Friday, June 18, 2010

"Hey! Denying their rights is OUR job!"

...or, I think Bob King is reading something into Toyota's decision that isn't there:

Toyota's announcement that it will resume construction of a car factory in Mississippi was a much-needed piece of good news for both the state struggling with persistent unemployment and the automaker trying to recover some goodwill after a recall crisis bruised its reputation.
But the decision drew fire from America's largest auto union, which accused Toyota of shifting production from a union plant to a nonunion facility.
UAW President Bob King pledged to step up efforts to organize nonunion workers at Toyota factories and those run by other foreign automakers in the U.S. King, who was elected to head the union this week, used his acceptance speech on Thursday to accuse Toyota of shifting jobs to a location where it can pay lower, nonunion wages. He also said the move was designed to scare workers at Toyota's other U.S. factories.
"We're going to pound on Toyota until they recognize the First Amendment rights of those workers to come into the UAW," King said at the UAW national convention in Detroit.
Recognize what, again? Nowhere did I see in this story that Toyota was denying workers in Mississippi or anywhere else their right to unionize. It's arguable that Toyota workers wouldn't get paid as much in Mississippi anyway because the cost of living is probably much lower in Mississippi than in California. I think Bob King is just pissed off because Mississippi is a right-to-work state, which means he can't legally enter into an agreement with Toyota to force employees to join his union as a condition of employment. If I was in his position I'd be pissed off too -- but, well, I don't think people should have to join the union to work someplace if they feel it's not in their best interests.