Monday, December 8, 2008


Jonathan Cutler says the U.A.W. is partly to blame for the Big Three's problems, but not for the reason you might think. The union's mistake? The failure to organize workers at the non-union foreign auto factories in the U.S.
"And yet there is nothing inherently unsustainable about employing a high-priced, unionized workforce. The crisis of Detroit's wage bill is entirely relative. Specifically, their labor costs far exceed the low-cost, nonunion American workforce at the U.S.-based, foreign-owned plants of competitors Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Subaru.

"If the UAW really is to blame at all, then, it is because of the union's utter failure to unionize any of the transplants. What has the UAW been doing all these years? Isn't it the responsibility of any good union to protect union employers from competitive labor disadvantages by organizing wall to wall, throughout the industry? How could it have left these transplants unorganized?

"As is now clear, when the UAW exposed the Big Three to insurmountable competitive disadvantages, it cut its own throat."
Thanks to Jim Holbel for passing this along.


  1. As a former auto-worker, this was one of my biggest gripes with the union; the union's refusal to try and go global. I felt like this move would have helped the union update its necessity and also help employees abroad get better pay. It would have also helped the union develop a better perspective about negotiating and what's really favorable for auto workers world wide. The union has been out of touch with the needs of workers for a long time.

  2. in theory, a good idea. but, the countries(excepting canandada) these corporations chose are usually ruled by trumped up dictators(sometimes put in place by us), whose human rights history are only slightly better than castro's or stalin's. look at what happened during Dulles' reign in the OSS/CIA in central and south america. Chiapas is an ongoing murder fest staged by the gov't. in messico city. the Peons who are facing the slaughter have been chosen by the corps on our border to be machine fodder. maybe eventually these companies will have this type of bidniss practice come back and bite them on their collective asses. Brazil nationalized Berreta, I think it was, not too long ago. Viva!


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