UAW Problems and Solutions

A former auto worker named Thomas Adams printed part of his dissertation in the Monthly Review. https://mronline.org/2019/08/19/a-tale-of-corruption-by-the-united-auto-workers-and-the-big-three-american-automakers/ . He calls it “A tale of corruption…”

I have to point out that, regardless of his intentions, Mr Adams’ piece has to be seen as part of the overall political and economic assault against the auto workers. It’s no coincidence that so much juicy scandal about UAW leaders reached its peak just as the contract expired and 49,000 workers were forced out on strike.

Nor is it a coincidence that the strike is starting its second week. The last one, in 2007, lasted only two days. General Motors is not giving the UAW leadership anything that they can take back to the membership with any hope of contract acceptance. it is entirely possible that they won’t.

It is hard to avoid the conclusion that the government and General Motors, and probably Ford and Fiat-Chrysler, are out to finally destroy the union that they have so carefully weakened over the last 4 decades.

Before all that, the auto workers union was the pride of the union movement. They were the first major success of the Coalition for Industrial Organizing that was begun in 1935 specifically to organize a different industry (steel).

They were the biggest union to break through divisive color and gender lines. Even after 1947, when the most progressive elements were kicked out, the UAW continued generally as the progressive end of the American union continuum. Their newspaper editor opposed the war in Vietnam. Their president marched with Dr. King. They stood against South African apartheid.

I am not saying that Thomas Adams’ criticisms aren’t true. For a lot of it, I was there, and I can vouch for some of the events he reveals. Certainly, the union made a gigantic mistake in joining management under the mistaken assumption that the main enemy of American workers was foreign workers.

The enemy then and now is and was corporate management and their stooges in government. That’s who we have to fight, not each other.

-Gene Lantz

I’m on KNON radio’s “Workers Beat” program at 9 AM Central Time every Saturday. If you are curious about what I really believe, check out my personal web site

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