One Reason Why Unions Haven’t Been Effective: Follow the Money

Gregg Shotwell, labor organizer, when asked why union leaders are so compliant to corporate demands (boldface mine):

Because they are getting paid by the company. The Big Three (GM, Ford, Chrysler) set up separate tax-exempt nonprofit corporations which are managed by the company and the union but financed solely by the companies. It’s a 501-c. As a result, salaries for UAW International appointees are subsidized by the company. The Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) requires that unions make all financial records available to the membership, but these corporations are separate legal entities.

More generally, many unions, not the just the UAW, have lost their bearings. Union leaders don’t have a world view independent of the corporations they serve. The institution of Labor is infected with opportunists who claim we can cure the afflictions of capitalism with a heavier dose of capitalism. As a result, union leaders advocate that we work harder for less and help the companies eliminate jobs. Competition between workers and cooperation with bosses is an anti-union policy, but it makes perfect sense to union leaders who have more in common with bosses than workers.

Always follow the money.

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