• Jan 4, 2011

Automotive News
is reporting that the United Auto Workers has set its sights on securing a position on the executive board of each domestic automaker. The move would mirror similar relationships between labor unions and German automakers in Europe, and UAW President Bob King says that his organization has broached the subject with the Big Three in the past. Moving forward, having a slot on each of the automakers ruling boards is something that the UAW will continue to push. King says that such a relationship would allow the UAW to preserve current jobs while advocating for the creation of new employment opportunities.

That's all well and good, but as MT points out, there could be issues with plopping UAW representatives on the boards of America's automakers. The biggest of those is that whoever the union chose to represent the organization would be facing large conflicts of interest when it came time to vote on labor decisions, though other issues would likely arise as well.

[Sources: Automotive News - sub. req. | Image: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 39 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      "The biggest of those is that whoever the union chose to represent the organization would be facing large conflicts of interest when it came time to vote on labor decisions."

      Isn't that the idea? Why else would a representative of the workers be on the Board but to make sure decisions that are made are fair to the workers, promote employment and long-term growth.
        • 4 Years Ago
        ahh yes... so they can make sure the guy sweeping the floor gets 4-15 minute smoke breaks per hour and is paid 90.00 an hour to do so...

        • 4 Years Ago
        But the problem arises in that the UAW does not care about the product of the companies, they just care about the workers getting large pay and benefits for nothing. I challenge anyone to name a case where having UAW workers resulted in a better product than could be achieved without the union.

        I have heard time and time again that if the employees are treated correctly, they do not feel any need to unionize and they produce high quality goods. If anything, union job protection encourages laziness and an "I-don't-care" attitude towards their jobs. This is a horrible idea on behalf of the UAW and will begin the cycle of decay among the big 3 all over again.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I say let them do it. Maybe having a UAW member on the board of directors will make them think twice before striking.

      Now that so much of the UAW pension wealth is tied up in auto company stock I'm curious to see if they will actually strike themselves to death in the name of short term wage increases.
        • 4 Years Ago
        lol
        UAW
        and
        thinking.
        lol
      • 4 Years Ago
      I guess Chrysler and GM do not have a choice as the unions are big shareholders (with our money but alas). Now Ford's shareholders should not allow this to happen. It is not a good idea.
        • 4 Years Ago
        For the best interest of Ford, Ford needs to fight hard against this idiotic plan to let those thieves in on the board.

        Ford should also fight to eliminate any further expansion of the UAW among their workforce.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Time for the UAW to be disbanded?
      • 4 Years Ago
      what a joke....labor force wanting a seat in the board of directors lol....how could UAW be accounted to the stakeholders and making decisions on approving budgets; let a lone securing financial resources to make the company profitable when the only thing they are seeking is to retain workers at whatever cost...conflict of interest is an understatement..Unions are seeking more and more power each day...If the UAW could do the job so well why the hell don't they just buy up a stake in ownership of the companies GM/Ford/Chrysler they work for with their hedge fund money...

      They want a seat buy it....they got the money..lets see how far they go when it's their own money that becomes the bottom line in making executive decisions....
      • 4 Years Ago
      I can't think of a better way to send them back into bankruptcy than this one. This is a real knee slapper of an idea!

      I'd like to hear Mulally tell this fool to kiss his ass.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "though other issues would likely arise as well"

      There's understatements, and then there's understatements......
      • 4 Years Ago
      Bob, you and your thugs are no longer relevant.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I am actually a pro-union guy for the most part, but I see this as a bad thing. When the union becomes management, it no longer is about the workers.
        • 4 Years Ago
        the UAW doesnt save jobs, they are THE reason we export everything out of the country. Their high cost makes mexico look good. If the UAW cut its crap, then we would have more jobs here. The second they infect the foreign automakers, it will have the same effect.
        • 4 Years Ago
        unions are stupid and pointless. that wasnt the case 50 years ago but now workers have plenty of rights without the need of a union to create more overhead a company needs to cover to be profitable. If these unions left these workers would probably get paid more and the company would be more profitable because they wouldn't need to pay for all these union fat cats...AND with the money they saved they could reduce the price of the cars or make better ones.

        /ihateunions
        • 4 Years Ago
        11's, its no longer about the workers already. Make no mistake, union management is just as corrupt and greedy as the auto company management. While their "brothers" were getting laid off left and right, they were enriching themselves just like the auto execs. I'm for the UAW worker, but I'm not for the UAW leadership.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Exactly where is the person outside of the Union leadership that thinks the European Union model is sucessfull... Just ask Fiat how well this is working out for them.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I wouldn't word it this way, but I do have to say that King seems to be yet another manifestation of the wrong mentality.

        There's nothing wrong with union reps on the board, but the attitude needs to be "what can we do to make a better product", rather than the current idea of protecting jobs no matter what. These guys need to realize that focusing on the goal of the company rather than focusing on what they can grab in short term is about the only way they will survive.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @MyThreeRocks who are you calling a peasant?
        This guy probably lives just as well as the "bad wall-street" guys... and has less accountability.
        I like how all these union guys act like there would be no jobs if it wasn’t for the unions...
        • 4 Years Ago
        Is this a case of the fox running the hen house?
        • 4 Years Ago
        The "all for one, one for all" mentallity doesn't work anymore since the folks at the top of the UAW are so well paid and so disconnected.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I think a partnership between union and employer could be good.
      The UAW desparately needs to find a balance, they have given unions a bad name.
      Any blue collar middle class worker or family can thank a union for their standard living.

      I agree the UAW is union gone bad.
      Maybe they could turn peoples perception around if they would give up the greed.
      A stake in the company might give a mutual interest.
      There are many have and have nots right now. You can rest assured that if the unions were to go away tomorrow things will be worse.
      If the bum standing on the street corner has a 20 dollar bill in his pocket everybodys doing good.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The idea of a UAW representative on the board is absurd. It would open the three automakers up to huge liability suits from shareholders to place people on the board who inherently cannot live up to the Duty of Loyalty expected of a director or officer of a company.

      Then again, I have no faith in Bob King's understanding of how business works or what sort of duties a director or officer has to his/her company, if for no other reason than he's the head of an organization that spits in the face of common sense daily.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I thought that the UAW already had a seat since it owns a portion of GM? Now for the other companies I'd advise against it. If the UAW had shown in the past they are more about the growth of these companies instead of purely out for themselves then ok let 'em in but sadly its not so. That and since the UAW is ONE giant union, would not having members of it on each of the 3 companies be unto itself a conflict of interest?
      • 4 Years Ago
      NO WAY NO HOW!!!!
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