The Constitutional Death of the UAW, volume 2, part 1   
June, 2007

Written By William Hanline and Friends

“The American automakers are experiencing a major financial crisis.” Even while investing (b)illions of dollars overseas to level the “Playing Filed.” these are the cooperative cries propagated by the auto industry (which is self funded/self insured), its spin-masters, academics and corporate media and the UAW. But, wait a minute, isn’t there something missing in those reports?  Are we not overlooking the fact that 10’s of thousands of the union’s members are experiencing a crisis also? Why don’t we hear of the retirees and the workers being forced out on early retirement? Why don’t we read in the news papers and in evening news reports such as CNN’s Lou Dobbs the stories of those former GM and Delphi workers who can no longer make car payments, college tuitions, home mortgages? Lest we forget those who have been forced to file bankruptcy since Delphi and GM announced the UAW GM and Delphi Special Attrition program in March of 2006. Isn’t that a crisis also? How about it Lou Dobbs?

Furthermore, wouldn’t you think the UAW International Union would start experiencing a financial crisis also? Take for instance, since the mid 1990s, the union has lost over half of its dues paying members, (revenue) while the ranks of retirees grew to exceed active workers nearly 2-1. Instead of Gettelfinger crying in his handkerchief over GM’s and Delphi’s financial crisis and the crisis the other auto companies are experiencing. Wouldn’t you think he would give up trying to manage the companies through cooperative programs and do something to protect the Unions members for the spoliation of their pensions and retirement benefits?   If Gettelfinger was so concerned about National Health care then why wouldn’t he strike the hell out of the automakers especially Delphi since Delphi has announced it will still close 17 plants in the United States?  Why should he care if a strike drives one of them into oblivion? The companies have proven time and again they want to close shop in this country. Therefore, by striking Delphi and/or one or more of the automakers, could be the only way to shock and awe our politicians in Washington to investigate and eventually pass national health care legislation, which according to industry spin-masters and the UAW is the fix the auto giants need to compete with foreign rivals in this country.  How many times have you heard or read Gettelfinger say healthcare cannot be fixed at the bargaining table, it can only be done in Washington through legislation?

This whole scenario reminds me of a couple lines from Tennessee William Ford’s hit song “Sixteen Tons” he sang, “another day older and deeper in debt and “I owe my soul to the company store”

UAW members need not forget, these companies are “Self Funded and Self Insured” they report to NO ONE the real cost related to their health care Insurance and the premium rate they set. This is the “Company Store” of healthcare and the reason for the high cost of healthcare insurance in the US. Their simply shifting the cost onto their active workers and retirees is not just designed so the companies can bleed their worker’s weekly checks and retirees’ pension checks but so they can bleed everyone who has to work for a living.