• Jun 16th 2010 at 8:34AM
  • 17
The UAW ain't what it used to be. The organized labor outfit has seen membership fall off over the past ten years, and as a result, it's cutting staff at both its domestic and international headquarters. Last year's membership figures were pegged at a little more than 355,000 workers – down from over 700,000 in 2000, and a fraction of the 1.5 million members the UAW boasted in the mid '70s. To cope with the resultant dip in cash flow, the union has nixed around 130 positions overseas and slimmed its workforce in the U.S. to 325, according to The Detroit Free Press. The Union also closed a handful of small regional offices to help conserve cash.
The majority of the workers were sent on their way via early retirement incentives, according to Ron Gettelfinger, UAW president. Gettelfinger is the union's outgoing leader, and was instrumental in paving the way for some of the concessions that have allowed for unionized plants to be more competitive with their non-unionized counterparts. Still, The Detroit Free Press notes that a mere seven percent of all American workers are unionized, and that some UAW delegates are pushing for the repeal of those concessions.

[Source: The Detroit Free Press]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      "NOW when will the Goverment STOP spending our money ????"

      It never was your money. It was the goverNment's money. Pay your damned taxes so I don't have to bus your kids to school in my car.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Things ARE looking up!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Must be nice for the UAW to have the flexibility to eliminate positions without repercussions when things get tight. Those "downsized" workers should have joined some kind of service workers union to protect them from the big bad UAW.

      Irony indeed.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I actually witnessed this. Years ago I worked for a union in their data processing department. It was the Upholsterers International Union, which has since been absorbed by the United Steelworkers (funny thing I was a salaried employee with no collective bargaining). The office clerks belonged to a union of their own and when contract negotiations got to an impasse they went on strike. Didn't last long, the union caved in to the other unions demands. :)
      • 5 Years Ago
      I have no education, no skills, and an undeserved sense of entitlement. Now give me a good paying job where I do what a monkey can do!
      • 5 Years Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      I wish I could shed a tear but alas all I can do is grin and shake my head in joy.
      • 5 Years Ago
      When I was forced from the office to work shop duties during the Cat strike of '95; I remember the sign at Joliet Cat plant ... which is International Association of Machinists Union.
      It said: "U Ain't Workin' - IAM". LOL!
      Unions are necessary to protect them from greedy mgmnt as WE ALL ARE GREEDY. But unions are slow to recognize that, ahem, we live in a global economy now. Are they waking up?
        • 5 Years Ago
        You know what is the best protection against management greedy? ready for it? it's called "discernible skills". I know, amazing. If you have skills and you don't like your job.. you can quit and go find a better one.. imagine that.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I wonder what the lay off and retirement benefits are given to the workers that work for the union. Were they as good a UAW members? Are they given what they deserve or what the union can afford?

      Right now many retired government (most private pensions are gone) employees are being paid pensions at a level that many folk would be glad to earn. New York has several thousand retirees receiving $100,000+ per year with one 44 year old ex-police officer getting paid $244,000/year for the rest of his life. Most of these pensions are woefully underfunded but what can you expect when you must depend on politicians to give you "their" money? Many cities and states have been borrowing to pay pension benefits but those days are over. Ultimately we must make the same decision as the UAW union management: what can we afford? We are long past the point of deciding what people deserve.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The "ranks" can't thin enough.
      • 5 Years Ago
      We are only as good as our leaders ! Our leaders were only trying to make a name for themselves . where as our job was to keep production working non-stop no matter what . If you never worked in an auto plant , you have no idea . I have to go and walk the picket line .........Bye
      • 5 Years Ago
      You mean the Mafia's downsizing? Well in reality it became a victim of it's own success. It caused the problems at hand through unrealistic demands. I wish I had a autoworker's compensation package. But instead I have to work for a living. $1500.00 of every car sold goes to pay for their medical benefits. Another $1500.00 for future litigation expenses. That's alot added on the price of every car sold...........plus the sales tax on top of that $3000.00 that YOU/I pay. GOOD RIDDANCE.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Union members have to feed the management monster. It is rather telling that a union is set up like a business (or government) where some people get paid for doing no actual work (at the employees' businesses), and they gripe about having to pare that structure down to match economic realities.

      If these people want to get their massive perks and overpayments back, every business struck should bring in replacement workers and break the union(s). What they have now is comparable to non-union workers, and it should stay that way.
        • 5 Years Ago

        Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. What you describe is the way a lot of things work, when dealing with captive audiences or captive markets.

        The government works the same way with taxpayers. Force of law to collect other people's money, and spend it so fast, drunken sailors are saying... "hey, wait a minute..."

        That is why AFL-CIO, SEIU, and others are so corrosive... unionized government workers... Other people's money as their operating budget, AND other people's money as compensation... dip at the trough of other people's earnings as much as they can, and throw temper tantrums, and pass new legislation to get ahold of even more.

        Sooner or later Atlas will shrug, and just put the world down, and walk away. Why bother holding it up or together?
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