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Link: http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/080328/auto_workers.html?.v=1

UAW Membership Drops Below 500,000
Friday March 28, 12:18 pm ET - By Ken Thomas, Associated Press Writer

UAW Membership Falls Below 500,000, Lowest Level Since WWII

WASHINGTON (AP) -- United Auto Workers union membership has fallen below 500,000 for the first time since World War II, reflecting the massive restructuring undertaken by Detroit's automakers.

The union reported Friday in a filing with the Labor Department in Washington, D.C., that it had 464,910 members by the end of 2007, compared with 538,448 at the end of 2006. UAW membership peaked in 1979 at 1.5 million but has been dropping ever since.

Article continues at link.
 

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Good. And it will continue to plummet, as the union perpetually shoots itself in the foot.
 

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Thanks for you support, US Consumers! - keep shooting your economy in the foot- well all be fine working at the mall
 

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I can see this thread will be as polarizing as the other union discussion threads.

As the automakers adopt to changing markets and globalization, how are the unions changing and evolving? Maintaining the same ol' hard-line stance, as the UAW is with American Axle, doesn't reflect change.
 

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All union membership is down, and that is because unions are not interested in working for the greater good of the nation. They are only interested in sucking their host dry and collecting more dues.

Thanks for you support, US Consumers! - keep shooting your economy in the foot- well all be fine working at the mall
Maybe you would be happier in one of the communist nations....most retail jobs in America don't offer bloated wages or guarantee work.
 

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Thanks for you support, US Consumers! - keep shooting your economy in the foot- well all be fine working at the mall
Many US consumers support our economy. However, we usually DON'T support funding for ridiculous benefit packages and wages FAR out of sync with our current economy. Hey, I will stop trashing unions when they decide that they are actually part of our economy, and not some sort of privileged group.
 

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Thanks for you support, US Consumers! - keep shooting your economy in the foot- well all be fine working at the mall
You know there was a time when US automakers were building crap, and I know you wouldn't expect consumers to hand over their cash to pay for that crap.

You know that as automation becomes ever more integrated into assembly lines, the need for the same amount of workers to perform the same amount of work lessens.

You know that as a US consumer yourself many of the things you purchase are not union made or even made within the United States.

You know that you do not select companies whose customer service representatives are situated in the US and employ US workers. You choose any company and tolerate the ones with foreign-based service departments.

You know that for years the UAW has bargained for unsustainable wages and benefits that were bound to have long-term consequences (like making it more attractive for companies to look elsewhere for assembly work or lead to the disintegration of the companies for whom those UAW workers worked).

So, knowing all of that and more, I'm perplexed that you simply blame consumers for the UAW's predicament.

All of Detroit-the companies, the managers, the UAW, its members, its dealers, its suppliers, its marketers-own the problem that Detroit is in. It's their job, and not consumers' or the US government's jobs, to figure out how to right that ship.

I know you know that.
 

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Thanks for you support, US Consumers! - keep shooting your economy in the foot- well all be fine working at the mall
It's all the consumers fault, right? I've lived all around the country and I'd have to say that outside of Detroit, most consumers don't care or even know where their car comes from. They don't care if it was UAW assembled or not. They just look for the style, value, performance, gas milage, or the label on the trunk.

If the UAW is to survive it not only needs to adapt and needs to show that there is a benefit to becoming a union member. It's not going to survive on the Big 3 alone. It needs to make inroads into the non-Union plants Honda and Toyota plants in the South and plants in Mexico. In order to do that, it needs to be seen as adding value to the worker's lives. The non-Union plants pay a decent wage, decent benefits and don't kill or maim workers. They're also mainly in right-to-work states, where each individual employee has the choice to join the union or not. Until the UAW can offer any more, workers aren't going to be willing to fork over a chunk of their paycheck to the union coffers. Not to mention risk their jobs - and in some cases their lives - to unionization efforts.
 

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"Maybe you would be happier in one of the communist nations....most retail jobs in America don't offer bloated wages or guarantee work."

No, I dislike the UAW, unions, especially public employee unions, immensely. I also dislike shortsighted US consumers who should be first looking at purchasing american cars in order to help save our last vestiges of manufacturing. I have been pissed about this disloyalty for 20 years. Those consumers should give short-shrift to heavily government-subsidized auto companies - Im looking at you Japan and Korea.
 

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All union membership is down, and that is because unions are not interested in working for the greater good of the nation. They are only interested in sucking their host dry and collecting more dues.



Maybe you would be happier in one of the communist nations....most retail jobs in America don't offer bloated wages or guarantee work.
Exactly, when the economy hit the skids and the construction sector disappeared over the last couple years here, I slowly had less and less work.

I am not thrilled to make half of what I did last year, but I don't go around bitching at homeowners for "ruining my life because they stopped adding bedrooms and new kitchens".

When the economy goes down, so does work...welcome to the real world UAW.
 

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The drive for efficiency is as much to blame as anything. Production of everything from toasters to trucks requires less human effort, and therefore fewer workers. In the twenty years I have been in the industry, the hours per vehicle built has dropped by more than a third. This alone means fewer workers on the assembly line. The problem is, the replacement jobs are all in the service industry. Suggesting that people in their 40's and 50's go out and educate themselves is not entirely reasonable either, as finding suitable employment is a long shot at best. We are in the midst of a huge shift in the employment market in North America, and it is going to hurt, not just the blue collar folks, but everybody.As the workforce starts to hang on to their money (which has already begun) in anticipation of job loss or wage reduction, then small business and local professionals will start to feel the pain, and it will grow from there.
 

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"Maybe you would be happier in one of the communist nations....most retail jobs in America don't offer bloated wages or guarantee work."

No, I dislike the UAW, unions, especially public employee unions, immensely. I also dislike shortsighted US consumers who should be first looking at purchasing american cars in order to help save our last vestiges of manufacturing. I have been pissed about this disloyalty for 20 years. Those consumers should give short-shrift to heavily government-subsidized auto companies - Im looking at you Japan and Korea.
While I would love to be supporting the local economy....until recently, US built cars were less reliable, and frankly less attractive vehicles than their competition.

Why should we spend the same amount of money on something that is inferior and will cost more money in repairs? We wouldn't be in this mess today if Detroit opened their eyes 20 years ago and kept up. The manufacturing sector should help ITSELF first before asking for emotional welfare from the people.
 

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The drive for efficiency is as much to blame as anything. Production of everything from toasters to trucks requires less human effort, and therefore fewer workers. In the twenty years I have been in the industry, the hours per vehicle built has dropped by more than a third. This alone means fewer workers on the assembly line. The problem is, the replacement jobs are all in the service industry. Suggesting that people in their 40's and 50's go out and educate themselves is not entirely reasonable either, as finding suitable employment is a long shot at best. We are in the midst of a huge shift in the employment market in North America, and it is going to hurt, not just the blue collar folks, but everybody.As the workforce starts to hang on to their money (which has already begun) in anticipation of job loss or wage reduction, then small business and local professionals will start to feel the pain, and it will grow from there.
I couldn't agree more, I never thought about the age factor/education thing, that is true.

Basically we are screwed. And ol Hilary or Obama can talk about it all they want, but there is nothing to be done.

I lose my job, I stop spending money....I stop spending money and YOU lose your job...then someone else loses one. How do you stop that train wreck?
 

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.... I've lived all around the country and I'd have to say that outside of Detroit, most consumers don't care or even know where their car comes from. They don't care if it was UAW assembled or not. They just look for the style, value, performance, gas milage, or the label on the trunk..........
Actually, I've seen the opposite too. I've seen people turn their noses up at US built cars specifically because they ARE union made! They're upset that THEY worked hard at school, got the education needed to land a good paying job, but then hear about somebody with no more than a high school education (if that) complaining that their new contract might not allow them to keep up those boat payments that they keep at their cottage on the lake. So why would they want to help support THAT kind of employee, by buying a "union-made" car?
 

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I couldn't agree more, I never thought about the age factor/education thing, that is true.

Basically we are screwed. And ol Hilary or Obama can talk about it all they want, but there is nothing to be done.

I lose my job, I stop spending money....I stop spending money and YOU lose your job...then someone else loses one. How do you stop that train wreck?
You get another job, logansowner. If you have marketable skills, you'll get another job. People are constantly hiring and laying off people, people are constantly leaving their old jobs and replacing them with new ones. And new industries are popping up to augment or replace old ones. Were internet companies around 20 years ago? Nope, yet today they employ millions of people, either directly or indirectly. Crazy things like that happen in successful economies.

Stop with the fear mongering.
 

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Unions helped create the middle class during the first half of the 20th century and thank goodness for that. I can not say that they have adapted very well during the last 60 years and now, because of that, they have become a burden. The foreign manufacturers that have built plants in N.A., without unions, have created workforces that are the envy of the Detroit 3. Why can't the UAW and CAW accept the same pay scales, working conditions,and fringe benefits as those of these workers?
 

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I can see this thread will be as polarizing as the other union discussion threads.

As the automakers adopt to changing markets and globalization, how are the unions changing and evolving? Maintaining the same ol' hard-line stance, as the UAW is with American Axle, doesn't reflect change.
Excellent point! They need to flex with everybody else if they want to survive.
 

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While I would love to be supporting the local economy....until recently, US built cars were less reliable, and frankly less attractive vehicles than their competition.

Why should we spend the same amount of money on something that is inferior and will cost more money in repairs? We wouldn't be in this mess today if Detroit opened their eyes 20 years ago and kept up. The manufacturing sector should help ITSELF first before asking for emotional welfare from the people.
Bull $hit. I inherited my dads 98 Silverado with 220k miles on it while my neighbor (who is 60) has gone through 2 toyotas both major mechanical failure.
 
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