Monday, April 30, 2012

Workers at Non-UAW Plants Paid the Price in Obama/Big Labor Engineered U.S. Auto Industry Recovery

Michelle reported previously on the Obama-orchestrated attacks on non-union auto workers: "The Autoworkers Obama Left Behind."

And now here's this, at the Wall Street Journal, "UAW Freezes Rival Out of Rebound" (via Google):
MORAINE, Ohio—So robust is the recovery in the U.S. auto industry that virtually all the union workers who were laid off by Detroit auto makers during the crisis years can have their jobs back, if they want them.

Even General Motors Co.'s Lordstown, Ohio, complex, long known for its money-losing small cars and its bad labor climate, is running 24 hours a day, with more than 4,000 workers churning out hot-selling Chevy Cruze compacts.

But here in Moraine, the GM assembly plant closed for good. Despite being one of GM's most productive and cooperative factories, Moraine was closed following the company's 2007 labor pact with the United Auto Workers union. Under a deal struck by the UAW during GM's bankruptcy two years later, Moraine's 2,500 laid-off workers were barred from transferring to other plants, locking them out of the industry's rebound.

The trouble with Moraine: Its workers weren't in the UAW.

"We did everything we could to keep that plant open and keep our jobs," said Mitchell Wood, a 44-year-old father of two who used to attach tailgates onto sport-utility vehicles at Moraine. "But in the end, we didn't have a chance, not being in the UAW."

The plight of Moraine workers highlights the extraordinary role played by the UAW during the near-collapses and bankruptcy reorganizations of GM and Chrysler Group LLC. That role remains a political flash point today. Democrats have cast President Barack Obama and the UAW as saviors of America's auto industry. Republicans call the help a taxpayer-funded giveaway to the president's union allies.

What is clear is that the United Auto Workers—though weakened by decades of attrition and the rise of a nonunion auto workforce—was still powerful enough to play a big role in picking winners and losers and in shaping the industry that emerged from that critical period.

That is true for the thousands of UAW members who have been able to return to work at auto factories, from Lordstown to San Antonio, since GM and Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy. And it is true for people like Mr. Wood and his non-UAW co-workers at Moraine, who had little voice in the reorganization and no hope of recovering their old jobs.

Moraine workers could apply for a job at another GM plant, but would be treated as new hires, receiving half the wages of their old jobs and getting at the end of the line behind applications recommended by the UAW.

In the end, "we had to take care of our own members," says Cal Rapson, the former UAW vice president leading negotiations with GM. "It was unfortunate what happened to the others. But there wasn't enough to go around."
Continue reading.

Damned mofo union thugs.

Stand your ground conservatives. This is classic left-wing thug politics. Get in on the right side of the progressive power structure or you're screwed. Then the left blames the right as "anti-worker."

Screw 'em.