The United Automobile Workers’ failure to form a union at a Chattanooga, Tenn., Volkswagen plant after two years of organizing efforts was a result welcomed by Senator Bob Corker. Corker, who vocally opposed unionization throughout the process, has been the target of criticism by pro-union activists for weighing in on the situation. On Wednesday, he continued his outspokenness on the matter.
“I’m not anti-union — I’m anti-UAW because of all the destruction they’ve done to jobs in our country and what they’re about,” Corker, who previously served as mayor of Chattanooga, told Fox News. “This was all about money.”
Last week, workers at the Volkswagen plant rejected joining the union. Had it been successful, it would have been the first foreign-owned plant to have been organized by the UAW.
As the son of a General Motors worker and UAW Member; I happen to think that the citizens of the great State of Tennessee need to become Anti-Corker. Because anyone that thinks that the UAW was the sole cause of Detroit’s decline, or is solely responsible for the decline in American manufacturing, is obviously too stupid to drive a car, much less be a Senator in Congress.
“We are disappointed that the non-profit health plans offered by unions have not been given the same consideration as the Catholic Church, big business and Capitol Hill staffers,” Unite Here President D. Taylor told The Hill. …
“The Democrats have completely given the store away to the for-profit industry,” Taylor said. “Without any question, we have a scenario set up that ObamaCare has turned all the money over to the for-profit plans and the non-profit plans will fade away.”
“With open enrollment set to begin on October 1, time is of the essence, so we are working hard every day to find a solution to protect our members’ healthcare,” said Tim Schlittner, a spokesman for the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW). …
“The administration has found resolutions for a whole variety of issues and the fact that their biggest supporters will be put at the mercy of the for-profit insurance industry will leave a very bad, bad taste,” Taylor said. “You can’t blame the Republicans on this one. This is a Democratic bill through and through.”
You see now why I was so against Obamacare? Makes sense doesn’t it?
Ouch indeed. But, that’s what they get for supporting and endorsing a President based solely upon skin color. This ought to also be an eye-opener for the organized labor movement as well; that the Democratic Party is really no longer their friend and that the Democratic Party is not looking out for their best interests anymore. It has been this way since the Clinton era and it is still that way. The old American worker first Democratic Party has given away to the internationalist Democrats who see the United States the lens of the world and could honestly care less about the American worker.
Case in point: You don’t see President Obama at these fast food strike rallies do you? No. and you won’t either. President Obama could honestly care less about those people. They were there for him to vote for him and now that Obama is in his second term. He could honestly care less about them at all. I mean, in all honesty the strikes are quite dumb and the unions are only targeting the corporate stores in the mostly minority neighborhoods.
None of the McDonald’s stores in my neighborhood here in Lincoln Park have been targeted at all. Want to know why? Because they are franchise stores and if McDonald’s corporate decided to start paying corporate store employees $15.00 an hour; the franchise stores would NOT have to follow suit. Why? Because they are iindependently owned. McDonald’s corporate does not set wages, the Independent owners do. Unless it is a corporate owned store and there are not too many of them in this area.
So, unless the Government raises the minimum wage in this country, which I happen to feel should be abolished; these protestors, who are being supported by the labor unions —– are pissing in the wind.
The rights of all people was another battle that found Walter Reuther on the frontlines. In 1959 he met Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the two became fast friends. While some labor organizations were slow to come on board with the Civil Rights movement, President Walter Reuther committed the UAW’s help up front. Reuther joined Dr. King on many of his marches and gave an address to the crowd to open the historic “march to Selma.” Again he joined Dr. King to protest in Birmingham as the crowd was met with fire hoses and police dogs. It was in fact Reuther who bailed King out of jail following the demonstration.
In 1963 Dr. King felt the time was right to take their message to the national stage and became planning a march on Washington. However, being the methodical thinker that he was, King decided to hold a march in Detroit to test the waters before going to Washington. The “Walk to Freedom March” was organized from an office at the UAW’s headquarters Solidarity House, with space donated by Walter Reuther. Dr. King also planned the March of Washington from the same office.
During the March on Washington, Walter Reuther was the only Caucasian to speak from the podium that day. Afterwards, one of Reuther’s aides overheard two ladies backstage discussing who he was. One asked the other is she knew him, to which the reply came “that is Walter Reuther, and he is as good a man as Dr. King.” It is said that Reuther always considered that statement a great complement.
President Reuther knew that education was the key to social improvement and late in his life he dedicated much of his time to that cause. His final achievement was building the Walter and May Reuther Family Education Center (better known as Black Lake) in northern Michigan. The visionincluded classrooms and facilities so UAW members could assemble and be educated on the issues of the day. Reuther took an extreme interest in the project, even personally decided which trees would be saved in the construction. The center rivals anything of its kind in terms of design and purpose. On May 09, 1970 Walter and May Reuther, Architect Oscar Stonorov and their pilot were on their way to view the completed facility just prior to the official opening. Their plane went down in a rainstorm near Pellston, Michigan.
Walter Reuther is quoted as saying “There is no greater calling than to serve your fellow man. There is no greater contribution than to help the weak. There is no greater satisfaction than to have done it well.” If this is the case, then Walter Reuther must have surely died a satisfied man. His contributions to working class people the world over should never be forgotten. Reuther knew that social justice is at the heart of everything that organized labor stands for and his legacy is an inspiration to all those who continue his work today.
So much for that little talking point, eh Glenn?
This is my problem with the NeoCon right; they just cannot tell the truth about anything related to blacks, unions and foreign policy. Which is why I simply will not vote for them, at all.
I do not support the politics of the likes of Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson; but I also do not support the lying idiocy of the likes of Glenn Reynolds.
This is an exclusive scoop right here on Thinking Americanist. You will not read this anywhere else, and I am giving this scoop, because I believe people have a right to know.
I was at the union hall today with my Father, today was the retirees meeting and I received some information from someone who is very much in the know of what is going on internally with the UAW and it’s goings on.
Basically, what my source told me is this: The UAW is gearing up for a major protracted battle with the big three when it comes to contracts and benefits for the active and retirees with GM and the other two major automakers. Basically, it boils down to this here; as we all know the big three went through some financial hardships a few years ago. Well, now the hardships are over and the big three are now selling vehicles again and doing rather well for themselves.
What is happening is this here; every time the UAW approaches the big three and asks them about restoring the previous benefits, they are giving the attitude of, “You guys ought to be glad we are still in business and did not just file for bankruptcy and cut you all out of the loop.” Well, needless to say, that is not going to work for the UAW and its members.
So, as you can very well imagine the UAW is gearing up for a majorly huge battle for better contracts and the restoring of the former benefits and they are also going to push for all these new workers to get wages on par with the workers who have been there for years. The stuff I heard was that the UAW is prepared to walk out and strike to get what they want and they are not afraid to make it a long-term thing either.
I will refrain from my normal commentary on stuff like this; because quite simply; I just want to give you all the facts of what I heard.
However, I do have an open message to the UAW: I hope you all know that what it is that you are doing; and please, whatever you do, do not do what the union that represented Hostess employees did. That was nothing more than unmitigated foolishness. My Father worked for General Motors for 31 years, and for him to lose his pension over something, like a union’s obstante stupidity is inexcusable. Please, choose wisely.
Cesar Chavez with Walter Reuther, back when The UAW, AFL-CIO, and UFW, each respectfully were actually worth a damn.
Honestly, I really do not know what this here is all about. However, I will say this, most Neoconservatives hate unions, which is why Google is getting poo-poo’ed by the so-called right. On the other hand, Pat Buchanan has always written pieces that defended the American and Detroit auto workers; and yes, Unions. The UFW is not what it once was; that is because the left shifted from being a protectionist sort, when it came to the borders of this Country, to an open borders sort of political entity. As with the UAW, it’s strength has been sapped by globalists, who would sell America’s soul for the making of a quick dollar.
Both of these fine men have left us; what they have left, sometimes greatly disappoints me. Some of it, was their own doing. Some of it, was simply a changing of the times, and was due to the advance of globalism. Either way, it is sad to see three once powerful organizations, which were created simply for the preservation of the dignity of the middle class in this Country; now turned into a shadow of their former selves, by people who put evil agendas ahead of the American people. Those people exist on BOTH SIDES of the political aisle and they exist in the very organizations themselves.
Walter Reuther’s and Cesar Chavez’s America has long past us by; it has been replaced with a new, more frightful America. One where fascism and oppression of Religion and Freedom of Speech are the norm; in the so-called “land of the free and home of the brave.” It is has been replaced by an America, where unneeded and unwanted War is now called “Necessary Military Action.” A Nation that was once the envy of the World, for its prosperity and wealth; has now been replaced by a Nation that is 16 trillion dollars in debt and whom its industrial base has been shipped overseas.
America is a much darker and sinister place, than it was in the days of Walter Reuther and Cesar Chavez; and the only persons that are to blame for it; is our owned damned selves.
May Walter Reuther and Cesar Chavez both rest in peace; and may the memory of what they both stood for, in their day, never been forgotten.
There is a good reason for this, it is economic related, but there is another problem as well.
But first, the story:
WASHINGTON (AP) — Union membership plummeted last year to the lowest level since the 1930s as cash-strapped state and local governments shed workers and unions had difficulty organizing new members in the private sector despite signs of an improving economy.
Government figures released Wednesday showed union membership declined from 11.8 percent to 11.3 percent of the workforce, another blow to a labor movement already stretched thin by battles in Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan and other states to curb bargaining rights and weaken union clout.
Overall membership fell by about 400,000 workers to 14.4 million, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. More than half the loss, about 234,000, came from government workers, including teachers, firefighters and public administrators.
The fatal flaw of the protectionist racket is this right here. When you close the shop to outsiders and do not allow employers to hire new people; such is the case with the big three — eventually, your membership roll begin to decline as your members begin to die off. Right now in the agreement which the UAW has with the big three in their contracts and that is that they cannot hire anyone from outside any of GM’s plants, unless they bring back someone who is laid off first. This stems the tide of new employees, and thus decreases membership rolls.
On the other hand, another thing that is happening too, is that the big three, when someone retires from one of the plants; does not hire anyone to replace that person. They simply pull someone from another plant or someone else from within that plant to fill that job. This too, causes membership rolls to dwindle. The reason the auto companies do this, is because they do not want to have to contend with the Unions about who they can or cannot hire and so forth. Not only that, if they do actually hire someone in, they want to hire that person in for half the wages that the other union folk are actually making. This, in this writers opinion, is totally unfair. If you are going to hire someone in, hire them in accordance the contract agreed to by the union membership.
Another thing that is killing the union is these so-called “free trade” agreements. Which were passed by globalist Republicans and Democrats and signed by an internationalist Democratic Party President, Bill Clinton. These agreements are starving the American worker out of a job. Furthermore, the unions suffer as well. Patrick Buchanan, who is about the only Conservative writer, that I happen to think is worth two cents anymore; has been writing the same thing for years and he is right about it too.
America’s soul is being robbed, by the ones who claim to represent the people that make up it’s very soul — and it is not Republicans either. Until the Democrat Party becomes a pro-America party again and not this internationalist mess that it has become now. America’s standing in the World will be what it is now — minimal.
The washed up child actor is apparently to stupid to realize just what he was admitting in that interview. He is apparently too stupid to understand that the video they showed last night includes proof that he sucker punched the demonstrator before he himself was hit in retaliation. This is why you don’t let ignorant washed-up child actors serve as correspondents on your fake news show. It never turns out well for you or your neoliberal agenda.
So brainiac Crowder inadvertently admitted yesterday that he went to the demonstration to provoke a response; to “prove the left for who they really are”. This mindset of Crowder holds true to his current alignment with the Andrew Breitbart “war against the institutional left.” philosophy and it makes what happened and it puts the subsequent misleading editing of the first video he released in the proper perspective.
And apparently after he was unable to garner something he could use on Fox “news” that night after being belligerent all day long to people who are literally out there fighting for their jobs, their pensions and their futures, he decided to step it up a notch.
As the Fox cameraman was focused on one confrontation, Crowder ducks under the view of the camera and sucker punches the demonstrator who was then filmed getting up off the ground and going right at Steven in retaliation.
Above is a still taken from the extended video Fox ran on the Sean Hannity show last night. Notice the extended crawler they ran over the bottom 3rd of the screen in an effort to hide Steven’s hand. It ran so fast you can barely make out what happened, but I took it frame by frame and as I pointed out last night when I first saw the edited video, Steven clearly hits the man, I think he sucker punched him, in order to provoke a response.
The still above is a screen capture taken from that video. You can see Steven’s arm is outstretched and he pulls it back quickly. It’s outstretched in the direction and approximate height of the demonstrator’s head. He’s also got his right hand up covering the right side of his face in what appears to be a defensive posture taught in fight training and probably a conditioned action by Steven when he throws a punch.
So, there, Jeremy — Why don’t you try reporting the facts, instead of the stupid bullshit that the corporatist pigs and crony capitalists tell you to report?
…and by the way, how’s life treating you in queens these days? Heh. You obviously are living large, seeing you are getting paid to spout corporatist bullshit.
I’m just asking… and let me tell you something else; there will be blood and lots of it. The first time one of them free-loading motherfuckers steps into a union shop and tries to get hired. The union guys will stomp fucking piss out of them; and people like me, will cheer. You don’t cross union lines, when you do, you get your ass beat or worse. That is how it is. It has been that way for years and it is not about to change anytime soon. Least of all because some paid corporate shill got his ass beat or when some pussy motherfucking anonymous blogger writes false bullshit about a story either. He is lucky, he didn’t get shot or stabbed to death. Which really should have happened.
To understand why the impending transformation of Michigan into a right-to-work state is so mortifying to labor and its supporters—far worse, even, than what happened in Wisconsin and Ohio—one must consider the totemic status of the United Auto Workers (UAW). Although there are, despite all you have heard, many good reasons for public-sector workers to have the right to unionize, nobody ever made a movie or wrote a song about a public-sector worker; public-sector organizing campaigns are pretty tame affairs. But if someone were to write a book titled (with apologies to Vivian Gornick), The Romance of 20th Century American Unionism, it would likely be a dual case study. One story would be about the United Farm Workers of the 1960s and 1970s, courageously built from the grape and lettuce fields by migrant Latino laborers in California.
The other would span from the mid-1930s until about 1970 and tell the story of the United Auto Workers, the union that the Prospect’s Harold Meyerson correctly called the other day the “best” American union. Mass industrial workers, whom many believed were impossible to organize, spawned the UAW. These workers, the immigrant laborers of their time, shocked the nation with the imaginative militancy of their factory-floor sit-downs and “flying picket” lines at the legendary Flint, Michigan, strike in 1937. The union’s brilliant, incorruptible president, Walter Reuther—himself beaten and bloodied in organizing campaigns—sought, with the power of his union and his ideas, to leverage the United States into something resembling the social democracies of Western Europe. He had to settle for millions of working-class people ascending into the middle class in the 25 years following World War II, benefiting directly from UAW collective-bargaining agreements, or seeing their own wages and benefits tied to those of the UAW (and Steelworker’s union) standard.
Reuther, furthermore, supported both the nascent civil-rights movement (and fought hard to cleanse his own union of racism), the New Left, and even supported the beginning of modern environmentalism. The Port Huron statement—the founding, now canonical, document of Students for a Democratic Society—was written in 1962 at a UAW-owned campground for use by its members. You can see Reuther standing behind Dr. Martin Luther King during the “I Have a Dream” speech on the Mall in 1963, while George Meany’s AFL-CIO, from a mixture of racism and red baiting, shied away.
The UAW had enormous political clout, too. It couldn’t change the political economy of the country, but it was a powerful member of the Democratic Party coalition. Reuther had the ear, and vice versa, of every Democratic president and candidate of the postwar era. During this era, the presidential election campaign would begin for the Democratic candidate in—where else?—Cadillac Square in Detroit before a throng of union, mostly UAW, members. One can measure the changes in the Democratic Party, Michigan, and the country from, for example, reading the text of JFK’s 1960 Cadillac Square speech.
When Reuther died in a private plane crash in 1970, every auto plant in the country stopped its assembly lines for one minute in silent tribute—thus the “Big Three” car companies honored their remarkable adversary and the formidable institution he and his members built.
I could not have worded it better myself. This isn’t about “right to work”, this piece of legislation is simply about destroying the labor movement in Detroit. Which is what the Republicans in Michigan and in Washington DC have wanted to do for ages. If the labor movement is smart, they will stand up to the weasel Snyder and not let this stand. Hopefully, they have the guts to do it.
The “right to work” battle in Michigan may not be over quite yet.
Top Democrats in the Michigan Congressional delegation just wrapped up their meeting with Governor Rick Snyder, during which they urged him in no uncertain terms: If you go forward with “right to work” legislation, you’ll be consigning the state to years of discord and division. They urged him to consider vetoing the legislation or postponing it until the next session — or even agreeing to subject it to referendum.
According to Dems who were on the call, Snyder told them he would “seriously” take into account their objections — which they took as a genuine indication of possible willingness, for now, to reconsider.
“The Governor listened, and he told us he would seriously consider our concerns,” Senator Carl Levin said on a conference call with reporters.
The tenor of the meeting, which participants described as urgent and intense, underscores the gravity of the situation — not just for Democrats, but for the state itself. Dems told Snyder that forging ahead with “right to work” legislation risked undermining the progress in labor-management relations in the state and could create a situation similar to Wisconsin, where an ongoing battle over collective bargaining tore the state apart for over a year.
I do not trust the weasel myself, and here is why; This comes via Deadline Detroit, which I had some choice words for once, and which I retract those words too — granted, I have not always liked what I have seen there, but I was a bit harsh on them, they have the right to publish what they wish, just like I do…:
Signing right-to-work legislation will have serious, even dire consequences on the state, congressional Democrats told Gov. Rick Snyder this morning, according to Kathleen Gray in the Free Press.
In a private meeting in Detroit between seven members of Congress and Snyder, Sen. Carl Levin told reporters afterward they asked Snyder to either veto the legislation or remove the appropriation attached to the bill, which would allow a statewide vote on the issue.
“The labor environment has dramatically improved in the state,” Levin said. But with right to work, “instead of having a Michigan united, we’re going to have a Michigan divided.”
A couple of hours after meeting with the delegation, Snyder signaled his continuing support of the right-to-work bills when he tweeted, “Freedom to work is all about creating more and better jobs in Michigan.”
So, basically, this guy is nothing more than a lying snake. If I were the labor movement, I would not trust him at all. if anything at all; I would begin to mount a recall effort against this man and get him out of office as soon as they possibly could. Like others have noted, Governor Snyder has proven that he is nothing more than a lying stack of crap and will say and do anything to stay in power — including straight up lie to get elected, like he did to me and every other person who trusted him.
There is two things in this world that I have little or no use for — and that is thieves and liars; and this idiot Snyder is a lying piece of crap, if there ever was one to be behold. As the Detroit Free Press rightly noted, Governor Rick Snyder knowingly lied to the people of Michigan, including disillusioned Democrats like myself, who come from Democratic Party voting families and who happen to care about this State and this Country and do not agree with the far socialist left agenda of President Barack Obama. This does not mean, however, that we think that unions ought be outlawed and busted up.
Again, as I wrote before on here, this was nothing more than a pander to the extremist wing of the Republican Party and by doing this; Governor Snyder will pay a terrible price.
They looked jolly in red scarves and reindeer antler headbands, but the carolers outside of Troy’s Oakland Mall today were actually protestors conveying a serious message: No to right-to-work legislation in Michigan.
And they delivered their feelings about proposed bills and Gov. Rick Snyder through pointed, modified Christmas carols. Think “Frosty the Snowman.”
“Rick-y Snyder knew he couldn’t get his way — so he took the votes from the working folks so the wealthy get our pay,” they sang.
Shalaya Bryant, who works at a nursing home, said the group was trying to send the message that “right to work is not for Michigan.”
First of all, they are nowhere near the capital building in Lansing. Second of all, what a great way to show that Democrats and Unionists hate traditional Christian values, by butchering Christmas Carols. I mean, the left wants to be accepted by the rest of America; but yet, they pull stuff like this here. This is why the rest of America loathes the labor movement. Because they simply do not respect traditional values of America. Butchering Christmas carols makes the labor movement look selfish.
Thirdly, who told these people they could sing?!?! Egad.
The left photo is the logo for UAW local 22 in Detroit, which is my Father’s local.
The center is a 1950’s Cadillac which was taken in the plant at the Clark street plant in southwest Detroit sometime in the 1950’s.
The left is the UAW logo.
Please, do not get me wrong; I am all for businesses and capitalism. But when Republicans begin to embrace fascism, which is what this little move by Governor Snyder was, that is when I have to sign off.
I still consider myself an Independent voter; and this Indy’s vote is up for grabs come 2014 and 2016.
When the Conservative movement and the Republican Party want to come back to reality; we’ll talk. Till then, they can go jump in the lake.
I am my Father’s son and I will not sit idly by and allow some crony capitalists and corporatist pigs screw him over. Not in this lifetime.
This is so typical of the propaganda wing of the Republican Party:
Michigan Republicans touched off a firestorm Thursday with an abrupt push to pass right-to-work legislation, in what would be a blow to organized labor in the home of the U.S. auto industry.
Right-to-work legislation prohibits unions from forcing workers to pay union dues. Unions and their Democratic allies adamantly oppose these laws — but with little warning, Michigan Republicans on Thursday laid the groundwork to, in a matter of days, make their state the 24th with right-to-work legislation.
“This is all about taking care of the hard-working workers in Michigan, being pro-worker and giving them freedom to make choices,” Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said. “The goal isn’t to divide Michigan, it is to bring Michigan together.”
The votes Thursday, though, drew hundreds of union-tied protesters to the capital, some of whom were pepper-sprayed by police when they tried to storm the Senate chamber
I did notice for a while, after the Bush Administration that Fox News Channel had gotten away from the propagandizing for the Republican Party. However it seems that they are back to doing that once again. For the record, the Union members are sticking up for their rights, given to them by the Government to collectively bargain and organize, if they should see fit to do so.
This is war, and I just picked my side. Republican corporatist assholes, you all want a war with organized labor? You just got yourselves one and you picked the wrong city to invade and try to bust up the unions. I might not be formally in a union, and I might not agree 100% with all the political stances involved with the unions. However, when you start invading my Father’s right to collectively bargain, or in layman’s terms, to keep what he rightfully earned, after working 31 years for the same company —- you and me are going to have a serious problem.
To do what Fox News Channel and Network is doing is borderline Nazi Fascist or Soviet style propaganda, it is anti-american and President Obama needs to step up and ask the FCC to inquire whether Fox News is breaking any laws about disseminating any anti-American propaganda or not.
Again, this is about family and this….is war.
I voted for a Governor, who promised to bring leadership to Michigan, after a Democratic Party Governor fails and what the hell does he do? He pulls some extremist crap like this here? I do not think so; this is war and I just decided that I no longer wish to be associated with his ilk any longer. I gave the Republicans and the Conservatives a chance, but they seem to be bound and determined to push people like me away. So, screw them, let them push me away. I will fight the good fight and they can go count their money.
(Reuters) – The proposed Michigan “right-to-work” law will not apply to existing union contracts, a leading sponsor of the proposal said on Friday, which may blunt its immediate impact on the huge auto industry in the state.
Michigan Republicans pushed through the state legislature on Thursday a law making the payment of union dues voluntary in the private sector. The state Senate also voted to apply this to the public sector except for police and fire unions.
Republican lawmakers, who hold majorities in both chambers of the legislature, could give final approval to the laws on Tuesday and Republican Governor Rick Snyder could immediately sign them, Amber McCann, spokeswoman for state Senate Majority Leader Richard Richardville, said on Friday.
“Right-to-work” could be signed into law within a week in the cradle of the U.S. auto industry, a stunning blow to organized labor in the United States.
The law would actually take effect at the end of March, Richardville said on Thursday.
But the legislation has a so-called “grandfather” clause exempting existing union contracts until they expire, said Republican state Senator Arlan Meekhoff, a sponsor of the plan.
“I don’t think this will hurt the UAW with the (Detroit automakers) as much as it will hurt unions trying to organize nonunion companies in Michigan,” Schwartz said.
Hostess, the makers of Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread, is going out of business after striking workers failed to heed a Thursday deadline to return to work, the company said.
“We deeply regret the necessity of today’s decision, but we do not have the financial resources to weather an extended nationwide strike,” Hostess CEO Gregory F. Rayburn said in announcing that the firm had filed a motion with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to shutter its business. “Hostess Brands will move promptly to lay off most of its 18,500-member workforce and focus on selling its assets to the highest bidders.”
The Irving, Texas-based company had already reached a contract agreement with its largest union, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. But thousands of members in its second-biggest union went on strike late last week after rejecting in September a contract offer that cut wages and benefits. Officials for the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union say the company stopped contributing to workers’ pensions last year.
NBC’s Savannah Guthrie read a statement on “Today” from the bakers’ union that said: “Despite Greg Rayburn’s insulting and disingenuous statements of the last several months, the truth is that Hostess workers and the union have absolutely no responsibility for the failure of this company. That responsibility rests squarely on the shoulders of the company’s decision makers.”
Rayburn responded that he had been “pretty straightforward in all the town hall meetings I’ve done at our plants to say that in this situation I think there is blame that goes around for everyone.”
As the Son of a retired G.M. worker and a retired UAW member; I can empathize with the union’s position. However, I have always said and have always believed that sometimes unions can be a double-edged sword. Speaking of which, the fine folks over at HotAir.com have some very interesting information as to what is really going on:
Update II: Like I said, I haven’t paid much attention to this fight, so I don’t have a lot of insight into whether labor or management has been more unreasonable. However, the Teamsters’ web site seems to lay the blame on the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) for refusing to go along with the Teamsters to accept the last offer from Hostess:
In fact, when Hostess attempted to throw out its collective bargaining agreement with the Teamsters in court, the Teamsters fought back and won, ensuring that Hostess could not unilaterally make changes to working conditions during the several months’ long legal process that recently ended. Teamster Hostess members were allowed to decide their fate by voting on the final offer conducted by a secret mail ballot. More than two-thirds of Hostess Teamsters members voted with 53 percent voting to approve the final offer.
The BCTGM chose a different path, as is their prerogative, to not substantively look for a solution or engage in the process. BCTGM members were told there were better solutions than the final offer, although Judge Drain stated in his decision in bankruptcy court that no such solutions exist. Without complete information, BCTGM members voted by voice votes in union halls. The BCTGM reported that over 90 percent rejected the final offer and three of its units ratified the final offer.
On Friday, Nov. 9, the BCTGM began to strike at some Hostess production facilities without notice to the Teamsters despite assurances they would not proceed with job actions without contacting the Teamsters Union. This unannounced action put Teamster members in the difficult position of facing picket lines without knowing their right to honor such a line without being disciplined.
As is our longstanding tradition, Teamster members by and large are honoring Bakery Worker picket lines when encountered and complying with their contractual obligations when not encountering picket lines. The BCTGM leaders are putting Teamster members in a horrible position – asking them to support a strike that will put them out of a job when they haven’t even asked all their members to go on strike.
That strike is now on the verge of forcing the company to liquidate – it is difficult for Teamster members to believe that is what the BCTGM Hostess members ultimately wanted to accomplish when they went out on strike. We may never know unless the BCTGM members, based on the facts they know today, get to determine their fate in a secret ballot vote. Teamster members would understand that the will of the BCTGM Hostess membership was truly heard if that was the case.
That’s a pretty remarkable statement from the Teamsters.
Update (MKH): Just a little background. There’s a lot going on, here, though the bakers union strike was certainly the last straw for Hostess. The company has been in bankruptcy twice in the last decade, and as Allahpundit notes, the culture of organics and calorie-counting was working against them.
But the bakers union deserved to get thrown under the bus by the Teamsters because it looks like they threw the Teamsters under the bus, first. The Teamsters and the bakers worked together to come to a deal with Hostess in September. The bakers were quiet during negotiations, and apparently pulled a surprise move when they rejected the deal.
Now, I believe that people who wish to have organized labor should be allowed to have such a thing. But when organized labor closes a plant or a bunch of plants; because one union decides it is not going to play ball. Then that union ought to be decertified. However, knowing this President, and his fitness crazy wife; that will never happen.
Again, this is a very sad situation and one that could be rectified easily, but instead these unions decided to dig in and that my friends is a real shame.
Great and wonderful news, right? Wrong. Just another bogus headline from a company that is about ready for bankruptcy. This story comes via MLive.com.
General Motors Co. and the state are expected to announce today that GM will create 2,000 new jobs in Michigan, beginning with up to 1,500 at a new information technology innovation center in Warren.
The automaker and the Governor’s Office are expected to make formal announcements later today.
It’s unclear where GM would add the other 500 jobs, but the state says the innovation center is the first of three projects the company will announce.
GM will invest $300 million combined for the three. The state said GM plans no major investment spending on the information technology center; it will be housed in an existing building undergoing renovation on the Warren Tech Center campus.
The center will hire 1,500 new employees within four years and will add to information technology employment already in Warren, Randy Mott, GM’s vice president of information technology and chief information officer, said in a Friday interview.
This is where I am going to get accused of sounding like a Democrat or something worse.
This headline is the biggest stinking joke, since the election Barack Obama. These jobs above here? There are not jobs that anyone could do, you know, like me? These jobs are one that would need some serious degrees —- none of which I honestly have at all. So, these are not 2000 jobs for the public, like labor jobs; as the labor jobs are protected by the unions. These are tech jobs that will end up being filled by immigrants, legal or otherwise from foreign countries; who have the degrees to get these jobs. The rest will go to protected minorities, who happen to have those degrees as well.
I just have to ask aloud; how much of this investment, came from the taxpayers dollars that ended up bailing out this failed business? I really do not know if I really want to know the answer to that or not. However, what I will say is this here; the local Detroit media needs to stop with the dishonest headlines and get out of tank for the big three. I mean, do not get me wrong, I want to see General Motor succeed, as their success personally affects my family, namely my Father, who retired from that company after 31 years. But, when I see dishonest headlines like this, it disgusts me. People scanning through, think GM is mass hiring workers for the plants. Which they are not, they are hiring salaried employees, that they really do not need and doing this, will most likely make them go broke again.
It is time, that the local Detroit media started telling the complete truth about the big three.