The Constitutional Death of the UAW
By William D. Hanline and friend
During the recent rounds of negotiations between the UAW and General Motors Corporation over healthcare and legacy cost, the UAW, International Union officers committed a betrayal of trust of their members and betrayed their oath of office to uphold the UAW Constitution. This took place all for the sake of preserving their "Cooperation Partnership" with General Motors Corporation. This betrayal of trust and confidence encompasses both active and retired members. This action happened when the misleaders, with forethought and collusion, agreed to reopen the 2003 UAW-GM National Agreement. Consequentially, their act resulted in a contract that is morally and with out conscience, contrary to the stated purpose in the UAW Constitution.
This newly proposed deal between the UAW and General Motors Corporation shows without question, beginning with the 2003 contract and ending with the 2005 negotiations, the extent the UAW and their cooperative partner GM will go to maximize the automaker’s competitive position. How their cooperative efforts to divide, whipsaw and pit the workers and retirees against one another (Young against the Old) for the sole purpose of transferring wealth from those who can least afford it, the retirees, to the Stakeholders of the company.
As a matter of historical fact, Corporate Industrial Relation’s fundamental initiative, whether a work force is unionized or not, is to pit the young against the old, men against the women and races against each other. The distasteful reality of this labor management relationship between the UAW and GM fully manifest itself in this latest example of cooperation.
The UAW-GM highlights recently rolled out to the active workers in GM for their vote, clearly demonstrates the main strategy of the "Cooperation Partners." In the highlights, they unashamedly sent a message to the active workers voting that says, "there is no cost to the active worker." While at the same time, they remained silent on the fact that real dollars will be taken (ROBBED) from the retirees who are helpless to defend themselves from this pillaging by being denied a right to vote on this matter.
Though it sounds in this letter that the retirees have no VOICE, that is not absolutely true. The UAW has selected two political sycophants, outside any political process, to be the voice of the 380,000 GM retirees during the law suite the "Cooperation Partners" (the UAW and GM) filed. Furthermore, they kept the names of those two retirees out of the press until after the law suite was filed in Federal Court. This was supposedly done to protect all retirees but in reality, it was done to give General Motors Corporation Safe Harbor from future law suites. While at the same time binding the retirees to an illegal negotiation (read NLRA) as the UAW negotiated the new retirement package for retirees. That act can only be described as a cowardly act in itself.
Finally yet importantly, it has to be said that the evil brilliance of the UAW and GM "Cooperation Partners" to divide and conquer now creates a two tier social structure among the retirees! By negotiating terms that say the retirees whose monthly pensions are less than 33 dollars a month for each year of service will not have to pay any of the premiums imposed in the new agreement is simply pitting retiree against retiree! This is evil genius, for the "Cooperation Partners" have pitted every one in the UAW against themselves, seniority members against new hires, skilled members against production, active workers against retirees and now retirees against retirees.