Saturday, October 16, 2004

Proud U A W worker....

My fellow Americans:

I write this post after a total display of hypocrisy that has disturbed me greatly. In this election year we are a country divided by issues, morals, and beliefs. Most people are passionate about their political views and their candidate.

Do not discuss this candidate with me unless you practice what you preach.

What do I mean by that? I had a shockingly disturbing incident today. I pulled into my favorite coffee shop behind a man who was driving a Lexus. There are probably a lot of people that would not notice this, but as a union member I always notice.

As I waited in line the Lexus owner was debating with his friend about the upcoming election. He was arguing about how Bush was bad for the economy, and how more jobs would be lost if he remained in office.

Wait...just...a....minute...

This coming from a person who was driving a vehicle built in Japan?

I surprisingly kept my mouth shut, until he said something that about knocked me over. "If Bush had his way, we'd have no unions, and everything would be built overseas."

That...did...it....

I couldn't contain myself any longer. "What do you drive?" I demanded to know. Startled, he turned around to see a very angry blonde with fire in her eyes, aka me really ticked off. He stammered and stuttered and finally said, "A Lexus, but my wife drives a Nissan that was built in the US."

Nissans, class, are not U A W plants. Very few vehicles made in the US by foreign car companies are union. I could be wrong, but I think the only one is the Toyota Tacoma. The rest are made by people who are probably getting paid $10 an hour to do some of the hardest work known to man. You can see for yourself which of these vehicles are made by union employees at this site, if you don't want to take my word for it.

http://www.uaw.org/uawmade/index.cfm

I don't think I should type out the rest of the conversation I had with this person as it got pretty ugly. I do want to type out the message that came with it: If you say that Bush is going to do all this stuff, you damn well better be someone who is supporting the union workers of this country, or you are a hypocrite of the highest level in my eyes.

As it stands now, we union shops have to do twice the work as a non-union shop to be competitive. I worked on an assembly line for 8 years until I finished my education, and let me tell you, everyday was nothing but pain and total physical exhaustion.

I have driven home from work and sat in my car for an hour after pulling into my driveway because I was to tired to get out. There were times when I fought back the tears until I was far enough away from the plant to let them flow, because my hands/back/legs/arms you name it hurt so bad, or I was just so physically tired. Do not think it is because I am a female. I have witnessed grown men breaking down on the drive home before.

Why on Earth would anyone have a job like that? Some people are not college material, while others, through fate or just the cards they drew in life, have to work at a job like that. We are paid well and have excellent benefits. Every penny is earned in sweat, blood, and tears.

We are just like your Father, Mother, Sister, Brother, Aunt, and next door neighbor. As I stated before, we have to work twice as hard to be competitive, and we need our American brothers and sisters to support us. I have heard every excuse in the book on why people don't buy American. "They don't have any cars I like," or "The quality is better with an export."

Bullshit. The plant I work at has won the Silver or Gold JD Power Quality award 4 years just since I have worked here. Our warranty for our vehicles has been better then both Honda and Toyota.

If we don't support each other, what difference does it make who we vote for? If we get a President that gives money to American manufacturers or supports unions, it won't make a difference if the people are not buying our product. Companies do not make a product unless there is a demand. It doesn't matter how much money is thrown at them, if the demand isn't there, we don't work.

My Grandfather would have crawled on broken glass before he drove an export. Do we not have that loyalty anymore in America?

I realize that there are some specialty vehicles out there that are not made in this country. I realize that sometimes there just might be a vehicle made by a foreign company that you fall in love with and just have to have. Just don't go around preaching about how Bush is going to take jobs away from this country when all you are doing is helping him out.

So all you Kerry supporters out there, your vote won't mean a damn thing if you are not backing it up with your actions. Put your money where your mouth is. I am well aware of what Bush could do to the manufacturing industry in this country, but the sad thing is I am more afraid of what my fellow American's will do to our manufacturing industry.

If you are interested in supporting unions in this country, this site. It has good information on not only vehicles, but many other products made by unionized Americans.

5 comments:

Paddrino said...

Great post! There are so many people who do the same thing all the time. Unfortunately when you confront them on it they always go to the "well xyz but.." just like this guy did. Notice he changes the subject from "I drive a Lexus, but my wife drives..." Typical. Good for your for speaking out and confronting someone with some obvious double standards.

Annie said...

Nicely done...that coming from a Chevy driver married to a GMC driver.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe it. The guy pulled a "Kerry." Kerry said he drives an SUV but he goes on to say he doesn't own it, his family does.

tim boucher said...

yeah, but the japanese just make better cars....

puglet said...

I don't neccesairly agree with all your points..politics and parties stand for so much more than one thing, but I totally understand your anger and sadness.

What really hit home for me was your description on who does the work you do. I suppose i am blue collar, skilled labor, what have you. I bake. It's backbreaking..more so than anyone could possibly think. It's dangerous. And none understands why i do it.