published Saturday, April 13th, 2013

Mix: UNION PUSH: VW workers, be wary of secret deals

By Mark Mix

In 2002, United Auto Workers union officials struck a backroom deal with German-based auto manufacturer Daimler to strong-arm Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. workers in North Carolina and South Carolina into the union.

Union organizers were given full access to Freightliner workers' personal information and company facilities for the purposes of unionization. The company even allowed union organizers to hold captive audience meetings to pressure workers into signing union "cards" on company property. All the while, Freightliner managers were forbidden from saying anything negative about the UAW or unionization.

Under the agreement, all the UAW union organizers needed was a majority of workers to sign these "cards" and the company would automatically declare the UAW the "exclusive representative" of all the workers, even those who did not sign a card. In exchange, the UAW union hierarchy secretly made wage and benefits concessions at the workers' expense.

Now, recent media reports suggest that UAW union organizers are working to cut a similar secret deal, this time with German-based auto manufacturer Volkswagen, to unionize VW's workers in Chattanooga.

In response, the National Right to Work Foundation announced that it would provide free legal aid to workers who feel unfairly pressured when deciding whether or not to associate with the UAW union. Foundation attorneys challenged the legality of the Freightliner/UAW agreement because it should have been illegal for the UAW to accept organizing assistance from an employer in exchange for selling out its employees at the bargaining table.

In response to our offer of free legal aid to VW employees, UAW union bosses bragged to the press that they "beat" us in the Freightliner case, and they are right: Company and union officials beat Foundation attorneys and the rank-and-file workers we represented in court. Although UAW union bosses may consider that a victory, it certainly was a loss for Freightliner workers in North and South Carolina.

Now, UAW union bosses seek to broker with VW the very kind of "collaborative model" with a "German style labor board" union bosses previously opposed. Former President Bill Clinton vetoed, at Big Labor's behest, a bill that would have legalized employee labor committees that could negotiate with a nonunion company without a union's involvement.

The UAW union denounced the bill, stating that it "would undermine the rights of workers to organize and bargain collectively" and "legalize company dominated unions in which management could hand pick who would serve as the representatives for workers." Now UAW union officials are all for VW -- hand picking who would serve as workers' representatives, as long as it is UAW agents.

And of course UAW union bosses would be sure to stack the labor board with their most zealous partisans, while those who don't toe the UAW party line would find their voices silenced.

Most likely, the UAW's embrace of a German labor board is just cover to convince the workers and German VW officials to bring in the UAW for more of the same Detroit-style unionism they brought to the Saturn plant in Spring Hill, Tenn.

Under federal labor law, the UAW union must first gain exclusive bargaining powers over VW's workers before a labor board could be created. And despite what promises union organizers make to get workers to sign cards or vote in the union, UAW officials could renege on the labor board idea at the bargaining table with VW, and there is nothing that employees could do to hold union organizers to their promises.

In Chattanooga, like elsewhere, the endgame for UAW union bosses is to gain monopoly bargaining control over as many workers as possible. That is why VW's Chattanooga workers should be wary of what secret deal is behind the UAW's smokescreen before they, too, end up with a raw deal.

Mark Mix is President of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, www.nrtw.org

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acerigger said...

Mark Mix is President of the National Right to Work (for less) Legal Defense Foundation

April 13, 2013 at 12:23 a.m.
dfreezy said...

"the UAW union hierarchy secretly made wage and benefits concessions at the workers' expense" - Does an increase in wages and benefits for workers come at workers expense? No. Stupid logic

April 15, 2013 at 6:08 p.m.
1digger said...

Union leadership (Extortion Central Casting). If you want to have your earnings extorted, fine do so, but don't mandate that workers who don't want to be sheep like you union drones have their earnings pillaged to pay for union leadership and political paybacks.

Right to Work States = greater income and workers rights. It also means that a good worker is most likely paid by merit, whereas union drones whether they're good workers or not are paid the same as the union deadbeats.

FYI: Union drones - businesses, i.e. EMPLOYERS create jobs; unions DON'T. See who signs your paycheck, it's ain't your extortion union leader.

April 16, 2013 at 12:31 p.m.
tptedge1 said...

"The cheap price is long forgotten after the sale is made" could also apply to the bump in wage and bennies which are long forgotten after the plant closes.Check the history of the unions in recent years. How did life work out for the workers in Spring Hill, TN at the Saturn plant? Look at Detroit falling to the ground quite literally with pensions, bennies, and wages that could no longer be supported. How many billions of dollars were disseminated to two thirds of Detroit to avoid bankruptcy using hard earned tax dollars, tax dollars from "all" of us that will never be repaid and for the privilege of car/truck prices most of us can't afford. It is a far better idea to have jobs for generations than here today and gone tomorrow! So you want a few increases so the rest of us can bail you out. No Thanks! It is all numbers and there is no magic to numbers unless you cook the books figuratively and literally! Car manufactures have thrived in the South due to the lack of Unionism and right to work states. If the unions were conducting representation on behalf of the workers and not political gain which equals a "fat" living for the upper crust of the union then that is an honest and feasible path to follow but.......

April 16, 2013 at 1:24 p.m.
SJBB said...

@dfreezy : You wrote, ""the UAW union hierarchy secretly made wage and benefits concessions at the workers' expense" - Does an increase in wages and benefits for workers come at workers expense? No. Stupid logic"

Re-read the sentence you quoted; wage and benefits CONCESSIONS were made, not increases. The UAW agreed with the company to give up wage and benefit gains, as long as they can strongarm their way into the company. Think about it - the UAW forces workers to give up a portion of their pay to the UAW, or they cannot work there. What the hell for? This is unAmerican, and against individual freedom. People should be able to assemble and form unions, yes. But why force people to join (and pay) or lose their jobs? Sounds like a great scam for the UAW.

April 16, 2013 at 1:31 p.m.
lauratoni said...

I really wasn't there but my father talked of the tactics used by the unions in the 1930s and on. While I will not condemn all union organizers, I will say all have but one goal, to unionize all workers and control all. It is like a parent saying "I know best, do it my way.", isn't it? Certainly Obama feels that way and so the unions support him. The remedy? Get up off our knees and stand tall. Make our objections and stick to them. Will there be enough support? Too many feel that it isn't affecting them and so keep their head in the sand. Unfortunately, they can't see the forest for the trees. They fail to recognize that their lives will be affected. They will be controlled. They will pay higer sums for anything from food, cars, houses, medical and on and on. All legal, American voters must become aware of our danger. We are losing more and more freedom.

April 16, 2013 at 2:11 p.m.
Antoinenb said...

It is so sad to see that we elected a president who bought every vote he gotten by promising to provide the 47% of people who would always vote for a president no matter what that they will be taken care of by the government. Robbing the rich to give to the poor, the illegals, and all those people know how to manipulate the system for their gain. He is in bed with the unions and the unions spent lots of money to get him elected so now they want to collect, I'm not surprised a bit. I was a member for a union for about 18 months and all they did for me is made me poorer by taking my money. They almost got me fired by not caring about the hard working people. I did more than my share of work and they did not like that and they did not protect the few of us Harding working people. I refuse to work for a place that support the union. The union bosses are getting richer every day they are bunch of thugs. We live in a free country we should be able to work where we are qualified to work without having the union. The only people who wants the union are those who are lazy and don't want to work hard to earn an honest living without paying the union for protection.

April 16, 2013 at 9:17 p.m.
coachldl said...

Before President Reagan became President, just about every job in the USA had to be a Union member.

Every worker had a designated amount of pieces or type work assigned to them as well as not been able to help anyone, or do more than what they were suppose to do.

USA economy, was going “DOWN HILL BIG TIME”. Companies in the USA were not able to hold on with the UNIONS money request not much longer.

So, to fix the economy President Reagan started the USA fictitious economy by pardoning millions of illegal’s, and looking the other way on small unions. He even let the Tower Controllers go on strike to later replacing them all with new non Union members.

Big Unions, like the Teamsters, Police, Teachers, and other were strong still, as it is today more or less.

In 1983, with millions of illegal’s in the USA pardoned and able to go out and work freely and cheap. (No Union).It fixed the USA economy only fictitiously.

Let’s not forget all those lazy Americans pamper by the unions, who were fired or out of work, needed to be assisted with Federal aid who the American tax payer had to paid for. Most of them had not much education, 'cause most Americans during that time were pamper by UNIONS.

Today USA Builders paid the illegal’s much less than a American to build houses, but houses cost more and more.

What happen to American Labor Force?.....

USA does not need UNIONS…They are the ones who are destroying the USA economy.

April 17, 2013 at 5:06 p.m.
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