Sep 8, 2003
The United Auto Workers has reached a secret understanding with DaimlerChrysler, according to Business Week of September 8. The UAW has agreed to keep quiet when the company closes or sells some of its plants to lower-wage companies in exchange for the company standing aside in union organizing drives.
Rumored to be in the works for years, the sales are expected soon after the September contract, says Business Week. Of course, the UAW also agreed not to hold the new owners to DCX-level wages and benefits! In other words, the union is giving up the jobs of high seniority workers in exchange for getting more dues-paying members at lower-wage plants.
Business Week says that UAW President Ron Gettelfinger and Vice President Nate Gooden made the deal last fall when they took a trip to Germany to meet with DCX (DaimlerChrysler) officials at their headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany. Is this report true? Look at what happened since last fall's trip. DCX allowed a card check unionization of two Freightliner plants in North and South Carolina – plants where DCX fought and defeated all previous unionizing drives.
Since then Gooden has been going around bragging that the UAW will organize a Mercedes plant in Alabama. It seems he knows that he and the company have a deal. Gooden is the same guy who, right around the time that the company started talking about selling its McGraw Glass plant in Detroit, made the comment, "Chrysler never should have been in the glass business in the first place."
Agreements like this may allow the union to make up for some of its huge losses in membership over the last couple of decades. But for the workers, it's just one more big retreat in the face of the bosses' attacks.
If workers leave their future in these gentlemen's hands, the future for the working class will be nothing but more concessions, lower wages, and fewer benefits.