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UAW Membership Still Declining
Despite inroads in the supplier network, the big union is still slipping.
by Joseph Szczesny (2004-04-19)

Gettelfinger Defends Two-Tier Wages by Joseph Szczesny (3/29/2004)
Done before and done now, the UAW says it's all about preserving jobs.

The United Auto Workers' (UAW) membership has continued to decline, despite the union's recent inroads among big suppliers.

Reports required by the U.S. Department of Labor showed that UAW's membership fell to 624,585 at the end of 2003, down two percent from 638,722 a year earlier. The union now has fewer members than at any time since 1942. The decline has been exacerbated by shift of manufacturing jobs from the U.S. to China and Mexico, observers have noted, and steady increases in productivity at home. "If you 20 plants and your productivity grows five percent but your sales remain flat, you need one less plant," noted the chief executive of one Michigan-based supplier company recently.

UAW officials have declined to comment directly to the drop in membership but union's executive board has responded by reducing spending on travel and conferences and by putting some union assets up for sale while continuing efforts to organize both among non-union suppliers and at Japanese and German transplants.

The union, for example, has been quietly collecting cards for a possible vote at the Toyota plant in Georgetown, Kentucky, and also has crossed over into Canada onto the turf of the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) to campaign for members at the Honda plant in Alliston, Ontario. Both campaigns are considered long shots and the union has lost in recent organizing campaigns at Nissan plants in Tennessee.

The union successfully last month signed up hundreds of new members at Freightliner plant in the anti-union stronghold of High Point, North Carolina. A key reason for the organizing victory at Freightliner was the union's pact with DaimlerChrysler AG, which allowed the union to bypass the National Labor Relations Board and gain recognition on a card check. Freightliner executives were unhappy with the situation but had no choice except to abide by the pact.

http://www.thecarconnection.com/index.asp?article=7048
 

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I don’t know if we would necessarily see lower car prices. Probably higher profits and hopefully then more money in R&D in making a better product.

iakigb
 

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American cars already come in lower priced than comparably equipped imports. Toyota is the most profitable car company on the planet and they haven't engineered anything remotely fun to drive in years. So I wouldn't hold my breath on better cars or cheaper cars.
 

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Originally posted by banzai79@Sep 13 2004, 05:39 PM
American cars already come in lower priced than comparably equipped imports. Toyota is the most profitable car company on the planet and they haven't engineered anything remotely fun to drive in years. So I wouldn't hold my breath on better cars or cheaper cars.
American cars do infact come lower priced... but at what cost?
if they were made EXACTLY like teh imports... and they are sold for lower cost... then the profit margin is far smaller. Damaging.

If American car makers have cut corners in order to sell the cars at a lower cost (more likely)... the the detriment is in the build quality and how long lasting the car is. VERY damaging.

So.. with US car makers paying ridiculous amount of money to unionized workers... while foreign carmakers in the Us aren't under the UAW... there is a distinct pricing advantage that foreign makers can/have leveraged.

GM coudl easily automate all their factories... but UAW won't let them. Because there needs to be a certain number of employees at each plant... even if he/she just stands there bolting a bolt for $35/hour. UAW has led to inefficiencies that GM and others can no longer afford.
 

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I've never been able to find anything on my domestic cars that indicated they were any lesser than a corresponding import. I don't really care if a corporation makes more profit...profit evaporates up into shareholders and executives, and isn't re-invested into the company anyway. If R+D budgets went up with profit than Toyota should be coming out with 600 HP 10000 dollar cars.
 

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Originally posted by banzai79@Sep 13 2004, 06:48 PM
I don't really care if a corporation makes more profit...profit evaporates up into shareholders and executives, and isn't re-invested into the company anyway. If R+D budgets went up with profit than Toyota should be coming out with 600 HP 10000 dollar cars.
:blink: :blink: Are you for real??
If a company doesn't make any profit... where do you think they get the moeny to operate? Cause it certainly doesn't come from trees.
 

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Profit is after all of the running costs (which includes r+d) is taken out. Are you for real? According to your logic Toyota should be giving us super cars, what with their massive profit.
 

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Originally posted by banzai79@Sep 13 2004, 10:28 PM
Profit is after all of the running costs (which includes r+d) is taken out. Are you for real? According to your logic Toyota should be giving us super cars, what with their massive profit.
If a company doens't have any profits... the company will be in danger of no longer being a going concern. it can't survive while making loss after loss. So to keep r&d going among other things, you cut and cut... until you can't cut anymore. Then you're dead. profit does not always "evaporate to shareholders and executives" as you put it. A lot of companies use profits to boost R&D spending. And they put the rest in the bank for cash and investments.

Where is the practicality of 600 HP $10,000 supercars? How is my logic flawed? if profits go up.. R&D goes up, therefor we get 600 HP cars that cost $10K? :blink:
 
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