Monday, January 28, 2008

After nearly 25% of the UAW's membership leaves, will the UAW shakedown continue?

The UAW has its work cut out for it in the coming years. How can new auto workers be loyal to a union that will do nothing other than take their dues?

With the news of the Big Three offering buyouts to 130,000 workers represented by the United Auto Workers, the UAW will be losing nearly 25% of its existing membership. Although the union will be out some money, it really won't be a money issue for the union. This is because, in most cases, the 'replacement workers' will still be forced (through the continuation of the UAW's stranglehold on the Big Three) to become dues-paying members of the union in order to hold the job.

However, like any shakedown, paying a union under the threat of termination and being loyal to the union are two different things.

Unlike their predecessors, the incoming generation of Big Three workers, owe nothing to the UAW. In fact, the only thing the UAW can take credit for (in their case) is crippling the very companies who hire these the point that the UAW has been forced to agree to concessions that dumped the older union members in order to ensure union dues from the new workers.

This will prove to be an issue for the UAW bosses in the years to come and which may ultimately lead to the UAW fending off efforts by these new workers to dump the very union that negotiated for its old members to get dumped.