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View Full Version : Is union solidarity a joke?



Tom Montgomery
07-23-2012, 04:08 PM
Here is the fall-out from the UAW accepting a two-tier wage system: Ford is whipsawing union against union.

Teamsters Local 89 has been representing the car haulers at the Ford/Louisville Assembly Plant since the facility opened in the early 1950's. In February of this year a new company, Voith Industrial Services of Germany, was awarded the car-hauling contract at LAP. Immediately upon being awarded the contract Voith terminated nearly all of its Teamster employees. Voith refused to bargain with Teamsters Local 89. Voith subsequently refused to hire former Teamster employees who applied for work with Voith at Ford/LAP. Within short order UAW 862, with the cooperation of Voith, swooped in to recruit Voith new-hires. Within short order Voith recognized UAW 862 as the new bargaining unit for its hourly employees at Ford/KTP. And all these new employees consequently earn 2nd-tier UAW wages and benefits. A big savings for Voith. Former Teamster employees were out.

But that is not the end of the story. The National Labor Relations Board has filed a complaint on behalf of Teamster Local 89 against Voith, the International UAW, and UAW Local 862 for unfair labor practices. The NLRB complaint can be read here: http://www.teamsters89.com/VOITH.pdf

The hearing will be held on August 7th, 9 a.m. at Allen Courtroom, University of Louisville, School of Law, and on consecutive days thereafter until concluded, before an administrative law judge of the National Labor Relations Board.

I'm on the side of the Teamsters.

To quote Bob King, International UAW President: "The only thing that ever built a middle class is unions and collective bargaining. So we have to stand together and fight together . . . The Teamsters and the UAW, together we built the middle class by having big dreams."

Ahhh…. but talk is cheap.

seanz
07-23-2012, 04:12 PM
All too often........

Tom Montgomery
07-23-2012, 04:13 PM
Here is Teamsters Local 89 website: http://www.teamsters89.com/?zone=/unionactive/view_article.cfm&HomeID=235561

See what they have to say.

Mad Scientist
07-24-2012, 04:28 PM
Unions have been 'raiding' each other in Canada for at least 20 years. This leads to some unexpected connections, such as workers in a fish-processing plant being represented by the Canadian Auto Workers union.

Tom

Waddie
07-24-2012, 04:35 PM
The Boilermakers Union in Kansas City recently ousted all the union office Health and Welfare workers who operated the union's medical and pension plan (for over 40 years). The Boilermakers Union released over 100 union employees and contracted out their jobs with a non union company. So much for union solidarity.

regards,
Waddie

Peerie Maa
07-24-2012, 04:37 PM
We had a bit of bother with Sweetheart deals (http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2002/sep/09/uk.tradeunions1) some time ago.

Tom Montgomery
12-27-2012, 05:17 PM
An update.

On December 21, 2012 the NLRB ruled for Teamsters 89 and against Voith Industrial Services and UAW 826.

Voith has been ordered to rehire any former Teamster car-hauling employees who wish to return to work, those employees must be reimbursed for lost wages and benefits, and Voith must recognize Teamsters 89 as the legitimate bargaining agent for the Ford LAP car-haulers.

UAW 826 has been ordered to butt out.

Justice has been served, in my opinion. And I am a member in good standing of UAW 826.

LongIslandBoy
12-27-2012, 05:41 PM
Tom, what are the chances of Voith, and/or UAW 826 appealing the NLRB ruling?
BTW, I'm a proud member of three locals in the Stagehands Union.
Also, what were your personal thoghts on these events while they were happening?
Regards, Wes

skuthorp
12-27-2012, 06:40 PM
Same thing happened here, due to a political faction deal, the printing union, an industry almost completely computerised., ended up under the umbrella of a manufacturing and light engineering union with a rep. structure that were mostly computer illiterate and knew nothing about the industry they were supposed to represent. They didn't even understand that the constantly renewing technology had changed the power structures within the industry and removed much of managements authority in favour of cooperative teams.

Willin'
12-27-2012, 06:46 PM
Anyone who signs on with a union that has negotiated a two tier scale is an idiot.

Of course anyone who joins a union in the first place...deserves what they paid for.

Domesticated_Mr. Know It All
12-27-2012, 09:00 PM
Don't mess with the Teamsters, they'll break your kneecaps.



http://libcom.org/files/images/blog/battle_of_teamsters_strike_1934.jpg

Steve McMahon
12-27-2012, 09:23 PM
Unions have been 'raiding' each other in Canada for at least 20 years. This leads to some unexpected connections, such as workers in a fish-processing plant being represented by the Canadian Auto Workers union.

Tom

Yes, and the CAW got them "fairer" wages and benifits, and the majority of the fishprocessing is now done in China. Sorry if I seem a bit bitter - I have watched a lot of plants of various kinds close in rural area's because labour was priced out of reality by their unions, especially by the CAW.

Dumah
12-28-2012, 12:50 AM
CAW swallowed up the Marine Workers Federation, guess things have gone down hill since the Irving take over. Any Irving company is well known for their anti union attitude. In talking to several former workmates, the atmosphere in the Shipyard has become a vile place to work as the infighting accelerates. Glad I'm out of there.

Cheers, Dumah,
Halifax, NS

David W Pratt
12-28-2012, 10:33 AM
I've wondered how the rest of the unionized workers at Hostess felt about the ~1/3 who struck and pushed the company into bankruptcy.

John Smith
12-28-2012, 12:25 PM
Yes, and the CAW got them "fairer" wages and benifits, and the majority of the fishprocessing is now done in China. Sorry if I seem a bit bitter - I have watched a lot of plants of various kinds close in rural area's because labour was priced out of reality by their unions, especially by the CAW.

I think much of this is myth. A very real, and high, cost of labor in the USA is health insurance. This is a cost not born by employers anywhere else. If we had the same healthcare system other countries have, and we didn't have our huge defense budget requiring higher tax rates, business here would be quite competitive.

Union mines have much better safety records than non union mines. Sans unions, we'd have no holidays or overtime pay.

Of course if you'd rather work where you can't get paid a decent wage......

John Smith
12-28-2012, 12:27 PM
I've wondered how the rest of the unionized workers at Hostess felt about the ~1/3 who struck and pushed the company into bankruptcy.

Can you provide reliable supporting documentation that it was the unions, rather than a venture capital corp., that drove Hostess out of business?

wardd
12-28-2012, 12:45 PM
Yes, and the CAW got them "fairer" wages and benifits, and the majority of the fishprocessing is now done in China. Sorry if I seem a bit bitter - I have watched a lot of plants of various kinds close in rural area's because labour was priced out of reality by their unions, especially by the CAW.


it's often not that local labor is too expensive but that forign labor is so cheap

you want to earn chinese wages?

Dan McCosh
12-28-2012, 02:02 PM
Yes, and the CAW got them "fairer" wages and benifits, and the majority of the fishprocessing is now done in China. Sorry if I seem a bit bitter - I have watched a lot of plants of various kinds close in rural area's because labour was priced out of reality by their unions, especially by the CAW. Fish processing in China also is shutting down the plant in Kilarney, Ont., with no union involved. It's tough to compete with wages at 60 cents an hour, although the cost of jet fuel helps.

Dan McCosh
12-28-2012, 02:04 PM
FWIW, Ford's two-tier wage deal was signed with the UAW in 1996.

Steve McMahon
12-28-2012, 04:03 PM
I think much of this is myth. A very real, and high, cost of labor in the USA is health insurance. This is a cost not born by employers anywhere else. If we had the same healthcare system other countries have, and we didn't have our huge defense budget requiring higher tax rates, business here would be quite competitive.

Union mines have much better safety records than non union mines. Sans unions, we'd have no holidays or overtime pay.

Of course if you'd rather work where you can't get paid a decent wage......

CAW = Canadian Auto Workers Union. I am talking only of what I know to be fact in Atlantic Canada where I have worked with these companies for the past 25 years. I'm sure it is not the same everywhere.