From the desk of Stephen Cabot: Not satisfied with bringing the Detroit automakers to near financial collapse as a result of onerous union rules and regulations, the United Auto Workers (UAW) now wants to impose its typically stifling workplace scenarios on foreign auto makers that have built manufacturing facilities in the United States. Those facilities employ tens of thousands of workers who enjoy middle class salaries and benefits. Their morale and levels of productivity are high.

Nevertheless, the UAW has not only promised to expose so-called human rights violations at those facilities as if shining a light on third world dictatorships, but it also intends to utilize $60 million of its $800 million strike fund to achieve its objectives.

To further the achievement of its goals, the UAW is also demanding that auto makers give up their right to free speech by agreeing not to discuss unionization on company grounds unless UAW representatives can participate. Yet, union representatives can and do visit employee homes where they proselytize for unionization without company representatives being present.

And card checks (as one might have expected) are also included in the UAW strategy. Utilizing card checks, unionization would occur if a majority of employees sign cards signifying that they want to be represented and if the union can claim there has been a history of “anti-union activity.” Once unionization has been established and there is no agreement on a contract after six months, the UAW wants the matter turned over to binding arbitration, which had been an ingredient of the congressionally rejected Employee Free Choice Act.

It is apparent that the UAW is intent on driving up its dues-paying membership rolls, which have dropped from 1.5 million members in 1979 to 400,000 members today. Its $800 million strike fund could be enormously increased by unionizing workers at those entire foreign car manufacturing facilities that are building vehicles in the United States.

expert labor relations advice