Allowing Unions to Organize Volkswagen is Like ‘Injecting Cancer’ Into US Auto Industry

It seems like a foolish move by Volkswagen for allowing the United Auto Workers (UAW) to organize its American plants. Not only did the UAW screw Volkswagen in the past, but even now the union admits that it is raising union dues solely to replenish its strike fund so unionistas can walk out. It’s like Volkswagen is buying its own rope for its execution.

Or, as Steve Moore of The Wall Street Journal says, “it’s like inserting a cancer cell into a body.”

That is how Journal editorial board member Moore characterized the act of allowing the UAW to organize Volkswagen’s American auto plants. “That one cancer cell is going to multiply and kill the body. It’s a disruptive influence,” he continued.

Worse, the UAW wants to raise dues for members for the expressed reason of filling strike fund coffers, this according to UAW Boss Bob King.

So, if Volkswagen gives in to the UAW’s demands it will only be helping the union to walk out at the earliest opportunity.

The sad thing about the possibility that Volkswagen will willingly allow the UAW into its plants is that the German automaker’s previous American manufacturing presence was ruined by unions back in the 1970s.

Back then Volkswagen opened a plant in Pennsylvania but a rash of unauthorized union walkouts crushed the carmaker’s nascent US auto plants. One would think that Volkswagen wouldn’t be so stupid as to allow the UAW to cost it so many millions and destroy its business again.

In just ten years the UAW destroyed the Pennsylvania plant and sent Volkswagen packing to Mexico taking the jobs with it. In fact, the giant manufacturing facilities that Volkswagen built in Pennsylvania are still empty to this day. That is the devastation of unionism.

So, when Volkswagen opened its non-union plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, it seemed that the company had learned its lesson. But now there are some signs that the company is allowing the UAW to once again descend like a plague on its facilities.

If workers in Volkswagen’s Tennessee plant are smart they will tell the union to take a hike. After all voting yes on the UAW is voting to end your job.

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  • Lawrence Westlake

    That headline is an insult to cancer. That aside, did you not read the cited article? VW already is a union shop. The one major exception is its plant in TN, which not surprisingly by far is its best plant. VW didn’t allow that plant to be organized. The UAW there pulled a card check trick. VW either has to accept that fraud or push for a real, secret ballot NLRA election. Presumably VW is not dumb enough merely to accept card check for that one plant, in which event it remains to be seen whether that plant will get unionized. Reading a blog post is like looking through the rabbit hole. Sigh. Lastly, on the broader point of unions destroying entire industries, if we ever did get saddled with a national card check law (and if non-voting conservatives keep electing Democrats eventually it’ll happen), then you can say good bye to big box retail, consumer wholesale and casino gaming. Unions would do to those industries what they already did to steel, textiles and automotive.

    • warnertoddhuston

      You might want to read what I wrote. ALl I talked about was the Tennessee plant.

  • jim_m

    Not only did the UAW destroy the productivity in the Westmoreland, PA plant, it destroyed VW’s reputation in the US because the quality coming out of that plant was so poor. It took well over a decade for VW to recover in the US.

    My last 3 cars have been VW’s. They produce the Passat in Chattanooga. It will be a cold day before I buy another Passat if the UAW is building them.

    • Paul Hooson

      The quality control isn’t always good on all U.S. produced VW products, Jim M. I’ve had enough problems with bad U.S. made VW products that I like to avoid them at my used car business I own. – You need to run the VIN # and find out the country of manufacture to determine where your car is made. A 1,4 or 5 means U.S. produced. 2 is Canada. 3 is Mexico. England is S. Sweden is Y. Germany is W. Japan is J. South Korea is K. This will be the first digit in the VIN#.

      • jim_m

        I know where my cars were made. I have done a lot of work on my VW’s myself and recommend vwvortex as a great site for anyone seeking info on their car. I have had two from Pueblo and one from Germany. They have all been fine, although working on them can be a real pain.

        • Paul Hooson

          I like VWs, although they can be a real bitch to fix sometimes. -I’ve owned three VWs, A 1965 Baja bug and two 411 models. Had an engine fire with one 411 VW. The plastic fuel injection broke with pressure on the freeway, allowing gas to set the car on fire. The car was a total loss. – It’s funny how VW was never able to pull out the good horsepower that Subaru did with their pancake four designs. -Some VW buses have Subaru engine swaps in them. – These days, when I’m not on a motorcycle, I drive a Mini Cooper or my Jeep. Nearly bought a Dodge Viper recently. You just can’t beat a 10 cylinder, 640 horsepower engine. Makes my 290hp 1969 AMC Ambassador look sorry by comparison, and not as good of a tire burner.

          • jim_m

            You needed to get a VR6. That engine was glorious. A real b*tch to work on sometimes as the clearances were TIGHT! But you could put a chip in it and do a couple of other cheap mods and send it to over 200hp (for a ’97) at the wheels. And it felt solid all the way up to 150 with the limiter removed.

          • Paul Hooson

            I think we had a lot VW with that engine. It felt very strong. Great horsepower in that design.

  • Vagabond661

    “Allowing Unions to Organize Volkswagen is Like”…..
    allowing the government to run our healthcare?
    allowing schools to teach Common Core?
    allowing the EPA to set emission standards?

  • Paul Hooson

    I wonder if this has anything to with quality control at VW? Other German automakers like BWN used South Carolina for some manufacturing due to low wages and nonunion labor status, But, according to one former VW worker, the German-built cars overall had far fewer issues with missing parts, loose bolts and other quality control issues due to higher worker pay in Germany, better working conditions, a better work ethic. For the VW cars assembled either in whole or from parts from North America and Mexico, there had to be quality control campaigns and inspections of customer owned vehicles because of quality control issues related to the lower wages of North American or Mexican employees or a slipshod work ethic by some employees to just put in the hours, check out, and get paid, where pride in craftsmanship was lacking compared to the German assembled units.
    VW has to be wary of a union crafted retirement package for the employees unless the terms are favorable. For example, union bakers in Oregon have a $1600 a month retirement package, solely funded from mutual fund investments by the union itself, with nothing from the employer, funded solely from the $40 a month union dues investments. This is a very good package for the workers and the employers as well, not hitting them up for retirement funds from the current company revenues.
    If VW can improve their product quality with a more professional workforce as well as avoid the retirement payout trap, then it is possible to create a positive situation for VW here, leading to a more reputation building for VW. Further, if VW union employees can be steered towards buying a VW product from a credit union associated with the labor union, then VW also gains there as well.
    Right now, VW is involved in an ambitious 5 year plan to surpass GM and Toyota as the largest auto brand in the world. This is a big task for a brand known for sometimes spotty quality, being a knockoff brand in it’s early days where the Beetle models were little more than a cheap knockoff of the far superior Czech Tatra T-97 cars, shortened in length and made very cheaply. Even the VW bus or station wagon models were pretty much a knockoff of the 1950’s Goliath buses. For many years VW had few products with few original ideas of their own, but rather was known for building cheaper versions of better automobiles from other brands and countries.
    Here’s a picture of the far superior Tatra automobiles that VW ripped off, producing their very inferior Beetle model as a knockoff of. And if VW can actually use this relationship with labor to produce quality products, and not just cheap knockoffs of far better ideas or other cars, then more power to them here.

    • jim_m

      More likely the workers and not the company are the quality problem.

      Yes, Porsche admitted that he copied the Czech Tatra when he built the Beetle. The lower quality was not due to Porsche’s ability but due to the mandate from Hitler to keep the costs down.

      I would suggest that VW is a different company from when it was founded. They own SEAT, Skoda, Scania, Audi, Porsche, Bentley, Lamborghini and Bugatti as well as Ducati and a large share of Suzuki.

      • Paul Hooson

        VW is number three in the world for good reason. Until almost 1960, many German cars were largely junk with the exception of Mercedes. Some of the cars like the BMW Isetta weren’t great cars by any standard of measure. But, German cars have improved much since 1960.