Recent actions by the UAW demonstrate the desperation of the labor bosses to reverse declining membership. From a peak of 1.52 million in 1979, the UAW today represents fewer than 400,000 (see UAW Saw an Opening with Honda’s Arrival). Obviously, the UAW realizes they are in serious trouble, but instead of changing tactics and providing a service that benefits employers and members alike, as their counterparts in Germany do, they continue to utilize the same bullying tactics that have gotten them into trouble. What’s the definition of “insanity?” Doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results. It appears insanity and desperation have become entrenched in big labor.
In a desperate attempt to increase its flagging membership, the UAW has embarked on a mission to force unionize the employees of foreign automobile manufactures in Right-To-Work (“RTW”) states through Corporate Campaigns. As discussed in Right-to-Work States Beware, the UAW is running Death by a Thousand Cuts campaigns against a Volkswagen Facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee and a Nissan Facility in Canton, Mississippi. Additionally, unhappy that Michigan became the 24th RTW state earlier this year, the UAW has mounted a campaign of intimidation to keep its members from dropping out of the union, and political pressure designed to overturn the RTW law.
Additionally, the UAW used outright bribery to win an election in Indiana in order to gain 26 more members earlier this year, as related in Unprecedented Union Corruption. The UAW pressed the election, despite warnings that any additional costs incurred would not be borne by the customer. Upon the union’s “victory,” which resulted in more than three-quarters of a million dollars in additional cost, the customer reportedly laid-off 13 full-time skilled trade employees and is now targeting 75 more layoffs. The UAW currently has a net gain of 13 dues paying members, however, due to the imposed cost burden and decreased productivity work rules, they could end up with a massive net loss of dues paying members. Sounds like Detroit.
As terrible as all of this is, it appears the UAW labor bosses aren’t willing to reevaluate their bully tactics. Instead, they are now attempting to place the burden upon its membership. This past week, Union Conservatives, the grass roots group of Ford line workers who successfully pushed through RTW in Michigan, reported that the UAW has proposed increasing membership dues by 25% to supplement its sagging revenues (see Union Conservatives ‘Blasts’ UAW Executives for considering Dues Increase).
It is tremendous that Terry Bowman and his group of Union Conservatives are holding the UAW bosses accountable, and we pray their efforts are successful. However, what is ironic about all of this, along with the Same Old SEIU, Same Tired Attacks, is the timing. It is apparent Big Labor Feels the Pressure and so does President Obama who is supporting their cause with his recent speeches focusing on income equality and raising the minimum wage (see Obama declares war on income inequality). It is apparent together they are attempting to prime the money pump, at the expense of union members, for a sweep of both houses in the 2014 Elections, which may be the only chance of survival for the Gasping Dinosaurs.
David A. Bego is the President and CEO of EMS, an industry leader in the field of environmental workplace maintenance, employing nearly 5000 workers in thirty-three states. Bego is the author of “The Devil at My Doorstep,” as well as the just released sequel, “The Devil at Our Doorstep,” based on his experiences fighting back against one of the most powerful unions in existence today.