By GLENN KAGE, JR.
President, UAW Local 2250
A good friend of mine asked me what my thoughts were on why any union member buys foreign cars. His concern was why do so many members seem to drive foreign cars.
Most if it comes down to education.
People think buying a Nissan made in Mississippi is the same as purchasing a Chevy made in Wentzville, MO. It’s not.
First of all, the profits made on the sale of the Nissan (as well as any other foreign transplant) go back to Japan (or the country of origin of the manufacturer). I know, I know. I can already hear the naysayers touting the fact that Chrysler is owned by Fiat (FCA). There is still a substantial difference.
As most everyone knows, the United Auto Workers (UAW) contract is up this September. When negotiations start, you can count on one thing; GM, Ford and FCA will be touting the non-union vehicles that are assembled throughout the country that are owned by foreign companies.
They will talk about how they assemble those vehicles with a workforce that is made up of 60 percent temporary workers. They will tell the UAW negotiators that they need the flexibility and cost savings that the high number of temps gives them. They will use those high numbers of temps as a way to drive down the wages and job security we in the UAW enjoy.
BUY AMERICAN, YES, BUT ALSO, BUY UNION
We need the good paying jobs that the UAW provides.
We need to encourage everyone to not only buy American-made products but to also buy UNION-made products.
The nation’s economy was never in the shape it was in when General Motors was the number one private employer. Now it’s Walmart.
When you take all those $65,000 per year auto assembly jobs out of the economy and you replace them with $20,000 per year Walmart jobs, you not only lose the economic stimulus on $45,000, you also lose the income tax collected on that $45,000. Everything and everyone suffers, from our infrastructure, to our education system to our first responders, EVERYONE.
And that my friends is why it is so important to buy UNION-made products.