By Rosetta Miller-Perry

There was once a time when the union movement was a noble and honorable one. A. Phillip Randolph’s Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters did many great things while helping Black railroad workers get better wages and equitable treatment. There was also union support of the Civil Rights Movement, and the basic tenet of union creation, getting fair treatment and salaries for labor, remains a just one. Unfortunately, corruption has seeped into too many of the nation’s biggest unions, most notably the United Auto Workers (UAW). In a contest between them and the Teamsters, one would be hard pressed to determine which was or is worse.

Ford recently announced plans to bring new auto jobs to this state. However what was not made clear in the announcement was how much their arrival is linked to the presence of the UAW and whether it will be necessary to take the UAW along with the jobs. If that’s the case, the Tribune urges Ford to do everything possible to keep the UAW’s hands off the deal and also keep them out of the state.

Let’s be clear that the Tribune does not oppose honest, clean unions that work tirelessly on behalf of its members. But the UAW has consistently shown itself to be anything but concerned about the plight of workers. They are obsessed with lining the pockets of its top officials, and often in illegal ways. There have been 11 high-ranking UAW officials found guilty as a result of a prolonged investigation into rampant corruption occurring within the union.

Right now the UAW is under a six-year federal monitor in a sweeping campaign to clean out the corruption. Perhaps they ultimately be successful, but there’s no question that now is NOT the time for any UAW involvement or affiliation with any company coming to this state. We desperately need more high-paying jobs, and there must be measures taken to make sure that a fair percentage of those jobs go to the people and communities that need them the most. 

So we say to Ford please bring in as many jobs as possible, but keep the United Auto Workers out of anything that you bring to this state. We already have too many unprincipled, unethical people in positions of power. The last thing we need are jobs that are being controlled by a corrupt organization.