Sunday, June 1, 2008

The UAW wants its smoke to blow both ways...

Whatever way the wind blows, the UAW will blow too...

First, it seems the United Auto Workers wanted to protect casino workers from the ills of smoking and second-hand smoke, even going so far as celebrating when Atlantic City banned smoking in casinos.

Blathering on their website in April that "Secondhand smoke is a serious occupational hazard for casino workers," the UAW fought to get the smoking ban in Atlantic City, which will go into effect Oct. 15.

In Detroit, the UAW seems to be missing from Michigan's current debate on smoking bans. Perhaps the union, like the Detroit casino management, is finally realizing that killing smoking in casinos may just kill their jobs--smokers and non-smokers alike.

That said, last week the United Auto Workers did a hypocritical about-face on the whole smoking issue when heavy equipment manufacturer Caterpillar decided to ban smoking at all of its U.S. properties.

Instead of applauding the effort to snuff out Caterpillar's smokers, the UAW filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board.

After denying the right of smokers to puff away as they drop their nickels, dimes and dollars, the UAW has taken the position at Caterpillar that smoking has been a 'contractual privilege for 60 years'.

What's more, it's not like Caterpillar's ban caught the UAW with its pants down--the Company announced the ban last fall.

It sounds to us like the UAW is trying to have its smoke blow both ways...

For this and more union-related news, go to


Anonymous said...

The National Labor Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. Section 141(b) prohibits employers, labor organizations, and employees from creating health hazards for themselves and others.

However, the UAW doesn't just want to create health hazards for non-smokers, the UAW has negotiated labor contracts that require employers to lay off non-smokers, including the breathing disabled, so smokers can have the privilege of smoking.

The UAW enforced such a contract at a Chrysler plant in Fenton Missouri in violation of the NLRA, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Missouri Clean Indoor Air Act.

The National Labor Relations Board dismissed unfair labor practice charges filed against the UAW and Chrysler by the victim.

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