• Mar 29, 2007
The Detroit News is reporting that the United Auto Workers union is hosting a town hall meeting for workers at Toyota's manufacturing plant in Kentucky this Saturday. Not an organization known to mince words, the UAW has labeled the meeting's topic as "The Human cost of Toyota's Success". A press release issued about the meeting states that workers will talk about on-the-job injuries, the use of temps, and concerns about conditions at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky. In attendance will be UAW Vice President Terry Thurman.

As far as we know, the UAW has not managed to establish a credible presence at any automotive assembly plant in the U.S. owned by a foreign automaker. The union would certainly have us believe that the town hall meeting will be attended by a number of disgruntled Toyota employees ready to take action against their employer in a more organized way. Indeed, Thurman states "Our union is firmly and fully committed to helping these workers gain justice."

Problem is, we've never heard of these gross injustices being perpetrated against workers employed by foreign automakers. Perhaps that's because these workers have never had an organized voice before, but it could also be because their jobs are no worse or better than those under the umbrella of the UAW at domestic automakers. Truly, we really don't know which is the case and are very interested in what the workers at Toyota's assembly plant in Kentucky have to say.

[Source: The Detroit News]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 40 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Wow Justin... just wow.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Unlike the big 2.5 Toyota is free to fire people as it see’s fit so if you want to join the UAW you can also find a pink slip in your locker. Next.
      • 7 Years Ago
      #9 (Lithous): "touched by the UAW... jobs moved outside the country by the U.S. domestics... you forget that the Japanese deal with unions at home..."

      You had already acknowledged that the US domestics have outsourced jobs due to the UAW. Now you want the transplant companies (Toyota et al) to do the same? The fact that Toyota deals with Japanese unions, does not alter another fact: the UAW leads to a loss of American jobs. Which is exactly what would happen if or when the UAW finds new victims in the transplant companies. Don't kid yourself that UAW at Toyota would level the playing field for the Big 2.5. The only beneficiary would be low-cost Chinese automakers, who have been more than happy to build cars for American, Japanese, and European automakers.

      #14 (John Bryans Fontaine): "Anti-Union Freedom-loathers..."

      Really? Then perhaps you can explain why the freedom-loving UAW banned certain bumper stickers [1]. How very American of them to uphold our freedom of expression.

      [1] "The UAW no longer will allow Marine reservists... to park... if they... display pro-Bush bumper stickers."
      http://www.detnews.com/2005/autosinsider/0503/13/C01-115531.htm

      #20 (Don): "they've still been protecting American auto workers for a long, long time."

      No, they have not. This is the type of union propaganda the UAW would like you to believe. The UAW is an organization that pretends to ensure the job security of an unskilled pool of labor, through the historical use of costly strikes [2] to hold factories hostage. However, the exorbitant level and wages and benefits [3] of the average UAW worker only ensures the loss of competitiveness [4] of the domestic auto industry. This loss of competitiveness leads to a loss of market share, a loss of production, and eventually, a loss of jobs. The UAW does not ensure job security, it ensures job loss. The UAW is the disease, not the cure.

      [2] "the monthlong strike... will reduce... earnings by $450 million..."
      http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A07E4DD1638F937A25756C0A961958260

      [3]"On average, U.A.W. members at G.M and Delphi cost the equivalent of $67 an hour..."
      http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/23/business/23auto.html?ex=1300770000&en=57ea081b0a798618&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

      [4] "the gap between Japanese and American carmakers' profits average out to about $2900 per vehicle..."
      http://money.cnn.com/2007/01/26/news/companies/pluggedin_taylor_ford.fortune/index.htm?postversion=2007012611
      • 7 Years Ago
      ^^What Steve said
      • 7 Years Ago
      #8 You have hit the nail on its head.
      Bam!!! Fu....g Bam!!
      Toyota workers would be fools to allow unionization of their plant(s). Unions have virtually outlived their reasons for being.Greed is now thereason....gives the union bosses a reason for being in the positions of power.
      Look at the additional costs added to a Big 3 automobile just to pay the exorbitant medical plans they continue to pay for. Take care of workers and retirees but not to the extent the unions have been able to negotiate.
      Unionize Toyota and we will get the same downgraded products now produced by GM DC and F. They could be so much better.
      • 7 Years Ago
      #1 has it right. The unions once served a valuable purpose when the workers had no rights and any issues were easily concealed by the employer. If they stuck to that function they would still be useful component of the auto industry. Instead they have evolved into the parasite we have today and the only people they seem to be interested in protecting are the union leaders.

      The chances of the unions going back to their roots are nonexistant and their continued existance in their current form is nothing but a massive drain on the industry. Hopefully this Toyota effort will be another note in their swan song.

      As for those singing the imports must die tune, perhaps it would be useful to stop and think of what will happen if the unions don't learn to work with the remaining American manufacturers. If the big 2.5 continue to slide they will eventually disappear or morph into an off-shore owned variant. Adn you can bet there will be zero union presence in those shops. Keep sucking them dry boys, but you had better drink fast.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Neil, what you saying is the employment should be forced upon the employers. Why? A worker should be free to choose his employer, and an employer should hire the best person for the job. There is a contract between two: one works and another one pays for the job done. If any of them is dissatisfied with another partly, he should be able to rescind the contract freely.

      Let's see who benefits from having unions:

      Good workers? No. A large portion of their salary goes to those who doesn't do a good job but cannot be fired because of the union. Then, a large portion of their salary goes to the additional overhead that union regulations generate. Then, a large portion of their salary goes to cover all the additional expenses that union imposed on the manufacturer. Remove those parasites and salary will be better for those who work well.

      Automakers? No, they suffer from huge cost overhead, unable to re-invest the money to prosper the company. They suffer from productivity and quality issues unable to impose their proper work standards, obliged playing by impeding union rules.

      Useless people? Yes. They will be on the street otherwise, replaced with a decent worker, by thanks to the union they still inflicting damages on automaker.
      Neil
      • 7 Years Ago
      Something no one on this board seems to realize but I'll bet the associates at this Toyota plant do realize is that without a Union and a Union contract you are expendable as an associate. Thats right, nothing written in your handbook should be seen as contractual in nature and anything and everything in your handbook can be changed, eliminated, reduced, or altered in any way the company sees fit at any time the company so chooses.(Ask them) So you could work for the company for 10, 20, maybe even 25 years and if they decide to let you go, you have no recourse. This is the beauty of "RIGHT TO WORK STATES" Go ahead and look it up if you want, it's true trust me.-- Any one hear about Circuit City cutting 3000 senior employees this week so they can hire new employees at reduced wages and benefits??--- The corporations would have you believe that they can't survive with a Union, but remember this, No one in the company with any management title other than Team Leader will be able to join the Union (or vote on a contract). What is so wrong with the associates on the floor having a voice in what happens on the shop floor?? Anyone who has not worked in a auto factory simply will not understand . Ask your bosses this one question---- If we as associates pay the dues and no one in management has to pay anything, Then why is management so dead-set against the Union?? They just don't want you to have any rights as an Associate, no say so in matters that directly concern you and your family. Fear is their tool and they use it well. I remember the Japaneese plant I worked in and how they told us ( after we started collecting green cards) that none of the machines were bolted to the floor and the "whole plant" could be moved out in about 2 weeks. It simply scared the hell out of everyone.Then they came and gave everyone like a dollar an hour just to keep support down. They also had lawyers produce annonymous flyers from "A CONCERNED ASSOCIATE" stating how utterly terrible it would be to be Unionized. It really is a control fight and the company wants all the control and feels if you have a voice then they are doomed. you know better, don't believe the hype. Good luck and God bless Solidarity for all . Brother Neil.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Mr. Lithous, If you think dealing with unions in the US is anything like dealing with union elsewhere in the world then you are silly.
      Thanks to the UAW domestic car makers are no longer in the car business they are in the healthcare/retirement income business. Unions are the reason we are no longer competitive in a world market with regard to price or quality of product.

      Please note: No sarcasm was used in my statement. Just telling you like it is. Open your eyes.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Yeah #3, good idea. The people employed would at those places would love to have their jobs shipped to China or Mexico.

      I know that when a job posting opens up at places like BMW an Honda, there are a 1000 applications for every opening. I'm sure for every jackass that wants to work for a union, there are 999 people ready to take their job. It sounds like a couple of dimwits at the Toyota plant need a little reminder.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "Problem is, we've never heard of these gross injustices being perpetrated against workers employed by foreign automakers."

      perhaps you've forgotten the tales of sexual harassment and discrimination at the mitsubishi plants in somewhere south of the mason-dixon?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Having worked in both union and non-union plants, I can assure you that latter is much better. A union can only hinder the advancement of the Toyota plant, in no way can I see it helping.
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