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Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    20 Jul '10 10:37
    Instead of jockeying for better terms within a capitalist mode of ownership and production, the UAW would have seen its long term goals better satisfied by pursuing an alternate strategy. Specifically, the UAW should have striven to change the capitalist ownership model itself by acquiring and running their own worker owned businesses. They could have cheaply purchased any or all of the failing auto companies like Hudson, Studebaker, Kaiser-Frazer and AMC and retooled and relaunched them under a 'UAW Motors' banner.

    With a membership that once topped 1.5 million, it would have easily beaten Spain's Mondragon Cooperative Corporations as the largest worker owned business in the world. Such a move would have had an enormous impact upon, not just the auto industry, but the entire manufacturing sector across the world. They could have been a template for worker ownership and industrial democracy, which likely would have spawned similar scenarios in many other industries.

    But by clinging to the farcical notion that 'Capital and Labor are brothers', they have doomed themselves to a path of obsolescence.
  2. 20 Jul '10 15:58 / 1 edit
    Starting a business (or resurrecting a failing one) is a major risk - you have to invest a lot of money to get the thing off the ground and there's no guarantee of having it succeed -- indeed, the great majority of new businesses fail miserably. How much money would the typical worker in the UAW have lost if UAW Motors turned out to be a total flop? How many UAW members would have been interested in taking this kind of a chance?
  3. 20 Jul '10 16:33
    Originally posted by Melanerpes
    Starting a business (or resurrecting a failing one) is a major risk - you have to invest a lot of money to get the thing off the ground and there's no guarantee of having it succeed -- indeed, the great majority of new businesses fail miserably. How much money would the typical worker in the UAW have lost if UAW Motors turned out to be a total flop? How many UAW members would have been interested in taking this kind of a chance?
    Of course starting a business is a risk. Labor unions always overvalue labor's contribution to the process and undervalue the risk that capital owners have taken and the needed reward for their risk.
    I wish that big labor would make these type of purchases and then they would get their fair return. I also tend to believe that if they were paid as owners they would work harder, and be more productive and profitable.
  4. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    20 Jul '10 16:53
    Originally posted by Melanerpes
    Starting a business (or resurrecting a failing one) is a major risk - you have to invest a lot of money to get the thing off the ground and there's no guarantee of having it succeed -- indeed, the great majority of new businesses fail miserably. How much money would the typical worker in the UAW have lost if UAW Motors turned out to be a total flop? How many UAW members would have been interested in taking this kind of a chance?
    That's why I didn't propose that they start one from the ground up. They could have presumably gotten good deals on failing auto companies and revamped them under worker control.

    What has the UAW got to show for all the money it's spent over the years now? Declining membership and declining power. They should go back in time and follow my plan. I'd bet that more than a few UAW members would have been up for it.