Sign in to follow this  
NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

UAW's King calls for Toyota protests

3 posts in this topic

UAW's King calls for Toyota protests

Newly elected president seeks to renew attempts to unionize foreign auto plants

Louis Aguilar / The Detroit News

Detroit -- United Auto Workers President Bob King came out swinging on his first day in office, taking aim at Toyota Motor Corp.

King criticized Toyota for closing a Fremont, Calif., plant the Japanese automaker had once operated jointly with General Motors, saying it was shuttered only because it was represented by the UAW, and he called for protest marches against Toyota and its dealerships.

King made the attack during a speech after he was sworn in as the union's 10th president. He argued that a renewed UAW attempt to unionize U.S. workers of foreign automakers is a key to winning back concessions made to Detroit's automakers to help them survive.

"There is no question in my mind that if we get Toyota and Honda and Kia and Hyundai and Nissan workers the right to join the UAW without a terrorism campaign by the boss, that they would come into the UAW," said King, former head of the UAW's Ford Motor Co. unit. "And that would then give us the power to win back the concessions and sacrifices we made and win more than that."

King wouldn't put a timeline on when the UAW would successfully organize a foreign automaker's U.S. work force, but he gave the task to newly-elected Secretary-Treasurer Dennis Williams, a former UAW regional director. The UAW has twice failed to organize Nissan Motor Co.'s factory in Smyrna, Tenn. King led the last organizing effort in 2001, when Nissan workers rejected the union by a wide margin.

The former New United Motors Manufacturing Inc., or NUMMI, plant in California is the "first battleground" in the organizing effort, King told 1,200 delegates on the final day of the union's 35th constitutional convention, held at Cobo Center.

GM and Toyota ended their partnership after GM went through bankruptcy last year. Toyota spokesman Mike Goss said NUMMI was closed because Toyota could not afford to run the plant after GM withdrew. About 4,500 UAW workers lost their jobs April 1 after King unsuccessfully lobbied to keep the factory open.

Toyota then sold the NUMMI plant to Tesla Motors and invested $50 million in the luxury electric carmaker to work on building electric cars together in Fremont. Tesla plans to hire up to 1,000 workers, but hasn't indicated whether the work force will be unionized.

"Our No. 1 fight with Toyota is to give those workers a choice," King said Thursday. "We're going to pound on Toyota until they recognize the First Amendment right of those workers to come into the UAW."

King also chastised Toyota President Akio Toyoda for taking work to Mississippi. The automaker announced Thursday that it would restart building its facility in Blue Springs, Miss., with a goal of making Corolla compact cars there by late 2011. Toyota had stopped construction when vehicle demand sank during the recession.

"Well, Mr. Toyoda, if you ... truly care about safety and quality in America, then you are going to build (at Fremont) and not in Mississippi," King said.

King said the UAW could have success organizing foreign-owned plants because a friendly Democratic White House and National Labor Relations Board will enforce labor laws that don't allow companies to intimidate workers trying to organize.

But one longtime auto analyst described King's organizing effort as "preposterous."

"The UAW's saber-rattling one year after bankruptcy is not healthy," said Maryann Keller, who runs her own consulting firm in Stamford, Conn.

Raising labor costs by organizing nonunion plants won't help Detroit's automakers or consumers, Keller said.

"The only thing the UAW has done in the past 30 years is lose members," Keller said.

After his acceptance speech, King and Teamsters President James Hoffa further promoted the activism theme by leading a march of UAW leaders and delegates down Jefferson Avenue in Detroit to protest Wall Street's role in the national recession.

"If we don't win social justice for everyone, we don't win!" King said to a crowd that filled a city block.

From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20100618/AUTO01/6180349/1148/auto01/UAW-s-King-calls-for-Toyota-protests#ixzz0rCydwZJQ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Z-06    493
He argued that a renewed UAW attempt to unionize U.S. workers of foreign automakers is a key to winning back concessions made to Detroit's automakers to help them survive.

May the Force be with you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ShadowDog    15

King and Teamsters President James Hoffa further promoted the activism theme by leading a march of UAW leaders and delegates down Jefferson Avenue in Detroit to protest Wall Street's role in the national recession. "If we don't win social justice for everyone, we don't win!" King said to a crowd that filled a city block.

Next stop on the justice train, Church! I mean, nuns and the clergy really should unionize and protest the way their boss treats them by working without any pay at all. Being subjected to such deplorable conditions, such as wearing uniforms made of heavy, black fabric in summer heat, god has to answer for this! UNIONIZE and receive JUSTICE!

Or maybe they should protest mother nature for all this crappy weather we've been seeing. It's been keeping people from work and that's just unfair.

C'mon folks! These things are ALL under our control!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoticons maximum are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this