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  1. #51

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    Few things piss me off more than corruption in the unions, mostly because I immediately compare these fucking greedy pigs to average working stiffs like my dad. My father put in nearly 40 years on the line and was the hardest working and most honest man I've ever known. Of course I'm prejudiced, but I doubt if he ever even took a bolt or a screw home from the plant. If he did, he probably dashed off to confession at the earliest opportunity.

    My dad was just one of several family members who collected UAW pensions after decades of often mind-numbing labor on the line, and there was no prouder union man. He dropped out of school in the fifth grade during the Depression and was pretty much a lost soul until he managed to snag a job at Dodge Main. He was always so appreciative of what the union did for him and so many others like him. I can remember a couple times in the '50s and '60s when Chrysler was on strike and the union took care of us kids at Christmas. Walter Reuther was my dad's hero. He had three framed photos on the wall near the furnace inside our Detroit home: JFK, Pope John XXIII, and Reuther. Yep, the Holy Trinity.

    You'll have to excuse my nostalgia. Dad's been on my mind lately. He would be 100 years old this Dec. 27, so we're kicking around the idea of throwing some kind of "Eddie Bak Centennial"---a basement gathering of loud, silly, sentimental Polacks with the usual poker, kielbasa, lime vodka, etc.

    The attached photo is of my dad as he left to go to work at Dodge Truck early one winter morning in 1973. He's got the usual bleary-eyed look and that black lunch pail he'd had since probably 1957 or so. I took it with my new Polaroid camera. I'd just gotten home from a 12-hour shift as a spot welder at Dodge Truck (mandatory OT back then, and vans were selling like crazy), and I remember Dad joking: "Baks work 'round the clock." Well, not this Bak---I left for the Marines a couple weeks later, and aside from a short spell at the Rouge in '78, never returned to the line. But I've always considered myself a solid union man and have never crossed a picket line. In fact, I've never bought anything but a Big 3 car, though I know most people will argue there's no really such thing as an American-Man car anymore.

    While I'm on my little nostalgia trip, I can recommend a fine documentary about the three Reuther brothers and the rise of the UAW and how it built the middle class. It's called "Brothers on the Line." Here's a link: http://www.brothersontheline.com

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  2. #52

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    hopefully mr. Gamble will right the ship with ethics standards. The next formal election may end up being fractious, which will likely add to the negative morale within union worker ranks.

  3. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by rickbak View Post
    Few things piss me off more than corruption in the unions, mostly because I immediately compare these fucking greedy pigs to average working stiffs like my dad....
    Thanks for the story. It sounds like something Studs Terkel would have written. I'd like to see more stories like that here.

    We need to remember that "corruption in the unions" is deliberately fomented by anti-unionists. That doesn't excuse it, but greedy capitalist hands wring gleefully whenever that phrase is uttered.

  4. #54

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    Gary Jones out at the UAW. Hard to believe that it took this long.

    Not a good look for the industry as a whole.
    https://www.freep.com/story/money/ca...ks/4248317002/
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/20/b...gtype=Homepage

  5. #55

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    To add to the the UAW's stained reputation and woes this story will keep UAW corruption in news. Most interesting to me is the claim that Sergio Marchionne was not only in the know but a central figure. I always found FCA's attempts to paint this as a rogue operation unbelievable.

    I don't recall an auto company suing another before. Anybody?

    GM lawsuit accuses Fiat Chrysler of labor racketeering

    Lawsuit also names three former FCA execs in ongoing corruption probe involving UAW
    GM claims actions in collective bargaining process caused it "substantial damages"
    Complaint alleges late FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne "was a central figure" in "fraudulent activity"

  6. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by rickbak View Post
    Few things piss me off more than corruption in the unions, mostly because I immediately compare these fucking greedy pigs to average working stiffs ...snip...
    It should piss you off. But you shouldn't be surprised. It must be painfully clear to even the most ardent union supporter that something is wrong with the way we have organized our organized labor in the US. Canada seems to have the same problems. The unions have successfully fought off open disclosure requirements for their spending over that way. Without visibility to Union finances, and without any competition for workers (closed shops, only one union per company), expect this to repeat and repeat and repeat. There's no reason to expect improvement -- just more flyswatting.

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