This isn’t us spouting off either. This is Bob King, president of the United Auto Workers. King is threatening to go after foreign-owned automakers in the American South with all the subtlety of a Mack truck. “I don’t want to use the word boycott,” he said last week. Our thought: Then don’t. Oh wait, he did.
In a strikingly candid interview today, King admitted that the UAW’s very survival depends on this campaign:
“Here’s the terrible position we’re in (with) autos,” King said. “Because we’ve fallen so far in the percent of workers represented by the UAW in autos,” the union can’t demand big increases because of non-union competitors.
“So if we go in, we dramatically raise fixed costs for Ford, General Motors or Chrysler, we’re shooting ourselves in the foot…. We don’t want to disadvantage the (Detroit 3) companies.”
Welcome to the real world, Mr. King. This is as clear an admission as you’ll ever get from a labor leader that unions drive costs up for businesses and make them less competitive. Foreign automakers have apparently acted as a check on the UAW, keeping its demands reasonable. Now the UAW wants to do away with that check.
Why? It seems the UAW is getting nostalgic:
“What we’re really committed to is creating the UAW of the ’40s and ’50s and ’60s. The UAW of those days was an activist union — members were mobilized all the time,” King said.
Just what the country needs right now: more business disruptions.