Whether it is extreme hubris or blatantly deceptive spin, the International Association of Machinists does not seem to realize that, over the last several months, the union has done a number of things to sully its own reputation in the minds of its members—as well as the general public—which is likely costing it potential new members.
On Tuesday, a group of 27 Amazon workers employed by the company in Delaware overwhelmingly rejected representation by the Machinists in an NLRB-supervised election by 21-6.
According to union spokesman John Carr, the union’s loss was all the company’s fault.
The majority of 27 technicians at an Amazon fulfillment center in Middletown, Delaware, voted to reject an initiative to form a union under the auspices of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, said John Carr, a spokesman for the IAMAW. The vote, held late yesterday, was 21 to 6.
“That number is a clear reflection that the tactics Amazon and their law firm employed were very effective,” Carr said. “Under the intense pressures these workers faced on the shop floor, it was an uphill battle all the way.” [Emphasis added.]
Either Mr. Carr is completely ignorant of how the goings-on within his own union impact its reputation among potential new members or he is merely looking for a scapegoat to blame for his own union’s shortcomings.
In either case, events over the last several months within the Machinists’ union do not make a good case for the union to sell itself to union-free workers.
In Puget Sound, hand-picked representatives from the union’s national headquarters negotiated a secret deal with Boeing to drastically alter members’ pensions behind the local union officers’ and members’ backs, only to see it rejected by two thirds of the membership.
Separately, but on the heels of the contract rejection, the U.S. Department of Labor announced that it found that the union’s jet-setting national officers stifled opposition and ordered a new election of national officers.
Then, to make matters worse, when it looked like Boeing was going to make good on its threat to take its 777X production out of Puget Sound, the national union overrode the Boeing local union’s leadership and ordered a second vote to be taken among the membership–at a time when many of the members were on vacation.
The timing of the vote has prompted the filing of NLRB charges against the union and further fueled anger and more opposition against union leadership.
With undemocratic union bosses negotiating secret deals, then overriding the members’ votes by ordering a second vote when it’s most advantageous, is it any wonder why Amazon workers rejected the Machinists so soundly?
Clearly, the Machinists’ Carr has to either a) come to terms with his union’s shortcomings or b) expect more losses like the one the Machinists’ suffered on Tuesday.
If not, one must wonder if the Machinists union is actually trying to become the laughingstock of the labor movement?
“Truth isn’t mean. It’s truth.”
Andrew Breitbart (1969-2012)
Cross-posted from LaborUnionReport.com