The Constitutional Death Of The UAW “Part Two” by William Hanline
“The Constitutional Death of the UAW” was written for two reasons. Reason number one was to encourage UAW members in GM to oppose the newly negotiated healthcare agreement. Secondly and most importantly, it was written to express opposition to the autocratic style governance the Administrative Caucus (A.C.) or “Cooperation Partners” have been ramming down the throats of UAW members. The Cooperation Partners appear to be suffering symptoms of Alzheimer’ as the UAW moves into the 21st Century. For the Administrative Caucus seems hell bent on destroying our member’s democratic rights by deviating from and/or modifying the principles of governance outlined in the UAW Constitution. During their most recent struggles to win concessions for their company partners, it appears they have forgotten their UAW social trade union heritage. Based upon their actions, it appears the Cooperation Partners are intentionally strangling the Constitution to death by arbitrarily redesigning the objectives of the union so they can force members to capitulate to the corporate defined competitive needs of their company partners. Keep in mind when Miller and Wagoner speak of being competitive neither talks about shop floor inefficiencies, such as first time quality, machine down time, bad parts or materials from suppliers, or recalled parts and vehicles that result in high warrantee cost. And last but not least, in honor of our esteemed friend Dave Yettaw, remember all the excessive overtime that results from criminal mismanagement at GM and Delphi. The only thing NOT GLOBALLY COMETETIVE at GM and Delphi is management. During, this writing, several questions seemed to persist.
1) Do the International Executive Board members care enough to stop acting as company partners in order to save what is left of the UAW?
2) Why should they? The answers will come later in this letter.
The modifications the Cooperation Partners made to the collective bargaining process during the Ford/ Visteon and GM negotiations were subtle but were designed to fast track concessions through the bargaining process. Why did they throw away their regards and respect for the democratic rights of UAW members during those talks? The most recent examples started when Gettelfinger refused to re-open the Ford/Visteon agreements. By refusing to reopen the agreements, the Cooperation Partners had to modify the collective bargaining procedure to accomplish Gettelfinger’s wishes, so he could give the company partners what they wanted in concessions at the same time tie the membership’s hands or ability to fight back. THE STRIKE!
Let us take a closer look, first by asking some very important questions.
1) Who negotiated the terms of those agreements?
2) Was the International Union Top Negotiating Committee (team) involved?
3) Were the Ford /Visteon and GM agreements approved by the IEB of the International Union before the language was presented to the GM and Ford/Visteon councils, (Local presidents and shop chairpersons) for approval?