Slash and burn was (and in some parts of the world still is) a common approach to agriculture. The farmer cuts down a section of forest and burns it. From the value provided by the dead plant matter and ash, the ground provides usable crops for a few years. However, at the end of that period, the ground is just about entirely without value and unable to grow anything. The nutrients are gone. The farmer moves on to the next section of forest.
Such is the approach which the UAW is taking:
The United Auto Workers union said it is prepared to spend hundreds of millions of dollars in a bid to organize employees, including a new push for hourly factory workers at foreign-owned car plants in the U.S.
The effort is part of a major shift in focus by the UAW, which had spent most of the past 75 years extracting better wages and benefits from the three Detroit auto makers.
Now, after two of the Big Three were forced into bankruptcy, in part because of uncompetitive labor contracts, the union’s new president intends to make a major push this year to organize workers at U.S. plants owned by makers such as Toyota Motor Corp., Volkswagen AG and Hyundai Motor Co.
Having destroyed the old-growth forest, the UAW now seeks more. What an absolute crying shame. Oh, and if the unions don’t get the results they want? Well, they are prepared for that also:
UAW President Bob King signaled in an interview the union is willing to take a much less confrontational approach to foreign car makers than it did decades ago in battles to become established at the Big Three.
But if the companies don’t agree to a set of rules being promoted by the union to ensure what it calls free and fair union elections, he indicated the fight could turn nasty—and global.
The UAW, he said, would hold demonstrations at the corporate headquarters of these companies outside the U.S. as well as at their U.S. plants. In addition, it would picket their dealerships in the U.S. and abroad, and sports events globally that are sponsored by the car companies.
If the companies don’t cave, the unions will take steps to disrupt their businesses and their commercial relationships with others. But then again, why wouldn’t the UAW be emboldened by its success (as it sees it) with the Big Three?
Amazing. Absolutely amazing.