This notoriously corrupt union is not stable in any sense of the word, and much of the threatening calls are (much like in a horror movie) coming from inside the house. To that end, international President Ray Curry is sounding the alarm on a dire situation – falling membership numbers. Over the course of one pandemic year, the union lost at least six percent of its members, and Curry believes that if those numbers don’t come back, the 372,000-member union won’t survive. That’s why the thousands of future workers at EV plants will be so critical in determining whether the UAW can claim longevity.
One thing is certain – Curry’s status as president isn’t a done deal forever. He has several rivals looking to take over his role after the recent referendum that will allow members to directly elect their leaders. Will this method restore members’ faith? Not all by itself. Curry could very well be ousted following campaigns from opponents during the union’s late-July convention.
Although the UAW is not entirely rudderless, it’s not making new industry fans:
- A critical eye has landed upon a UAW deal with Ford, which led a UAW member to vocally accuse (in an op-ed) the company and union of climbing “in bed” with each other with a neutrality agreement. The worker lashed out after Ford consented to allowing the UAW to deny workers a secret vote and organize through card check. The UAW member wrote, “I can personally attest to the coercion that can come from union officials.” He declared the card check method to create a “shockingly unfair advantage” to the union and against workers.
- Four Michigan GM plants nearly saw UAW members walk off the job, but a last-minute deal (for pay raises) brought temporary relief to the factories, two of which build EVs. The threatened strikes would have shut down the plants, and the conflict proves that auto workers can and will gamble (paywall) even in the face of a possible U.S. economic recession.
- That Union-led gamble can also take place in auto sales, including a San Diego Mercedes-Benz dealership where repair technicians picketed after claiming that 10-15% raises for techs simply was not enough.