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View Diary: VW will not expand in Chattanooga unless labor is represented - updated (165 comments)

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  •  All businesses should care (20+ / 0-)

    It's the principle that Henry Ford understood. You need customers that are paid well enough so they can afford to buy your products.

    "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

    by LilithGardener on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 09:41:22 AM PDT

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    •  heard a great story recently... (15+ / 0-)

      Henry Ford II and Walter Reuther (head of the automobile worker's union) were touring a new, highly automated automobile factory that featured the first generation of factory robots.

      Ford said, "Walter, how are you going to get those robots to pay your union dues?"

      "Henry, how are you going to get them to buy your cars?" Reuther responded.

      "There is one rule for the industrialist and that is: Make the best quality of goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible." -Henry Ford

      by sixeight120bpm on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 11:32:59 AM PDT

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    •  Unfortunately Ford was brutal towards unions (14+ / 0-)

      They had a viscous proto-fascist private security force that had no qualms about using violent intimidation to squelch an union organizing.

      For example the Battle of the Overpass (From Wikipedia)

      Leaflet campaign[edit]

      The United Auto Workers had planned a leaflet campaign entitled, "Unionism, Not Fordism", at the pedestrian overpass over Miller Road at Gate 4 of the River Rouge Plant complex. Demanding an $8 (equivalent to $128 today) six-hour day for workers, in contrast to the $6 (equivalent to $96 today) eight-hour day then in place, the campaign was planned for shift change time, with an expected 9,000 workers both entering and leaving the plant.
      Ford security force response[edit]

      At approximately 2 p.m., several of the leading UAW union organizers, including Walter Reuther and Richard Frankensteen, were asked by a Detroit News photographer, James E. (Scotty) Kilpatrick, to pose for a picture on the overpass, with the Ford sign in the background. While they were posing, men from Ford's Service Department, an internal security force under the direction of Harry Bennett, came from behind and began to beat them.[1] The number of attackers is disputed, but may have been as many as forty.[2]


      Frankensteen had his jacket pulled over his head and was kicked and punched. Reuther described some of the treatment he received: "Seven times they raised me off the concrete and slammed me down on it. They pinned my arms . . . and I was punched and kicked and dragged by my feet to the stairway, thrown down the first flight of steps, picked up, slammed down on the platform and kicked down the second flight. On the ground they beat and kicked me some more. . . " One union organizer, Richard Merriweather, suffered a broken back as the result of the beating he received.[1]

      The security group then beat some of the beret-wearing women arriving to pass out leaflets, along with some reporters and photographers, while Dearborn police at the scene largely ignored the violence. The Dearborn police stood by and said the Ford men were protecting their property.

      Note this was a PRIVATIZED security force.  Something to remember when some libertarian tries to claim only the government can oppress with violent force.
      •  Ford was and "is" Dearborn (5+ / 0-)

        The city literally exists because of the FMC, so the "public" police force was pretty much private as well.

        For fear of annexation of "Dearbornville" - by the much larger and more politically powerful city of Detroit. and the tax burdens that would involve.

        Many of those private guards went back to their day jobs on the force in the morning.

        “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” ... Voltaire

        by RUNDOWN on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 02:43:41 PM PDT

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      •  Yes. Not saying Henry Ford was a good guy (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Saying he wasn't a freaking lunatic sociopath who'd read too much Ayn Rand. Helpfully, don't think Ayn was around to be read back then.

        Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 07:39:49 PM PDT

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