Poorly funded worker pension plans and an all-time low in membership have left the new United Auto Workers (UAW) president deflecting blame. As a result, Bob King appears to view imposing unionization on auto companies as a means to clean up the mess both he and his fellow union bosses have created.
This new scheme would require foreign automakers that are opening plants in the United States to sign onto an agreement that would guarantee the UAW the opportunity to unionize their workers. And their first targets are businesses already established in the United States that aren’t currently unionized. So why the big push?
One main reason comes to mind: money. A number of national unions in the United States are struggling to fund their workers’ own pension plans. The decrease in membership in the last few decades coupled with ill-advised spending by Big Labor bosses has drained the much needed – and promised – pensions for throngs of union workers around the country who have worked for decades and paid into the system. Having been promised better benefits, these workers are expecting a full payout on their pensions as they should. But labor bosses – who have been frivolously spending union dues on retreats in resorts and other lavish expenses have now dug themselves a deep hole of debt and are scrambling for ways to make up revenue, starting with forcibly unionizing new workers.
Another reason why union bosses are having difficulty coming up with the resources to deliver on the promises they made to their own workers is that Big Labor has been pouring money into political campaigns over the past few years, with pledges to spend $50 million this election cycle after having spent nearly half a billion in 2008.
Once a collective bargaining unit has been formed through the coercion and bullying of employees, a small business has a matter of months to agree to union boss demands or the government sends in a bureaucrat and a contract is forced on the employees and employer alike without their consent. Neither the workers nor the small business owners can appeal the contract terms, which include changes to wages, benefits and workplace conditions.
At a time when Americans need more and better jobs, small businesses must have the freedoms to grow and thrive in their communities. The Big Labor agenda is simply not the answer. And the UAW’s attempt to pass the blame on their own mismanagement and incompetence to others by trying to impose unionization on businesses would only cost us more jobs and stymie our economy’s ability to recover.