Friday, January 8, 2010

Michigan Be Damned

This is from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation website:

"Jeffrey Reed, a resident of Bridgman, Michigan, assembles vehicles for AM General. Because his workplace is unionized, he works under a monopoly bargaining agreement which forces him either to join the UAW or pay compulsory union fees to it in order to keep his job. However, Reed, a devout Catholic, believes financially supporting the UAW union violates his sincerely-held religious beliefs due to the union hierarchy’s support for special rights for homosexuals and abortion-on-demand.

Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, union officials may not force any employee to financially support a union if doing so violates the worker’s sincerely-held religious beliefs. The statute requires union officials to attempt to accommodate the worker – most often by redirecting the mandatory union fees to a mutually agreed upon charity – to avoid the conflict between an employee’s faith and a requirement to pay fees to a union he or she believes to be immoral.

However, because Reed is refraining from full dues paying union membership based on his faith, UAW union bosses forced him to pay a $100 premium and continue to pay 22 percent more than the amount workers who object on non-religious grounds must pay. Both full UAW members and secular objectors are allowed to pay an amount less than full dues if they wish to cut off the use of their union dues for political activities."

So here we go. Unions, in particular the UAW, are a polarizing group. Some critics will use broad brush strokes when tearing them down, others will get stuck in the black hole which is Union Law.

It makes me sick to hear things like the above quote. I try and search out both sides of the fence. The good and the bad. I don't see any good. All I see is a state and region that has fallen apart. If the UAW feels like they have any leverage in negotiating any sort of contract at this point in history then they have to take responsibility for what is happening. Putting the blame on "the man" doesn't fly when you are the man. Would someone please call this group out? Please? In the wise words of my father... "you live in pig slop, you're going to get dirty".

The big three also has to understand and make public the roll the UAW plays. They are your workforce, they drive your company. Don't let them hide behind a wall of sad stories because much of it has to do with the contracts they, themselves agreed to. The sad stories are on the UAW's hands. The UAW asked for more then your parents could give. Quit treating it like an endless money tree and realize that you have broken the back of not only an American institution, but an entire region. You have raped your employees and left your industry in ruins. Now that the money is gone, ask yourself... now what?

Are all Unions crooked, corrupt and greedy? No. In the past have they served the greater good? Yes. Do they now serve the greater good? No. My focus of Union dislike right now is on the shoulders of the UAW. They glory days are long gone gentlemen. 30 years gone. You've bankrupted a once proud American Auto Industry and a once proud state that is now a wasteland. A goddamn wasteland.

I know the sad stories, I've met some of the people. You got yours, now the rest are left with rebuilding the ruin you have created. Look around you - people of the Detroit UAW. Look around real good. Are you happy with what you see? Do you still think none of this is your fault?

If you see what I see then work to change it. Take pride in the products you build not the entitlement history has given you. Fight for a better product. Live the core values you proclaim. Don't exist to "create a success record at the bargaining table". EARN that right. Show the world that America, the great experiment, open arms to the world, can and will concept, design and produce products that are far superior to anything the rest of the world has to offer.

Earn now what your grandfathers earned for you. They are ashamed at what you have done to all their hard work. Right the ship and earn their respect. You want it? Then earn it. Now's the best time to prove it then any other time. NOW.

How's that for a broad goddamn brush stroke.

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