From the TUC

Not enough organised workplaces; A problem for unions in the downturn?

07 Dec 2008, By

It’s estimated that around 3 million jobs will be lost in the US if the car industry collapses and an article here from the Los Angeles Times puts an interesting spin on the crisis arguing that what’s needed is MORE not LESS unionisation of car makers. 

Commenting on attempts by the ‘big three’ car makers in the US – General Motors, Ford and Chrysler – to secure a bailout (or bridge-loans) from the US Government the article makes the point that one of the big competitive disadvantages that these corporations face is that they employ “high priced, unionised” workforces compared to the low cost non-unionised workforces employed by many foreign US based competitors.

The article goes on to make the point that the answer lies not in tearing up the agreements that secured a better deal for US autoworkers and to some degree criticises the union in question, the UAW for NOT organising enough of the car plants owned by the big three’s competitors (although it concedes that this is easier said than done given that quite a few of the car plants in question are in red”right to work” states) and calls upon the union to address what it calls the “unfinished business of the 80’s” by organising them.