Does the United Autoworkers Union Still Matter?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

At their convention today in Detroit, the United Autoworkers Union will elect a new president, ending the eight-year tenure of Ron Gettelfinger. Gettelfinger led the union through one of the most difficult periods in its history. The UAW was once one of the largest and most influential unions in the country, but these days its membership is the smallest it’s been since the end of World War II.

We talk about the union’s past, the transformation it’s undergone during the last few years, and what it’s future looks like, with Gary Chaison, a professor of labor relations at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. He says that the union is facing a tough futrure as it has to reinvent itself as a midsize operation, while its members still expect the benefits of belonging to a major union.

We also hear from Will Marcum, a GM autoworker and a member of the UAW. He's at the convention, where, he says, there is an optimistic feeling about the future.


Gary Chaison and Will Marcum

Produced by:

Samantha Fields

Comments [2]

Lance Ubricke-Horvath

YES---The UAW & CAW matter! When I buy a US/Canadian Union made car, I am keeping dollars in America companies and part of that wealth is in the hands of American workers only because of collective bargaining and a union contract---Unions Rock!

Jul. 10 2010 11:22 PM

The answer is no, UAW is all but dead. They are insignificant. They only way the thugs will survive is to be absorb by another thug shop such as SEIU. That is in the works, I'm sure. If you are a UAW whore, you best wise up and get out. You subsidize the lavish lifestyles of the thugs at the top. Wise up. Have some self respect and dignity.

Jun. 18 2010 05:16 AM

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