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View Diary: UPDATE: VW CEO Calls out Corker for saying VW won't expand if UAW is approved in Chattanooga (187 comments)

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  •  As you said, *In Japan* Toyota works with their (16+ / 0-)

    people. To get the best for Japan.

    In the US, the people working for Toyota are commodified.

    And the US corporations don't give a shit about the best interests of the United States. The Romneys and the Kochs would sell their own mothers if they could make a quick buck off of it.  

    One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. --Carl Jung

    by bronte17 on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 10:21:02 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Right, (0+ / 0-)

      northern Europeans just "have a positive view of unions" but in Japan it's just nationalism. VW doesn't commodify it's employers at all. No racism here

      "It is, it seems, politically impossible to organize expenditure on the scale necessary to prove my case -- except in war conditions."--JM Keynes, 1940

      by randomfacts on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 10:50:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  let's add to that... (10+ / 0-)

        that VW, as any listed company in Germany, is controlled by a "supervisory board", which is not involved in the day-to-day business but has substantial say in major issues and elects and fires the company's executives.

        This board has an odd number of members - and 50% - 1 of them are elected by the company's employees.

        The other 50%+1 are elected by the shareholders. But... the second largest shareholder, holding 20% of voting stock, is the German state of Lower Saxony ... which currently is governed by a coalition of Social Democrats and Greens. The Social Democrats are Germany's moderate leftwing party and very closely allied with the large trade union block. And if you take into account that of the 8 unions that make up Germany's trade union association, the by far largest and most cohesive is IG Metall... which covers... surprise, surprise ... Volkswagen, you understand that VW's executives know very well that their job is to work with and not against trade unions.

      •  it's not racism. it's about a fundamentally (7+ / 0-)

        different set of social/economic institutions.

        if i recall correctly, the situation with VW in TN began when VW's german workers demanded the company do something about the lack of worker representation at the TN plant.

        To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

        by UntimelyRippd on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 05:47:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Are you familiar (2+ / 0-)

        with the corporate culture common in Japanese automakers at plants in the US?  I am.  I had family work for Honda for a number of years (both my mom and younger brother).  There are Japanese workers in these plants, but not very many, and there are unwritten rules about how to interact with them.  At the Honda plant where my mom and brother worked, the Japanese workers were referred to as the "J-staff" and everyone knew not to mess with any Japanese workers in any capacity.  Both of my family members saw incidents where a Japanese worker had a dispute with an American worker and suddenly the American worker is gone.  My brother worked in R&D, specifically fabrication, and witnessed Japanese workers not finishing their projects on time repeatedly and there being no consequences for it, while his group was routinely reprimanded and written up for projects that were not completed on time, parts that were not fit to spec, etc.  This is not to say that this sort of thing doesn't go on in US-company automotive plants; I don't know and I've seen plenty of behavior like this in corporations in my working life (the distinctions may be different the behaviors are the same).  But I don't think it's unfair to talk about the different values in corporate culture for different companies.

        "I don't want a unicorn. I want a fucking pegasus. And I want it to carry a flaming sword." -mahakali overdrive

        by Silvia Nightshade on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 05:44:57 AM PST

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    •  Yes and no (11+ / 0-)

      And international solidarity is low on the to do list of german unions.

      But VW is running very well now. And the unions here have got a lot of the rest of their wish list. So that they now finally have come around to the fact that there is black sheep in the VW family without any union representation. Namely the US.

      And if the union at VW really wants something, it matters. And so here we are: VW US now longer fighting against unions and the UAW promising to imitate the cooperative german union-employer model.  

      And if this succeeds it could well shame the strong unions at Mercedes and BMW in action to finally do something about the american factories.

      And three foreign car companies int he US unionized - now that would matter.

      But one step after the other.

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