Skip to main content

View Diary: UAW loses at VW (224 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Are you saying the VW workers wages were below (0+ / 0-)

    the poverty level? What do you mean "poverty"?

    Ash-sha'b yurid isqat an-nizam!

    by fourthcornerman on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 10:00:35 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  You need to go away, fourth cornerman (25+ / 0-)

      VW workers and Tennesseans are not cheap whores.

      Poverty is prevalent in Tennessee.  People cannot afford to lose a $15 an hour job because that is considered a good job.  When GOP threatens that if the workers  vote for UAW, they will stop supporting them and VW will make their  SUV's in other places, those threats are taken seriously.  Many believed what Sen. Corker and State Sen. Watson said.

      If anyone is a cheap whore, it is Corker and the TNGOP.  They sold out their constituency to please the Big Men in other places.  

      "The war was expensive to the South as well as to the North, both in blood and treasure, but it was worth all it cost."- General U.S. Grant, Chattanooga campaign

      by Sandy on Signal on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 05:03:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  VW is in a quandary now (5+ / 0-)

        What does VW decide about the SUV build?  

        If they give it to Chattanooga, then it looks like Corker was telling the truth and VW is rewarding the vote against the union.

        I would imagine, in the end, VW will make their decision on purely economic grounds and disregard Corker's lies, but it could give VW some problems with the unions in Germany.  But, if the decision between Chattanooga and Mexico was purely even, then VW might have to send the SUV to Mexico just to avoid looking as if they tried to buy/bully the election.

        It's Morning in America (and the GOP has a hangover).

        by stlawrence on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 05:32:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  My dream scenario (8+ / 0-)

              VW shuts down its Chattanooga plant, moves it to, say, Maryland or Massachusetts, and offers the 626 workers who voted for the union the opportunity to relocate along with them.

             The 712 workers who didn't... well, guys, I'm sure you've got bootstraps.

              Win-win for all.

          "Le ciel est bleu, l'enfer est rouge."

          by Buzzer on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 05:51:31 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I was thinking Lansing Mich. (8+ / 0-)

            take the mayor up on his offer

          •  That won't happen (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sandy on Signal, cville townie

            VW has operated manufacturing facilities in the US before from the late 1970s to the late 1980s close to Pittsburgh.  That facility was unionized, and VW felt that industrial relations were too adversarial.  

            Most likely the assembly plant will remain open at least until the end of the present incentive package.  Then who knows?

            I wouldn't be surprised if the work does go to Mexico now, or if the company decides to keep Chattanooga as an assembly only plant.  If they do that, they could send parts production to another location.  

            http://www.economicpopulist.org

            by ManfromMiddletown on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 06:07:42 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  sounds good to me (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bearsguy, Laconic Lib, Buzzer

            In the old days, when unions were taken seriously, they had what were called "closed shops", where if you weren't a member of the union, you weren't allowed to work there.  They hated the idea of "freeloaders" reaping the rewards without making the commitment.

            And that's a proper "conservative" position.  One of the consistent problems of our society is that conservatives rarely pay the price socially or economically of being conservatives.  They act conservative, vote conservative, but laws and social and physical infrastructure built over the last 80 years create a floor on how far they can fall in the name of Supply-Side Jesus.

            The more conservatives can be made to hurt, the better.  They should get exactly what they want; it's the only way they could possibly come around ... though I sincerely doubt they will because they already resent the higher and more secure standard of living that "union thugs" enjoy.  "Hey, I work 12 hours a day for poverty wages in a hot and dangerous plant with no job security, health care, or retirement so you should too!"

            I'd love to see VW dump Tennessee as a matter of principle: "We cannot in good conscience continue to operate in a place where workers are not represented.  Besides, our experience in Germany demonstrates that worker involvement in the decision-making process is a superior business model."

            Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

            by Visceral on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 08:20:41 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Re (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              nextstep
              I'd love to see VW dump Tennessee as a matter of principle: "We cannot in good conscience continue to operate in a place where workers are not represented.
              The workers themselves voted not to.

              (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
              Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

              by Sparhawk on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 10:32:01 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  I doubt that they will shut that plant down (3+ / 0-)

            since it has only been online for a few years.  They build Passats there.  VW has been talking about expanding production to include a new mid sized SUV.  Those are additional production jobs that would come if they do expand.  They may or may not do that in Tennessee now.  

        •  How about the worker morale knowing that the (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Aquarius40, Sandy on Signal

          other half of your co-workers voted for what you didn't want?

          Teamwork building?  I don't think so.  This could be problem that will rear its' head down the line.  You can't have a workforce being this divided in such a workplace environment and over such an emotional vote.

          "It's only the giving, that makes what you are." - Ian Anderson

          by LamontCranston on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 08:51:59 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Wouldn't it be nice (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sandy on Signal, cville townie

          If the german unions stuck up for the union and insisted that it be built in a union plant?

          Seriously with globalization I really think in order to get anywhere labor is going to have to globalize.

          International strikes.

      •  What strange logic, though. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JJ In Illinois, Victor Ward, AlexDrew

        VW jobs are good jobs, so workers must want a union.

        Isn't treating employees well and paying them fairly a radical tactic to make them happy and, in the process, reduce the likelihood that they will want a union?

        By all means, be sure that the law was followed here.  The election should represent the desires of the workers.

        But -- what if more were happy than not?

        Is that such a bad outcome?

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 05:50:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The fact that this was the worker's decision (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Victor Ward, AlexDrew, Sparhawk, pdkesq

          seems to mean nothing in this diary.

          From what I can tell, VW workers in Chattanooga have pretty good working conditions and fair pay for their geographical area.  Not one article I read explains how a union will "improve working conditions" one iota.

          Personally, I feel any job kept within the borders of the USA, right now, is a win.  Foreign workers are hungry for our jobs.  That is the real enemy here.

          ..............

          As an aside.. the last foreign owned automaker, Toyota, announced they were pulling out of Australia because of unfavorable conditions, including exchange rates making exports unprofitable and the high costs of manufacturing.  Tens of thousands of Australian jobs in automakers and their suppliers will be simply gone.

          Other countries are wooing our businesses away, and we don't seem to care.

          I'm not saying US workers have to take the brunt of that (more than they already have) but workers and governments alike need to remain flexible and innovative to keep jobs.

          •  so stupid decisions should be praised? (6+ / 0-)
            The fact that this was the worker's decision seems to mean nothing in this diary.
            Decisions like these put the lie to the claim that in a democracy, people will always act to maximize their well-being, and it's only when compelled or prevented from exercising free will, do they act in ways that are ignorant and self-destructive.

            Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

            by Visceral on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 08:23:11 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You think it is stupid (0+ / 0-)

              On what basis? You think you are smarter than the VW workers and better understand from (probably) thousands of miles away what is in their best interest?

              (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
              Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

              by Sparhawk on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 10:34:21 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  What makes it a stupid decision? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sparhawk

              Again, you have to check the premise:

              If the workers are well-paid and well-treated, what purpose does the union serve?

              If a union serves no purpose, why would you wish to pay dues?

              LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

              by dinotrac on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 10:34:49 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  It isn't just pay, it is about getting fired. (4+ / 0-)

                VW has lots of rules and the folks who work there, sometimes forget them.  Plus, they have all sorts of temp workers and those  bosses can be  horrible.  Pay isn't the only thing that matters.  

                My friend told me about the policy of no picture taking at the plant.  She said there were 8 friends who did a group picture mainly because they are friends, and all were fired because they violated the rules.  

                If there were a union, then this would not be so easy and forgiveness is understandable.  Right to work means Fire at Will. It isn't fair.  It isn't right.

                "The war was expensive to the South as well as to the North, both in blood and treasure, but it was worth all it cost."- General U.S. Grant, Chattanooga campaign

                by Sandy on Signal on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 11:34:30 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Agreed. Fire at will, by the way, has nothing to (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Sandy on Signal

                  do with Right to Work. To my knowledge, it is the law everywhere in the US except for Louisiana.  Might be in Louisiana, too, but Louisiana law harkens back to the Code of Napoleon, so I'm never sure about such things.

                  A union contract usually have provisions that override fire at will.

                  LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                  by dinotrac on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 11:50:38 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  I guess you must not understand just what was at (12+ / 0-)

            stake here with the importance of with this vote.  

            In the South, we still live under the shadow of "Plantation Mentality" where you are always grateful for what the "Bossman" gives you , even if it's crap which includes underpayment and wages that cannot keep up with inflation, or even what is just plain ethically fair.  Why do you think companies move to the South?  It's because labor rates due to the "Right To Work" and "Right To Fire" without reason keep any type of wage and quality of workplace negotiations out of the question.  We have lower sages than the average in the same professions in other states.  

            This affected more than just this plant in TN, but in other Southern states (many Northern ones too) that have draconian labor laws and unfair practices, and set back the move to set straighten out the income inequality disparity back for years.

            "It's only the giving, that makes what you are." - Ian Anderson

            by LamontCranston on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 09:03:28 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  You make an excellent point.. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JJ In Illinois

            I've yet to see one article or talking point from the UAW discussing the tangible benefits the UAW would have provided to the workers in terms of pay and benefits.  It's much easier to bring people out to support unions when the employer provides crap pay and benefits and treats employees poorly.  But when the workers are treated well and receive decent pay and benefits? That's a much tougher sell.  Don't get me wrong, I totally agree with the idea that these situations can change in a heart beat and that you need unions for job protections, but the vast majority of folks are bottom line people.  They want to see tangible (read: dollars and cents) benefits if they are going to bring in a union and pay annual dues.  And there are situations where the benefits offered under union agreements are not as good. Are they common? Probably not, but they do happen (I have family who went through a unionization effort at a large company under such a scenario). In those cases, it is a tough sell.

        •  this is the South we're talking about (3+ / 0-)
          What strange logic, though.  VW jobs are good jobs, so workers must want a union.
          They believe that they're all rough, tough mountain men and that unions make Angry Sky Daddy even angrier.

          Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

          by Visceral on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 08:25:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  That's not really what we're talking about (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bearsguy, kefauver, cville townie

          The Republicans took a local issue and blew it up to be a statewide/national cause. There was clearly a significant amount of outside interference and the result ended up how those outside influences wanted.

          There's no way to know if those influences were a significant factor, but the Republicans/Kochs certainly thought so considering the money and effort they put into it.

          VW jobs are good jobs and they would be better jobs if they were unionized. That's an opinion that's widely felt on this site (and by ~45% of the workers at the plant).

          If you think along those lines then yes, this vote is a disappointment. Even if those workers are happy, it's still a loss for them.

          •  If the vote reflects their wishes, it is not a (0+ / 0-)

            loss for them.  If not, it is.

            The more interesting possibility is that it's a loss for Republicans and the Kochs.

            They spent time and money on this issue.  If they didn't make  a difference in the outcome, it was wasted time and money.

            It's always easy to argue that they have time and money to waste, but spending time on pointless efforts is time you don't spend on something productive.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 10:43:11 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  I'm still 110% behind Your (0+ / 0-)

        efforts, Very unfortunate, But not over by any means. There's Merit to Corkers statements and there can be Challenges to the outcome. For those to criticize the Region, What does that accomplish? Reverse the Role, Now those who may have been Scared or worried based on BS comments from the GOP hear themselves being ridiculed, That is the Last Damn thing to do. The opposite effect will take place, Some will say Why should I get involved just to be ragged upon, ridiculed, Negativity isn't called for, More like determination and compassion and a little understanding, Attack the problem (GOP) not the People involved in the Vote. Stay Strong!!

      •  No - they have become cheap whores (0+ / 1-)
        Recommended by:
        Hidden by:
        cville townie

        That is EXACTLY what they have become with this vote.

        They deserve contempt and derision.

        •  It is far from clear that voting in the UAW (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sparhawk

          would have had any near-term effects on pay and benefits for plant workers. They would, however, have started to pay fairly steep UAW dues. If they were pretty well satisfied with wages, benefits and working conditions at VW, why should they vote union? Visceral, unthinking pro-union attitudes are no more attractive than visceral, unthinking anti-union attitudes.

          •  wrong again (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            happymisanthropy

            It's overwhelming clear that the disappearance of unions has gone hand in hand with the decline in real wages.
            In addition, to say that working conditions now are just dandy is a stupid reason to not vote in the union. You don't just vote in a union for present day conditions - it's a vote for the future.

            Visceral, unthinking pro-union attitudes are no more attractive than visceral, unthinking anti-union attitudes.
            Bull shit. My attitude is far from non-thinking. It's very well thought out.
            AND I'm not trying to attract, or convince. The cowards that voted against the union. They're a waste of time.
            •  Correlation is not causation. Has it ever (0+ / 0-)

              occurred to you that the weakening of unions beginning in the 1970s could have been an effect rather than a cause of America's diminishing competitive edge in manufacturing industries? That certainly seems to have been the case in the auto and steel industries, for example.

              The Chattanooga VW workers voted their interests as they perceived them and they probably perceived them correctly. The idea that the UAW HAS a future is highly debatable. And don't worry, you are neither attractive or convincing.

              •  More right wing talking points (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                happymisanthropy
                the weakening of unions beginning in the 1970s could have been an effect rather than a cause of America's diminishing competitive edge
                That's what every good mouth-breathing conservative shill has been spewing out for decades.
                Do you really think that tired right wing crap is going to fly here?
                Here's the truth: the Chattanooga VW workers that voted against the union are frightened little sheep lacking in common sense.
                Finally we have this gem:
                Correlation is not causation.
                Sez who? You? The Grand Vereloc?

                If the Koch Bros aren't paying you to post they should be.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

  • Recommended (144)
  • Community (70)
  • Baltimore (64)
  • Bernie Sanders (49)
  • Freddie Gray (38)
  • Civil Rights (37)
  • Elections (26)
  • Hillary Clinton (26)
  • Culture (24)
  • Racism (23)
  • Education (20)
  • Labor (20)
  • Media (19)
  • Law (19)
  • Economy (18)
  • Rescued (17)
  • Science (16)
  • 2016 (15)
  • Politics (15)
  • Environment (13)
  • Click here for the mobile view of the site