• Mar 24, 2011
It sounds ominous. The United Auto Workers union has imported interns from other automaking countries like China, Germany, South Korea and India to teach them the organizing techniques the union uses in the United States. The UAW's Global Organizing Institute will give interns from other car building countries an indoctrination into the practices the union uses for collective bargaining, which they will then take back to their home countries and act as homegrown advocates for the UAW's organizing efforts at non-unionized transplant facilities in the United States.

Bob King, UAW president, has a goal of bringing his union to one of the currently non-unionized transplant auto factories in the American south. With agents arguing for the UAW on the homefront and the union doing its best to get a transplant automaker on board, the union hopes it can not only help workers organize in other countries, but also help its own causes.

The UAW has asked for no interference from the leaders of those car companies and has threatened to use protests and other attention-grabbing practices should any automaker try to strongarm its workers into staying non-union. The interns will be given six weeks of training and field experience before they're sent back to their home countries packing a new arsenal of skills.

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]


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  • 53 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      Headline for next week: Bob King was shot to death by Chinese Ministry of State Security today...
        • 3 Years Ago
        We can only hope.
        • 3 Years Ago
        OK, that was just wrong. I am really going to feel bad once I am able to stop laughing.
      • 3 Years Ago
      UAW: "Here's what you do guys, bribe your politicians so they favor your union. Once they're in your pocket, you can squeeze the cash cow as hard as you like, and the tax payer can't do anything!

      It's a Win-Win"
      • 3 Years Ago
      Oh, GOODY!
      The UAW will attempt to wreck Toyota, Honda, Nissan, etc. just like they wrecked GM, Chrysler, and nearly Ford.

      Please repeat after me:

      "UNIONS ARE PARASITES THAT ULTIMATELY DESTROY THEIR HOSTS!"
      • 3 Years Ago
      UAW's Bob King is a hard-core socialist intent in destroying America.
        • 3 Years Ago
        "Destroying America!!!!" I didn't know Bob was a Wall Street insider that gamed the synthetic derivatives market and used his ill gotten gains to finance the "Tea Party".
        • 3 Years Ago
        "On this board, all the time, posters says they won't buy certain cars because they're bought by black people, "code" for this is "ghetto" or "gangster". So much for racism being in the past."

        You implying that southerners, and those who don't like unions, are just racist and dumb is far worse.

        Face it, the UAW is a sinking ship and no amount of race bating is going to change that.

        Judging by your comments, you might want to look in the mirror, and all of the other pro union posts on this board. They are the ones displaying all of this hate prejudice you speak of.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I know Stephen Colbert is "colorblind" but I'm not so sure about other southerners.

        Isn't it very obvious that much of the hatred directed toward unions is because their longtime support for racial equality.

        On this board, all the time, posters says they won't buy certain cars because they're bought by black people, "code" for this is "ghetto" or "gangster". So much for racism being in the past.

        BTW, didn't some Toyota bigshot blast building cars in the Southern USA? Wasn't it at a factory opening in Canada, when he told the Canadians that Canada was one of the best places in the world to build cars. Just throw some tools out there and build a couple test cars. The Toyota guy mocked US Southern workers as needing special videos and even coloring books as aids! Yeah, those Zaibatsu bureaucrats really respect their Southern workers, not!
      • 3 Years Ago
      "The UAW has asked for no interference from the leaders of those car companies and has threatened to use protests and other attention-grabbing practices should any automaker try to strongarm its workers into staying non-union."

      Okay, I'm not sure if this is exactly how it went down, but if it did, this is not asking... it's threatening. It is along the lines of someone saying, "Do not stop me from punching you in the stomach or I'll punch you in the face."

      Also, what exactly constitutes strong-arming? If they mean threatening workers with being fired for simply listening to what is said, that's understandable (somewhat). If they mean the company simply providing a counter-argument to the UAW nonsense, that's another.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I really supported Union Activities, until I had to deal with them.
      Don't get me wrong. I acknowledge that we need unions, but some unions and its members just abuse it.

      There was one worker, who was late for 18 days during 40 workday period; absent for 4 days without justifiable explanation. Upon termination, she filed wrongful termination arguing she was terminated due to Union activity. And NLRB had to listen to her.

        • 3 Years Ago
        And stuff like that is wrong, and people should be sent to jail for fraud I feel. But at its best, a Union is like a demcocracy in the workforce, its a good counterweight to possible abuses to management. There just needs to be a good balance. Im pro unions, but even I see some of the bad things the UAW did some time ago.
      • 3 Years Ago
      But why does he have Justin Bieber hair?
      • 3 Years Ago
      Exporting the successes of the UAW. Great.
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is great! Instead of tearing workers down at home to bring them at parity with a foreign workforce, we can try to bring workers UP overseas to parity with us, improving their quality life and bring their societies the benefits we as Americans enjoy, such as the 5 day work week, breaks, etc.

      Luckily for those other countries, their companies don't have to worry about healthcare costs because the government takes care of that. If only we could do the same, our companies would be that much more productive.
      • 3 Years Ago
      This can be a good thing, just as long as the unions dont get too heavy handed there as they did here at one point. Japan and Germany have been doing just fine with a unionized auto work force and government help.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Governments shouldn't BE "helping" unions, unless of course you're a Democrat/Leftie Puke (pick one) who wouldn't even be in office were it not for those union thugs you protect. The Left is so far up the unions' chuff they need a snorkel to breath.
        • 3 Years Ago
        "They don't get too heavy handed there" perhaps because those counties are already socialist.
        • 3 Years Ago
        You being to wonder what Autoblog and the readers know about labor unions.

        Originating in Europe, trade unions became popular in many countries during the Industrial Revolution, and they're far more common in Europe than the US. Reading this article you could think UAW is "teaching" countries like Germany about unions! Haha, that is so amusing.

        The point here is that the UAW is trying to create a united front across national boundaries, which is logical when working for global corporations. I'm not saying it's good or bad, just logical.
        • 3 Years Ago
        It's pretty funny to see people argue for things that are not in their best interest (Unless they are a factory owner).

        If you think a union is heavy handed, what do you think happens when you threaten the bottom line of any major industry (oil, coal, finance)? Middle class people are pretty easily made to shut up, and if they don't they are easily disposed of.

        It happens all the time, and both sides of aisle are complacent.

        For those who associate unions with thugs, socialism, and "leftie pukes", you are guilty of hubris (Had to look that word up? If so you likely fit the description), and have no place in an informed debate.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Oh please. If the south were a country it would be worse off than most of Mexico, it would be a third world country if it weren't for the rest of the US subsidizing it with other states tax money. The north won, get over it.

      Its funny that the things that have made this country great, media, technology, business have all been based out of either the west or east coast while our great manufacturing might was based in the the midwest. There is a reason the south is ridden with poverty, low literacy rates and republicans. They go hand in hand.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Many people move to the south when things go bad, but once they realize they have gone back in time by many years, in many many ways, they move the hell out once they can afford to do so.

        Businesses ONLY move to the south because it's cheaper, because they can get cheat land and cheap labor. But as BMW quickly figured out, you better be ready to offer color coded and picture book training to get the indigenous population up to speed.

        Which is why the south does well without unions, since the lower cost of living keeps labor costs more in balance. Very much like operating somewhere like Mexico.
        • 3 Years Ago
        What a narrow minded imbecile.
        • 3 Years Ago
        You and Coupe should refrain from commenting on here before you say any more to make yourselves look like ignorant hicks. You clearly have no idea what you are talking about. People are moving to the South in droves, while Michigan is the only state in the country to actually lose population. Detroit alone has lost 25 percent of its population since 2000, while cities such as Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Nashville, etc. continue to grow at alarming rates. Raleigh, NC has one of the higest percentages of college educated residents while enjoying one of the higest per capita incomes.

        With that in mind, your description of the southern United States reveals just how uninformed some people really are.
        • 3 Years Ago
        CoupeDeBill, you stereotype an entire region of the country as ignorant, and I need to grow up? What a moron. Go ahead and rant...it's not likely I will see your response. The likes of you sicken me.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Yeah, those IGNORANT southerners enjoying their low unemployment and low taxes, DAMN THEM!

        /sarcasm
        • 3 Years Ago
        I'm a smart ass Yankee that lives in Atlanta and have a car lot in the exurbs. Georgia has one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation. There are so may poor white people out in these small towns with no hope of ever finding a real job. Tonite, I was thinking about how lucky I was growing up in a union family in a union town.

        My dad was a very skilled UAW machinist for Kennametal and they tried and tried to move his job south but it never took, every effort failed. They finally did move his job..............to the most pro union place on the planet........... Germany!!! It saddens me to see the contempt so many Americans have for people using their hands and making things. A week on the assembly line would probably hospitalize many of the armchair CEO's on this board, they'd be whining "carpal tunnel" so quick it would be comical.
        • 3 Years Ago
        GhostofPerdition is right...people are moving west, not south. And the south is subsidized by other states. That's not an opinion, it's a fact. Traditionally Democratic states make the money, and through redistribution of wealth through the federal government, traditionally Republican states get the services.

        Again, not an opinion, but a fact.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Oscar, grow up, the South is the ass end of everything and there's a reason........ignorance.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I don't care about how smart or simple, Southerners are or aren't: I don't care if unions exist or not: I would like to know if any of you feel that the U.A.W. in particular is the problem? is the U.A.W. now just another large corporate conglomerate that really is no different from the large corporate conglomerates it is supposed to be a counter weight too? It feels most times, that a union now exists only to protect and spend all of it's time shielding those workers who should be fired. It feels as if the unions have become giant, slow to react companies themselves. Any thoughts along these lines?
        • 3 Years Ago
        In my opinion Groagun, you've hit the nail right on the head regarding unions. They have become the evil beast that they originally were formed to fight, and now just live off the backs of those who pay dues into their pockets, with little real benefit save for the lowest-common denominator employee. While I won't argue that there likely are some companies would try to take advantage of their labour force where they could, in general I do believe that this is an idea that is mostly fostered by the Unions to fear-monger their followers to buy into the rhetoric they belch out. You often see all these wild claims come out when it comes time for contract negotiations. It always seems to be that the head of unions are always very adversarial, always claiming that the corporations/government managers are the big evil demons that must be fought at every turn, and frankly they seem to be very petty. Their idea of negotiation is that you buy into all their demands or we cry foul and strike. Compound that with the image that they tend to protect any worker regardless of why they might have been disciplined/terminated and it doesn't push people to want to do a good job (in fact, you are more often to be reprimanded for working hard as you are making others look bad - true story). Part of the problem as I see it is that a general sense of entitlement has been ingrained into people over the last 30 years, and that it is somehow a trespass against your rights if you are dismissed from your job (regardless of reason and yes, there are abuses, but we're talking generally here). The other problem is that once a union is intrenched into a factory or company, it cannot be removed. It baffles my mind that a company has to allow it's workforce to vote in a union, but that the union can never be voted out. Once they are there, they are there for good. To me, the door should swing both ways: if you can be voted in, you can be voted out. Can you imagine if a political party was to declare this (and it doesn't matter which side of the political fence you stand on, this is not a good thing)? All hell would break loose once the "honeymoon" was over and they basically did what they wanted and could never be removed. In my mind, employees should be able to organized and vote out a union if the see that they are being ripped off and Joe-Slacker is treated the same as the guy who is there to do a good job. The big thing is, the UAW and other unions are basically companies in their own way. Their business is to earn money off of other people's pay-cheques, and the more people they have in their grasp, the more money they make. If they can get more money out of a company for employee pay, they can quietly up union dues, which in turn ups their profit. Basically they are a workforce corporation, but you can never remove them once you are contracted with them. And you are right, when Bob there says he wants "no interference" from the leaders of the companies: he means do not try and contradict our message or we will cry foul, pretend to be injured by people who stand against our protests and sue you for infringing on people's rights to organize. What the automakers should do is get some of their salaried staff to find where the offices of the UAW are (and even Bob's house) and protest outside of those places for interfering with how a private company works and sue them for slander and information fraud. Doubt it would work, but it would give the UAW bosses a taste of the medicine they are so eager to dish out. If you look at how a number of the transplant factories work, they use the "carrot & stick" approach. I know that the Honda plant here in Ontario pays their workers a 'bonus' for just showing up. Yes, it is a strict place to work, but there are lots of incentives and based on what I know/been told by people who work there, the only ones who (quietly) grumble about wanting a union are the ones who just want to collect a pay cheque but not really do their job, and tend to quit to find something easier. Honda/Toyota/Nissan must be doing something right if they have managed to hold off the UAW/CAW for all these years.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Funny you say that, I know the plant in Alliston very well, can't go into however. Well said by the way.
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