One of the things that liberal groups, unions included, have been good at is creating a narrative and selling that to the media. A case in point is the current United Auto Workers strike, which is being presented by the union as involving a bold new strategy of targeted walkouts. Don’t believe the hype. This is a case of the union lacking the resolve to do more.
Historically, labor strikes have been all-or-nothing propositions. The unions seek to shut down production and other business activity entirely. Without inflicting the maximum amount of pain on management, the union has little hope of gaining any concessions. This is why unions have always stressed the importance of solidarity to the cause. It’s why unions have always held that crossing the picket line is a betrayal of the workers.
That is not what is happening in the current UAW-automaker confrontation.
CNN explained, “The UAW referred to its targeted strike of three plants as a ‘Stand Up Strike,’ which it called a strategic ‘new approach’ to walking off the job.”
A Wall Street Journal story from Monday said the strike is “a rolling, slow-burn approach … designed to stymie the car companies’ factory operations as a way to gain leverage for the union.”
Reuters describes the strike as the “most ambitious U.S. industrial labor action in decades.”
A New York Times subhead declares, “The targeted strike is the first to hit Detroit’s Big Three automakers all at once.”
All of this sounds very dramatic, but take a closer look at what is actually happening. Closing three plants doesn’t mean that much when General Motors alone has a dozen plants in the United States. Fewer than 13,000 of the UAW’s 145,000 members have walked off the job. This is contrary to the whole concept of a strike. It’s like the old joke: “What if they held a war and nobody showed up?”
Read the full article on Washington Examiner.