UAW Doesn't Pay For Pensions - And Response (2)

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Re:  Roy Exum: Morons Threaten Our VW Plant

The UAW does not in fact pay for pensions. Pensions are part of negotiated contracts between workers and the companies for which they work. The UAW gave these workers the abilities to negotiate the contracts.  

As far as Westmoreland goes, They head of HR issued a letter after the plant closed. In this letter he stated that the Westmoreland plant closed because of supplier issues and a lack of understanding of the customer base by Volkswagen. It was also stated that working with a UAW workforce was beneficial to the operation of the Westmoreland plant.  

If one must use lies to give credibility to their arguments then I strongly suspect a ulterior motive.

Lon Gravett

Chattanooga 

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When do facts get in the way of anyone with an anti-union ax to grind?  Minimum wage is lower now  than it's ever been, the middle class is shrinking, CEO's get all time high pay raises and bonus, yet some morons still want to blame the American worker's right to organize as the cause of everything bad happening since syphilis.   

Truth is, VW seldom stays anywhere much more than 10 or 15 years. By the way, if you think working at VW for $12 an hour is the Garden of Eden, just try to buy a house, feed your kids and put gas in your car while earning those wonderful wages.  As for VW making a great car, I'll leave that bit of bloviation to Consumer Reports.   Sorry Roy, sometimes you should deal in reality. 

Herb Montgomery
Hixson 

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I felt the need to respond to Roy Exum. While I will not debase my argument by descending to name calling and cliched union scapegoating that his editorial is rife with, I will say that he does not understand what kind of company Volkswagen is nor does he understand who we are (those that seek to organize our workplace and our fellow employees at VW).   

Volkswagen has a long history of being a company that exists for the good of its workers and operating in a socially conscious way. Volkswagen also has a long history of being unionized and every other Volkswagen factory benefits from a union including the plant in Puebla, Mexico.   

To speak to my coworkers and I being greedy just shows what types of things motivate Mr. Exum that he can not even understand that this isn't even about money for most of us.  According to Mr. Exum, those of us that are fortunate to be direct VW employees should not even care about the fate of our colleagues who work for the contractor Aerotek and do not enjoy the same good pay, perks, and benefits as us.  All of us should, according to Mr. Exum, just be thankful to have work and not even bother to fight for a better future for all workers in our region and our country.   

Of course doing the right thing is always derided by those who seek to maintain the status quo and the fight for social justice at work and elsewhere is always met with organized resistance.  As a person who has always been a member of the working class and has lived in this region my entire life with deep familial roots to this area I will make my own decision on my future at Volkswagen and so will each of my coworkers. Fortunately it is just not up to you, Mr. Exum. 

Byron Spencer

* * * 

The world hasn’t witnessed such weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth hissy fits as those over the potential organization of a local of the UAW (United Auto Workers) at the Volkswagen plant at Enterprise South since the caterwauling of the Pharisees running around with their hair on fire over an itinerate holy man in Galilee (known at the time as Jesus bar Joses) sitting down to eat with a bunch of publicans, whores, thieves, and other sinners at the house of a leper. 

You’d think the politicians and other high holy men of the state of Tennessee would show some grace and southern hospitality to one of Tennessee’s biggest employers and best guests by letting a corporation based in one of the very few countries in the world whose economy isn’t totally in the crapper to run its own business the way it sees fit.  But no, apparently that’s asking too much.  As if it weren’t enough to be hassled by Haslam and exhorted against by ex-editors with an axe to grind, now VW is faced with meddling in its affairs by the Koch brothers’ carpet-bagging National Right to Work Committee.

“Right to Work” is a phrase that belongs with the Ministry of Truth’s “War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength” and the oxymoron Military Intelligence.  Coined by French socialist Louis Blanc in the mid-19th century in a time of rising unemployment similar to the current situation, “right to work” is now in 21st century America an anti-labor slogan derived from a post-World War II Orwellian twist on the original.  The discredited “evil empire” which brought us trickle-down economics and the Great Depression perverted Blanc’s slogan in their campaign to tear down the advances in favor of labor under the Wagner Act of 1934. 

Make no mistake, these are the same sort of people who believe the accused in criminal cases do not deserve an adequate legal defense if accused of a crime either, no matter how weak the evidence or how dire the results if convicted, not if they can’t afford to pay for it. 

As explained previously by others, this is not a hostile action by the UAW in the face of strenuous opposition by Volkswagen Motors.  The UAW has been invited by VW into talks about  representing VW’s labor force on its European-style workers’ council, such as VW has in every single other facility it has on planet Earth.  So all of those throwing stones and rotten eggs at the prospect of UAW opening shop at Enterprise South may be thinking their aim is at the object of their contempt but their missiles are hitting elsewhere. 

Chuck Hamilton




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