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Unions at Heart of Toyota Smear

Obama is "Fixing" More Than Your Car

Obama is "Fixing" More Than Your Car

WASHINGTON (or is it Detroit?): The NIP was the first to call into question the Congressional witch hunts against Toyota. Our position was that all credibility of the National Traffic Safety Administration has been lost now that Obama is in the car business. Turns out we were right, but it goes much further.

When unions spend more than $60 million on an election, they demand results. That money put Andy Stern, head of the SEIU, in the White House more than any other visitor. Andy Stern warned us that the union thugs “prefer to use the power of persuasion, but if that doesn’t work we use the persuasion of power.”

Big money always means big influence. Unions came out on top when it came time restructure GM, ironic because unions were at the heart of the automaker’s troubles. Guess who receives barrels of union money:

We are told that 19 of the 36 Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee were given sizable checks by the UAW for their election campaigns. We also learn that 12 of 25 Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee got checks, too. In my opinion, such a conflict of interest puts Toyota at quite a disadvantage…

I offer this from Brian Johnson, who serves as the Federal Affairs Manager for an outfit called Americans for Tax Reform. He writes, “When GM fired over 35,000 employees between 2006 and 2008, Toyota laid off zero. GM loses almost $2,500 in profitability per vehicle where Toyota makes almost $1,500 per vehicle.

“This is largely due to GM’s forced union contracts. GM’s union, the United Auto Workers (UAW), mandates that GM pay, on average, each non-skilled line worker about $33 per hour. This inflated wage includes workers who are “idle,” meaning they don’t have a specific job that day, but can still come to work, sit in a special facility and collect a pay check,” Johnson explained. Roy Exum, Chattanoogan.com

As independent examiners look into the so-called “evidence” it turns out that much of it has simply been manufactured in order to smear the number one automaker:

During last week’s hearings, a tearful Rhonda Smith of Sevierville gave a compelling testimony, but we have since learned the car in question was promptly sold, that nothing could be found wrong, and it has since been driven 27,000 miles without an incident. That wasn’t told at the Congressional hearing.

Worse, an “expert,” Dr. David Gilbert of Southern Illinois University, offered testimony from research he said he had done but afterward, when he was asked to duplicate it for unbelieving Toyota researchers, it could not be replicated. Further, it was not revealed at the hearing that Dr. Gilbert’s research was … er, “funded” by lawyers with suits pending against Toyota. In my opinion, that’s not right.

Today comes word from the highly-respected Consumer Reports that, “as early as this week,” they will return eight Toyota models to their vaunted “recommended” list because – Congress not withstanding – Toyota products have factually been proven to be among the most reliable automobiles in the world.

On Tuesday the spring auto issue of Consumer Reports will be released and – what is this? – Toyota is again No. 3 on the list. (Honda and Subaru are tied for first.) Ford is ranked 11th while GM and Chrysler are again at the bottom of the annual rankings.

Last year Toyota displaced General Motors as the world’s largest automobile manufacturer. Today there are Toyota manufacturing plants in eight states that employ 35,000 workers. This week at least three of the plants will be idle – due to the recalls. But, get this, Toyota will still pay each worker, having them attend safety classes rather than man the assembly lines. Roy ExumChattanoogan.com

These kinds of shenanigans are what you can expect when government gets out of control. GM and the country would have been far better off had GM been allowed to go through normal restructuring. The whole point of government assistance was to avoid bankruptcy, which happened anyway last June. With a normal bankruptcy GM would have been able to redraw its union contracts, but the Obama administration stepped in and not only prevented such action, but awarded the union with control of the company.

With the unions in control of GM, Congress and the White House, they are on now in full attack mode against Toyota and free enterprise. Are you feeling safer yet?

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  1. Jon
    March 3rd, 2010 at 10:53 | #1

    The reason GM is in trouble has more to do with bad management then expensive labor.

    Over the past 40 years they have missed every major consumer trend to the point of fighting things like increasing MPG saying it would lose jobs. Well they were right but just got it backwards! Not paying attention to improving MPG did in fact lose them jobs and market share. It was the same for seat belts and other safty equipment, emisions and the like. They fought everyone of these itms tooth and nail…and time has shown they were on the wrong side of those issues too. Toyota had the same requirements and they seemd to not only get by but capitalize on them and gain market share.
    Ford seems to be going strong and they have the same type labor issues and regulations as GM.

    Management Incompetence is the problem not labor.

  2. Sam S
    March 11th, 2010 at 01:05 | #2

    I like the picture!

  1. March 25th, 2010 at 19:17 | #1