The UAW is vilified on a regular basis by anti-union corporatists, including their Republican shills in our state legislatures and the federal government. Our domestic vehicle manufacturers are being hobbled and strangled by the “union bosses” and “union thugs” who have the audacity to collectively bargain for good wages and benefits.
Now that the Great Recession is largely in our rear view mirror, we learn that the Ford Motor Company, the only Big Three company that escaped the economic downturn without having to rely on the federal government for assistance and that didn’t go through bankruptcy, got through it largely because of the UAW. Bill Ford, the executive chairman of the company, credits the UAW for being a major player in getting the auto giant back on its feet:
Though they are sometimes blamed for the financial woes at other car companies, labor unions actually helped “save” Ford Motor as competitors such as General Motors went bankrupt, Bill Ford told CNBC on Thursday.
Ford, the executive chairman of the Detroit automaker, said in an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that former UAW President Ron Gettelfinger doesn’t get enough credit for helping to shore up the books during Ford’s “darkest hour.”
“When we got into a really tough period, I sat down with Ron and I said, ‘You have to help me save the Ford Motor Company so we didn’t have to go through bankruptcy, so we didn’t have to get a federal bailout,'” Ford said. “And he did that.”
Ford credited the union with helping his company regain a foothold in the North American market. He added that the UAW helped the entire industry “get back on its feet.”
In other words, rather than being an impediment to the Big Three’s success, Bill Ford sees them as a crucial partner in their return to prominence, not just for Ford but GM and Chrysler, as well.
Funny how that works, isn’t it?