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
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