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A UAW for the 21st century: the 21st century UAW wants to play a constructive, positive role in the industry.

The UAW of the 21st century must be fundamentally and radically different from the UAW of the 20th century.

Globalization has permanently altered the context in which companies and unions operate. We recognize the intense pressure on employers from global competition, and the UAW is committed to flexibility and innovation in order to support the success of our employers.

The UAW of the 21st century embraces a shared responsibility to produce the highest quality products. Quality, safety and concern for the environment are now UAW priorities. We know that the only true path to job security is to produce the best quality product at the best price.

The UAW of the 21st century is forging relationships with Chrysler Group LLC, General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. that embrace openness, collaboration and creative problem solving. We have built a foundation of respect, shared goals and a common mission. We have discarded the rigid demarcation between management and labor.

The UAW of the 20th century had a mindset that it was the company's responsibility to make profits, and the union's sole job was to get workers their fair share. They developed an adversarial, mistrustful relationship with employers, embodied in lengthy and complicated contracts. Work rules and narrow job classifications hampered flexibility, hindered the full use of our members' talents, and promoted a litigious grievance culture.


The 21st century UAW wants to play a constructive, positive role in the industry.

The UAW welcomes the foreign-owned auto companies operating in the United States. They play an important role in preserving, maintaining and growing our manufacturing base.

We admire many of the policies and practices of these corporations, but we insist that transnational auto companies respect the right of their employees to freely decide whether to join the UAW. It is particularly offensive when foreign-owned companies attack union efforts in this country while accepting and cooperating with unions in their home countries.

The right to organize unions is the First Amendment for workers.

The outdated National Labor Relations Act does not protect the rights of workers. Labor board elections bear no resemblance to true democracy because of a climate of fear and intimidation. The UAW believes in the principle of fair, secret ballot elections in which workers freely decide whether to join the union. We have developed Principles for Fair Union Elections. We are calling on all corporations to respect their employees' rights to organize, not only in the United States, but also across the globe.

The 20th century UAW helped build the U.S. middle class.

The 21st century UAW will help build a global middle class.

The UAW advocates a high road of common interests and shared success with employers. However, it is our mission to fight for democratic values and social justice--most importantly, the right to organize.

The UAW has embraced radical change. We call upon corporations to respect worker rights and to join us in a global vision of a common humanity that lifts all workers out of poverty.

Bob King is president of the UAW.
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Title Annotation:FEATURE
Author:King, Bob
Date:Jan 1, 2011
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