Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Letters

April 30, 2012

Letters - Monday, April 30, 2012

— UAW brass sets back membership 98 years

In light of the new alternative work schedule that is being implemented at the local Chrysler plants, it sparked a desire in me to do some research.

In 1836, Boston shipyard carpenters achieved an eight-hour work day.

On May 1, 1886, the Knights of Labor, 80,000 people strong, marched in Chicago in support of an eight-hour work day.

On Jan. 5, 1914, the Ford Motor Co. took the radical step of doubling pay to $5 a day and cut shifts from nine hours to eight, moves that were not popular with rival companies. Although seeing the increase in Ford’s productivity and a significant

increase in profit margin – from $30 million to $60 million in two years – most soon followed suit.

The primary goal of any company, no matter what it produces, is to make money, plain and simple. The goal is to achieve the highest profit with the least amount of cost to achieve it, period. The goal of any union is to represent its union-dues-paying members and protect their rights.

Chrysler has succeeded in doing its job. The UAW has failed miserably.

Chrysler UAW’s head, General Holiefield, states he will not go before the executive committee about the alternative work schedule because it ensures the UAW approximately 2,000 new union dues being paid per month. Since when do we put the prospect of future union dues above and beyond the desires of the current membership?

We are told on a local level that Chrysler will not guarantee future work for our local plants if we do not accept the alternative work schedule. When has anyone, anywhere, in any profession been guaranteed future work? Chrysler played this same tactic with the plant in New Castle.

The New Castle membership complied with Chrysler’s demands only to have their plant sold and closed just months afterwards. The old saying that you’ve got to stand for something or you will fall for anything applies here.

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