws unions from forcing you to join them. Essentially you can work at a shop that has a union and choose not to be a member of that union. In other states the person has no choice whatsoever. If you work where there is a union, you are forced to be a member. We're all for personal choices, right?



posted on Nov, 15 2013 @ 02:20 PM
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jjkenobi
Right to Work in the US does not outlaw unions. It outlaws unions from forcing you to join them. Essentially you can work at a shop that has a union and choose not to be a member of that union. In other states the person has no choice whatsoever. If you work where there is a union, you are forced to be a member. We're all for personal choices, right?

So, does a non-union member decline any wage and benefit increases that the union negotiates?

I believe the law is known as "Right to Work for Less"





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