Big 3 Want to Build Cars, Just Not With Union Labor
Word that Ford will build its new fuel-efficient Fiesta "global car" in Mexico City is bad news for American auto unions. U.S. companies still want to build cars; they just don't want to build them with union labor.
We don't fault workers for trying to get more in labor negotiations. But the fact is, past UAW deals have saddled U.S. companies with such high costs that they can no longer make cars here and compete on a global market. So they make cars elsewhere.
Like a coyote caught in a trap, U.S. automakers have been desperately gnawing off a leg to escape certain death. They're closing plants and slashing jobs in Michigan, Ohio and other U.S. union havens, in favor of non-union, foreign places. Like Mexico and China.
Meanwhile, foreign companies have no problem making cars here. They do it in the non-union South, where the UAW is weak.
Ford's move to Mexico should be a warning to the UAW, which has seen its membership shrink from 1.5 million in 1979 to about 500,000 today. The UAW may "win" every negotiation they enter from now until doomsday, but to what end? The decline of Ford, GM or Chrysler is bad news for the U.S. — but it may be a death-knell for the UAW.