This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Morici: Volkswagen Plant Vote in Tennessee Shows Unions Must Change to Survive

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The United Auto Workers' failure to organize workers at the Volkswagen(VLKAY) in Chattanooga, Tenn., shows just how much unions need to change to stay relevant.

Unions represent about 11% of all U.S. workers, down from 20% two decades ago, and less than 7% of private-sector employees. Only in state and local governments do unions hold sway, but that is accomplished by supporting politicians who accede to demands for excessive pensions and benefits that are driving many cities and states to financial ruin.

In the private sector, technology has replaced many blue-collar jobs, and contemporary managers are much more sensitive to workers' needs than in earlier decades.

The South, where much manufacturing has moved to, remains decidedly ant-union, and labor leaders have cultivated much of the public animus.

Must Read: Seattle Shouldn't Be an NBA Expansion Pawn

Many autoworkers at the VW plant blame the recent bankruptcies of General Motors (GM - Get Report) and Chrysler on the UAW's combative behavior. Hundreds of thousands of hardworking blue-collar workers lost jobs at Detroit automakers and suppliers, as the union resisted changes in work rules and insisted on overly generous benefits that kept productivity below and labor costs above foreign-owned plants operating in the U.S. South

Also, many folks in Chattanooga see the UAW as modern-day carpetbaggers preying on their political freedom. Along with virtually all the unions affiliated with the AFL-CIO, the union strongly supports the Democratic Party, abortion rights, gun control and other liberal causes.

Those positions may well suit Northern civil-service unions but are an anathema to many Southern blue-collar workers. They don't want to pay union dues to finance liberal activism and political campaigns.

Labor leaders have argued unfair employer tactics are responsible for a string of union defeats in plant representation elections. In Chattanooga, however, VW openly supported the UAW's organizing efforts and put a gag order on its managers, who being Southerners might have been inclined to criticize the union.

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
VLKAY $30.19 -2.17%
GM $30.59 -2.11%
AAPL $94.19 -1.04%
FB $118.06 0.54%
GOOG $695.70 0.48%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,651.26 -99.65 -0.56%
S&P 500 2,051.12 -12.25 -0.59%
NASDAQ 4,725.6390 -37.5850 -0.79%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs