Tuesday, September 25, 2007

now THIS is a worthwhile strike.

UAW workers strike

Some 73,000 union members who work at about 80 U.S. Facilities for the nation's largest automaker walked out of GM plants Monday.

UAW officials said job security is the number one unresolved issue.

The striking workers want GM to promise that future cars and trucks will be built at U.S. plants, preserving union jobs.
when the nyc transit workers went on strike, that was like turning a firing squad on someone who had littered on the street. but preventing outsourcing... that's defcon 1. go UAW!


emily1 said...

what was illegitimate about the transit workers' reasons for striking other than the fact that it caused you and other transit users personal inconvenience?

FM said...

striking is a means of last resort and is a tactic used when things are really really bad. the mta was giving raises already, and because of a budget crunch, they asked the workers to pitch in a little bit for health care (which is tons better than firing anyone).

in the uaw's case, there is a distinct possibility that jobs will be lost. totally lost.

pitching in a tiny bit for health care = defcon 4. losing your entire livelihood = defcon 1.

FM said...

(oh and i was never actually inconvenienced b/c i ride the PATH. but the non-attorney people on my temp project scraping by on $14 an hour with no health insurance and who have kids and who live in east brooklyn... oh well. when the transit workers strike, it's the lower stratum that gets fucked, so it better be defcon 1!)

emily1 said...

actually it was a lot more complicated than that. it was about raises, health care, pensions, retirement ages to collect pensions as well as working conditions.

holding up the fact that the lower stratum suffers more when public transit isn't available is unfair because it engenders a 'beggar thy neighbor' attitude towards any labor union that strikes. if someone somewhere is worse off than a member of the union doesn't mean a union shouldn't call a strike. there's just no sound logic to that argument.

i don't think labor should be fighting just to keep jobs. we should also fight for better jobs with better compensation.

FM said...

sorry, harm to the public at large should be taken into account, and doing so is perfectly logical. we can't pretend it doesn't exist. the public sector is a different animal than the private sector, because the public sector gives essential services to everyone. in fact, there is a law prohibiting workers in the public sector from striking but also grants alternative means of dispute resolution (the "taylor law"). so yeah, someone already took "harm to the public" into account and codified it 40 years ago.

(notwithstanding the illegality of a municipal worker strike, i would have supported the strike had the conditions been more dire.)

emily1 said...

the public is better served when public servants are compensated adequately and the working conditions are safe and pleasant. the MTA workers had been dealing with abusive power-tripping management and that was also a factor in the strike.