Volkswagen’s hourly team – my co -workers: you stand at an uncertain intersection right now. And your future depends on which direction you vote. I urge you to really do your research on the UAW. I urge you to use the power of the internet to look at both sides yourself. Search on UAW positives and negatives - read first hand stories and make an educated choice.
You don’t need the UAW to get the works council, you just need a union. You can form your own private “VW” workers union, and ensure that you really do have a voice and our own interests at heart. Besides that, you won’t pay 2 or 2.5 percent of all your pay in ‘dues’ only to see 2/3 of that go up to Detroit and never to come back to you. (If you make $40,000 a year, that is $1,000, of which, around $600 goes to north.)
But what I really want to make sure that you understand is this: yes, Tennessee is a “Right to Work State,” and that just means that you have a right to work at Volkswagen without having to join a union. That’s a fact. But that is all that means.
What many people don’t understand is that it does not mean that you are not affected by the union. In fact, you are affected. If the UAW (or any union) is voted in, regardless of your desire not to be a part of them, you will be a part of them. See, once a union is voted in, you become ‘covered’ under them as you are part of the ‘bargaining unit.’ That means anything they vote away or in, will affect you, even if you do not join them and pay dues. That means that when it comes time to negotiate the new wages and benefits (you do not necessarily keep what you currently have, that is all up for renegotiation), you could lose things that you have come to enjoy, including your current pay or retirement plan, the cars, the medical benefits, the daycare, your bonuses, everything is up for re-negotiation.
I am not anti-union. I am anti-UAW, because I have seen first-hand, the damage they do, the greed, the cronyism, the loss of jobs right there in Cleveland, Tn., in Hartford, Ct., and in Detroit. But only you get to decide your future this time. It is your future, your retirement, your benefits that swing in the balance. Please do your own research, and if you do not plan to join them if they do get in, remember that you are covered by their contract. So you need to vote accordingly. Please make an educated vote and not an emotional one. Your future and your happiness will be determined by how you guys vote. Only you control your destiny now, and I hope that you make the right choice.
Kaye Fiorello – Non Management Specialist