• Jun 14th 2010 at 6:19PM
  • 11
The United Auto Workers are gathering in Detroit this week through Thursday to elect new leadership, and delegates from around the country are filing into Cobo Hall – home of the Detroit Auto Show – to have their votes counted. And even though union membership has been cut in half over the past decade and automakers have won many concessions, many UAW Representatives feel that leadership did the best they could under difficult circumstances.
That sentiment hasn't been shared by all, though, as The Detroit News is reporting that about 50 active and retired UAW workers are picketing across the street from the Motown convention center. Many protesters picketed to show support for government-run single payer health care, while some were reportedly also critical of UAW leadership. The protesting even lead to one detention, as UAW retiree Al Benchich was put in handcuffs for handing out pamphlets at the main entrance of Cobo. Benchich was let go with a warning.

The delegates will elect new national, regional and local UAW leaders during the convention, including a successor to long-time President Ron Gettelfinger.

[Source: The Detroit News]

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      The best place for the UAW is the history books.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I hope the UAW delegation takes time to stroll through the boom town of Detroit while they're there, they are entirely responsible for it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You would be surprised Wiggy but I happen to live in the Metro Detroit area. Things aren't that bad but things have definitely changed (and not for the better). And I actually like Detroit. I frequent the downtown area (bars, concerts, the occasion casino trip and maybe a Tigers game once in a while).

        I like Michigan for what it is but sadly this state is run by a person who can't pull their head out of their rear and Detroit has had to deal with years of neglect. I truly hope Bing can pull off what he promises. He seems to be the first legit mayor in a long time. But time will definitely tell. If Detroit can save itself, the suburbs can hopefully go back to the way things were (heck, even five years ago things were peachy in the suburbs).
        • 5 Years Ago
        Ha! Ok. Bad choice of words. Maybe the toilet of Michigan? Or the US? Either way, it's a craphole.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah cuz a greedy government and many other factors weren't an issue over the years.

        Detroit was the toilet of the world long before the Big 3 started having their current issues.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well, I've got their back on single-payer (least of all since the lack thereof kills our auto industry's competitiveness), but doesn't exactly seem like the right venue to be protesting in favor of THAT...
        • 5 Years Ago
        Sea Urchin,
        Health care is an investment in people, industrialized nations have government run health care. Canada to the north has it and spends less per patient then the US system, never mind what the news media says or big business. Detroit itself has told the US government several years ago that a national health care system would help them reduce the price of the cars by several thousand. Medicaid is not cheap and over half of the claims are fraudulent according to the government.
        • 5 Years Ago
        So you are saying that if government will start paying for health care, automakers won't have to and it will make them more competitive?

        Dude, money does not grow on trees, if government is to pay for HC they will have to get money from somewhere, they will tax people, which will leave a smaller disposable income and people will settle for a cheaper car. If automakers pay for HC they will have pass on the costs to the buyer, who will be forced to buy a cheaper car. Look at Germany, HC is free but other taxes are higher, either way consumer pays.

        The question is, who can control costs better, government or private industries. Let's see, politicians are elected by unions who will very soon force all these HC employees to unionize, soon they all will retire at 55, soon they all will get pensions. That time of thing would not take place if a private industry runs the show.

        I'll give you one simple example, Obama issued a Presidential order to give all governmental contracts that are above 25 Mil to give preference to companies that are unionized. Think about it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "Canada to the north has it and spends less per patient then the US system..."

        Which is why they all come down here to Florida to get American health care while they are on vacation (and they pay for it with their own money). Why? Two reasons. One they don't have to wait for it like they do in the Great White North and two not everything is covered in the Canadian system, and I'm not talking cosmetic surgery either. It's called RATIONING and that is why health care is cheaper in Canada, they ration it. It would be like me trying to sell you a car and saying mine is $5000 cheaper than the other guy's. Then you find out it doesn't have AC, power windows and locks, it doesn't have as much hp as the more expensive car, less mpg's, and doesn't go zero to 60 as quick (as a matter of fact it is downright slow). Is it still worth the $5000 you'll save? Maybe, maybe not, but at least you will have the choice. In a single payer HC system THERE IS NO CHOICE.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "Dude," after you tax the people, the economies of scale and the lack of a profit motive will make the amount they pay in taxes less than the amount they pay for health insurance now. (For evidence, look at EVERY OTHER INDUSTRIALIZED NATION ON EARTH, as well as Medicare overhead.)

        It's actually win-win-win all around.
    Share This Photo X