LouisvillePolitics.com - Disturbing reports out of Dearborn, Michigan today folks. According to sources at UAW local 600 in Dearborn, union reps have been ordered to take ballots for the contract vote directly to line employees, and force them to vote on the contract. If proven true, this is illegal, unethical, and prison time should be a direct result for anyone involved including UAW leadership, perhaps including Executive Vice President Jimmy Settles himself.
It has been clear all week that UAW employees nationally are largely opposed to the contract negotiated by Ford and UAW leadership. As of this writing the National contract was losing by a margin of 53% - 47%. UAW members should be opposed, but never have we seen a blatant attempt to manipulate the vote or voting process as we have seen from UAW leadership this week.
On Wednesday, UAW Executive VP Jimmy Settles held a press conference to urge all remaining members to vote yes on the contract, and went so far as to use intimidation tactics to force a yes vote from members.
Settles used coercion by stating that Ford may not follow through on their investments in U.S. That is a threat folks.
Perfectly fine when you are laying out the contract to your members prior to a vote, but not fine when you are using these tactics while the vote is actually in process.
The translation? Vote yes right now or lose your job. Harassment, intimidation, strong arm, bullying, you name it. Never have I witnessed such a blatant disregard for the legalities of secret ballot voting during a contract vote. Let me rephrase that, never have I seen it so openly on display.
And illegally so. Felonious illegal behavior in the voting process is never acceptable, much less by your own leadership.
What if Ford were sending their supervisors around with ballots and those same supervisors were telling them to vote now on the spot and vote no? There would be nowhere they could hide from the mainstream media, federal authorities, or anyone else, and yet somehow no one in msm has bothered with this.
The reality is that today, thanks to modern technology, it is easier than ever to share information from one place to the next instantaneously. UAW membership is waking up to the lies and deception by their own leadership because of this. They have been lied to for years.
And that scares the hell out of the upper management echelons of the UAW itself. And it should.
The UAW leadership has profited handsomely in recent years just as Ford itself has. The people who have been hurt and continue to be so are the members themselves. It is a two pronged attack against membership by the UAW and Ford leadership.
I write often about the establishment and the uni party in politics. In short, both parties have sold out for the power they receive individually. They work together to maintain their elite power. It is the same concept at work here.
UAW employees gave up BILLIONS when Ford asked them to in order to save the business. Ford promised to make it up to them when they became profitable. Ford has been making record breaking, or near record breaking profits, for the last few years and still these same UAW members have not broken even yet to their pre -2007 standard of living.
For example, a lot of pundits believe that eliminating the two tier wage system was a great idea, and agreeing to eliminate it would be the key selling point to pass this contract. The reality is the blue collar assembly line production workers are smarter than to fall for this. Union leadership didn't think they were.
Let me explain. From the outside looking in, the two tier wage system in its simplest form means all new hires would be paid at a lower scale up to a maximum of 25 % of Ford's total employees.
Anytime Ford hired more people seniority ruled the day and some of those employees would move up the list until Ford broke the 25% threshold. Any employee above the 25 % would automatically bump up to full pay.
It is all a mirage.
Ford agreed to eliminate the two tier and set up a more traditional standard progression until you reached full pay. It used to be 2 -4 years depending, now it is raised to 8 years, or twice the time frame of this four year agreement.
What the UAW leadership, and Ford, have not stated is that they have a massive amount of retirees upcoming. With no threshold, Ford can hire as many people as they want now, at Tier 1 prices. This means that currently while they are limited to 25 % max, the new contract has no limits.
Think about this. Ford has made billions upon billions under the 25 % max currently in existence, how much more will they make when the total reaches 40-50% of lower level wages?
It will double or triple tier current profits on the backs of those who will be forced to do more for less.
This is Wal-Mart principles on display in the manufacturing sector and should be unacceptable to anyone. Of course Ford and the UAW will argue that is the reason they dropped the cap on Ford profit sharing, meaning Ford will pay pure profit sharing to all employees without a cap on the top end.
Sounds great in theory except Ford pays out a ratio of roughly $1000 per $1 billion in profits on profit sharing. So Ford gets the lions share anyway and gets richer accordingly.
Ford gets to continue living high on the hog. So does UAW leadership.
Ford has made tens of billions since 2007, some of that came from we the taxpayer, and continues to do so.
How so? It all started with a Ford bailout disguised as a Department of Energy "loan." Read this for more.
Ford took $5.9 Billion of our taxpayer money, at 1/2 of 1 % interest rate, with no timetable to repay the loan, back in 2009. Much of which is still owed today. Ford makes a return on that money of somewhere around 10% equating to over $500 million a year in income alone.
The reason the UAW members are so angry is that Ford is bragging about the tens of billions of dollars in profits they have accumulated in recent years, and still refuse to bring the UAW members back up to pre -2007 levels.
This contract doesn't even approach equality accordingly. Ford must spend roughly about $2.3 Billion, over the next 4 years, to make things equal to pre -2007. The cost would be roughly $575 million each year to do so.
Ford has made $500 million a year alone on the taxpayer "loan" money. That's $2 billion right there Ford has profited over the last 4 years with more to come.
Consider this, $500 million a year in free money from the taxpayer to Ford itself, the DOE money interest, and needing $575 million a year to satisfy the promises to your employees, leaves Ford on the hook for about $75 million a year of their own money to employees.
If Ford only made $1 Billion in profits annually, that equates to about 7.5% to employees to make them whole from the concessions they gave when asked to do so.
The UAW members gave up concessions of about 15-20% overall of their incomes to make it all happen for Ford.
When you brag about making billions each year in profit, for many consecutive years, then it becomes a slap in the face when you could give back such a small amount to make whole those who made it possible.
And that's the rub folks. UAW leadership knows this and didn't care. UAW leadership begged the members to make the concessions and they did. UAW leadership promised when Ford was healthy they would compensate them and they failed to follow through.
Now they are resorting to illegal behavior to force a contract based on lies against the people they purport to represent?
Membership needs to wipe the slate clean and get rid of all of the UAW leadership across the board and start anew. Every plant rep, building chairman, committee member, bargain committee member, all the way up to UAW President and executive staff.
If my sources are correct, and they are indeed forcing employees to vote on the line in front of a steward, then I would hope one of these members does the right thing and files federal charges through the NLRB.
This is why so many union members today actually support right to work. They are sick and tried of paying for a leader that doesn't exist.
This contract with Ford could be the best chance in some time to force union leadership to do their job.
If not, then the door to unions being gone forever is wide open......
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