The UAW: Not Sure Who to Blame

By June 14, 2006Labor Unions

The whole time we were in Las Vegas, we had no idea that the UAW was right there with us at its convention. Lots of stories in the press yesterday about UAW President Ron Gettelfinger’ exhaustive (one-hour) speech to the delegates. Some said the speech “drew silence”. No wonder. At one hour, it’s hard to draw anything but silence.

The Wall Street Journal quoted one delegate as agreeing with Gettelfinger’s suggestion that some of the UAW’s problems should be fixed by the government, not at the bargaining table. But it seems to us that this is precisely the wrong prescription for the UAW. They ought not be waiting for the government to come rescue them from the brier patch, they ought to be about the business of fixing it themselves — right there at the bargaining table. If they think a national solution is easier than a local one, they’re flat wrong.

The Journal piece also mentioned a criticism voiced by Gettelfinger that “the Bush-Cheney Administration hasn’t shown much interest” in incentives to build hybrids and other alternative-fuel vehicles. But according to this fact sheet (tough to find — we used Google), it appears that this is precisely what the White House is calling for as part of its comprehensive energy plan. We don’t expect the UAW to jump on the White House bandwagon any time soon.

FYI, here’s a transcript of the speech for you insomniacs out there.