Music to Workers' Ears

When it comes to protecting workers’ rights, Sen. Jim DeMint continues to reign supreme. His recent press release is a good example:

Today [December 12, 2008], U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) made the following statement regarding the stubborn refusal of the United Auto Workers (UAW) union to agree to concessions needed to save the Big Three automakers.

“Americans are getting to see first hand what it’s like to negotiate with the union bosses at the UAW. It’s heads they win, tails you lose. The unwillingness of the union to accept common-sense reforms to help the American automakers restructure and to save thousands of jobs demonstrates an arrogance that is outrageous,” said Senator DeMint.

“The Big Three are at a serious disadvantage because of the monopoly the UAW has over its workers. Workers at the Big Three are forced to join the UAW, and the automakers must negotiate only with union bosses before they make business decisions. This union monopoly has driven the operational costs for Ford, GM and Chrysler to twice that of their competitors. In 2007, GM had its best year, and sold over 9 million cars. That same year Toyota also sold 9 million cars. But because of unionized labor costs, GM lost nearly $40 billion in 2007, while Toyota made nearly $20 billion. There is simply no way for the Big Three to survive in a global marketplace with the barnacles of the UAW monopoly.”

“The time has come to hold unions accountable and for Congress to stop protecting them from competition. Americans in 28 states can be forced to join a union in order to keep their jobs. Forced unionism restricts Americans’ right to work and encourages the kind of arrogance we have seen with the UAW. Forced unionism is outdated and destructive.

“It is no coincidence that the healthy automakers in the United States are located in ‘right to work’ states and are not unionized by the UAW. Year after year, union bosses have put their interests ahead of the workers they claim to represent. Congress never should have given these unions this much power and now is the time to fix it.

“If we refuse to give workers across the country the ability to hold their union representatives accountable, these unions will continue to exercise their monopoly power in ways that cost Americans jobs, cheat American consumers, and abuse American taxpayers,” said Senator DeMint.