Whose business is it that the United Auto Workers is aggressively trying to recruit new dues-paying members in southern manufacturing facilities like Chattanooga’s Volkswagen plant? The union and its allies would have you believe that it’s nobody’s business but theirs.
Wrong. It’s everybody’s business because the UAW is a deeply political entity, a font of manpower, money and support for countless left-wing causes, candidates, and policies, both locally and nationally, including the most economically ruinous idea to come out of Washington in a generation: Obamacare.
Labor unions in general are notoriously political, of course, but according to OpenSecrets.org the UAW “is one of the most politically active of all unions.” In the 2012 election cycle alone, the union spent an astonishing $14.7 million. Contributions to individual candidates (almost all liberals) made up $1.7 million of that total, with an additional $11.5 million given to outside groups dedicated to various left-wing causes.
The UAW’s BFF – Barack Obama – got a princely sum of $148,967 from the union in 2012. After the election, UAW chief Bob King bragged that he and his “progressive allies” had “scored a huge victory in November when we re-elected President Barack Obama.”
As for Obama’s health-care wrecking plan, the union admits on its website: “The UAW… strongly supports the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), signed into law by President Obama in 2010,” and has consistently opposed efforts to repeal or reform it.
So we know the UAW loves Obamacare. But how do the American people feel? According to a recent Pew Research Center/USA Today poll, 54 percent of Americans disapprove of the law.” And no wonder – Obamacare is forcing millions to lose the insurance plans and/or doctors they relied on (despite the President’s repeated promises to the contrary), or pay vastly more for the same or worse coverage.
Rep. Chuck Fleischmann is even one of Obamacare’s unhappy victims. According to POLITICO, Mr.Fleischmann “…tweeted in frustration that the Obamacare website crashed three times as he tried to enroll last week. Once he was able to select a plan, he found that he will pay roughly $800 per month in premiums for his wife and three children — up from the roughly $450 that he is now paying under the Federal Employee Health Benefits program.”
Fleischmann is not alone. According to a recent analysis by the Manhattan Institute, Obamacare will increase premiums in the average state by 41 percent.” Tennessee will see an increase of 33 percent.
Physician Scott DesJarlais, who also represents Tennessee’s 4th Congressional District, notes the toll this is taking on Tennessee families already struggling in a tight economy. “With median income in Tennessee hovering at $38,475, families simply cannot afford this drastic increase,” DesJarlais wrote in the Columbia Daily Herald. Quite.
Big Labor – including the UAW – helped bring us Obamacare. And they’re proud of it. But remember, when you or someone you know loses insurance or a doctor because of this destructive law, just remind yourself:
It’s none of your business.
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Great points by Matt Patterson about the UAW and Democrats. I would never buy a car made by the UAW. My last two have been a Camry made in Georgetown, Ky., and an Accord made in Marysville, Ohio, by non-union American workers. I am considering a Passat for my next purchase as long as VW workers keep the UAW out.
If you are Republican and buy a car made by the UAW you might as well write out a $100 check to the Democrats.
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Yes, all things being equal, I think it's much more important to send thousands of dollars of profit back to Japan or Germany than less than a hundred bucks to Democratic union scum.
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I read your comments and reflected on all of my vehicle shopping over the years. I am amazed at how much a Big 3 Vehicle costs. I just priced out a Nissan Titan (Canton, MS) versus a comparably equipped F150 (Dearborn, MI). Both vehicles have a V8 and similar configurations, without many of the frills that are offered. It shocked me to see that, while the base model F150 prices out lower, when you put the engine and everything that the Titan comes with standard, the F150 jumps up "thousands of dollars" more.
I find your comments about rather sending an extra $100 to the Dems via the UAW vs sending thousands back to Japan or Germany a little off base. Looks like the thousands go to Detroit and the UAW and hundreds go to our domestic foreign auto manufacturers.
Does anyone remember the last time the UAW and VW worked together? At the plant in Pennsylvania? Strikes within six months and the plant closed after a decade. Herb would rather send the jobs and the dollars back to whence they came.
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Mr. Patterson is absolutely correct. We all know that the UAW and the Democrat Party are joined at the hip and that the UAW was the major benefactor in the auto bailout in 2009, so it's no wonder they were in lock step with the Democrats regarding Obamacare.
The major question in my mind is this: Will inserting the UAW between VW and its workers result in VW producing better, more reliable cars that consumers will want to pay for? I think by anecdotal experience and checking out Consumer Report's ratings of all major auto manufacturers, the answer is "not likely."
Everyone I know that has been part of or worked around union shops has their favorite union story, myself included, as to how most labor unions destroy productivity and the quality of whatever good or service they are involved in. If VW wants to engage with its workers to solve problems, increase quality, raise employee morale, or whatever positive outcome they desire, the UAW is not, in my opinion, going to help facilitate those processes.
By the way, if the UAW is so great, why do they not want a secret ballot of the VW workers to opt for or against union representation? Help me out on that one Mr. Montgomery.
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The VW plant in PA had many reasons for closing, besides just a union. This particular assembly plant produced the VW Golf, which by that time was slightly outdated, slightly overpriced, and still based on the old Rabbit design. VW sales had been slumping since the early 80's, largely because of VW's reluctance to change, especially at a time when when they were facing increased pressure from lower priced Japanese models. The US dollar had also been nosediving against the German mark, resulting in higher prices for all German goods.
Anyway, with their sales declining worldwide, VW decided to close the U.S. plant first, in order to keep more German workers employed.
Also, whether it's Nissan or any other foreign carmaker, they may pay us to assemble certain models, but the overall vehicle profit still heads to whatever country in which they are headquartered.