Just when you thought the news couldn't get any worse for the UAW...

The nature of the automobile industry is changing, and the United Auto Workers, once the flagship of organized labor in the United States and the world, has been left behind and is now a shadow of its former self. From a peak of over a million and a half members 35 years ago, the UAW has declined to a mere 380,000 or so at present. Retirees vastly outnumber active members, at 600,000. The graph below (source) tells the story of a union that got too greedy, earning wages and benefits for semi-skilled work that were the envy of many professions requiring college and professional degrees, job security, and many perquisites, including having a paid holiday on one's birthday. All this was only possible because the shared oligopoly of the Big Three automakers threw off so much money that buying labor peace was more lucrative than suffering through a long strike that the UAW would target at the maker judged most vulnerable. Once concessions were won at one auto manufacturer, the others...(Read Full Post)

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