Advertisement
Find a Car
Go!

Teamsters, Tea Party Protest Some Of The Same Things At Detroit

Follow Bengt

under Wikimedia Commons license

under Wikimedia Commons license

Enlarge Photo
At two places during the Detroit auto show—first circulating on a Cobo Hall press-room table, then later slipped under my hotel-room door—I found a leaflet entitled: "Toyota: A Danger to America," carrying the footer, "I ain't dying for a Toyota." Wearing the language and design earmarks of auto-industry union propaganda (yes, I'm a Michigan native), it has a paragraph questioning Toyota's safety and reliability, and mentioning the automaker's 3.8-million-vehicle recall to fix throttle pedals. Then it goes on to declare that "Toyota is also a danger to good American jobs," mentioning Toyota's plans to close its New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. (NUMMI) plant in Fremont, California.The closure will affect 5,400 NUMMI employees, and about 50,000 supplier and support workers, the leaflet says; but as we reported last year the plant has only been operating at about half capacity and Toyota currently has a surplus of plant capacity. The NUMMI plant, which assembles the 2010 Toyota Corolla sedan and 2010 Toyota Tacoma pickup, was formerly a joint venture with GM—for some reason not mentioned in the leaflet—and is the Japanese automaker's only unionized U.S. plant.It's not clear what the aggressive flyering effort is attempting to accomplish—arguing that Americans not purchase an automaker's vehicles, but also criticizing the automaker's planned closing of a still-open plant that builds those vehicles.
Teamsters Union leaflet at 2010 Detroit auto show

Teamsters Union leaflet at 2010 Detroit auto show

Enlarge Photo
The motives get hazier when we confirm that the leaflet leads to a Teamsters Union site, CarBuyersBeware.com, which carries the banner of "How Bailed-Out Auto Giants Are Ripping Off American Consumers." It doesn't mention Toyota at all; instead most of the site contents are dedicated to a current campaign against Chrysler, accusing Chrysler of not coming through on the terms of its federal bailout and saying, in leaflets of a similar format (titled Fiat/Chrysler: Stiffing Taxpayers, Gouging Car Buyers), that "Chrysler is not planning to pay back the $3.7 billion of the loan it got from taxpayers. That's your money they're keeping."And that talk of accountability is surprisingly close to what you'll see in releases from the National Taxpayers Union, who attempted to organize an ill-attended 'tea party' at the Detroit show this past Monday, to coincide with House Speaker Pelosi's visit to the show.Am I the only one seeing the overlap? If our fever-check at Detroit was any indication, nearly everyone—except the automakers themselves—seems to be disgruntled with the automaker bailout to some degree. Maybe the Teamsters and the Tea Party have a little more in common than we think.
Advertisement
 
Follow Us

 

Have an opinion?

  • Posting indicates you have read this site's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use
  • Notify me when there are more comments
Comments (11)
  1. Hmm...seems like there is some common ground between the tea party group and the unions, though without the bailout, they'd both be hurting even more due to lost jobs and lost industry.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  2. after 20 yrs obviously Toyota decided it didn't need the UAW/. What a bitter pill for them (union) it must of been. Imagine. A Japanese company who's workers are happy, keep their jobs, without corrupt feather bedding & luxury benefits. I even read UAW have to sell their luxury resort, boo hoo hoo. Tho I feel more for their workers who at least had real jobs than the whiny idiots who are "tea party" people. when they start offering actual SOLUTIONS to all they are complaining about instead of just no no no then I will take them seirously. until then they're just more whiny losers who are angry because they are, well, losers.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  3. I'm not sure what I think about this, but I do know I'm a little creeped out by the "I ain't gonna die for a Toyota" footer on the flyer.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  4. So if everyone wants accountability for our tax dollars, why didn't we get it out of Congress?
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  5. as with nearly any group who's time has passed, the initial need/goals/etc of the unions - including the UAW - were noble, needed and beneficial. after over a century, the goals/approaches/arguments have become so perverted versus the original conception it's beyond belief. to see how the union leadership is behaving in this story as well as last night's back room deal with the congress/administration bought and paid for by the union leaders is disgusting. at this point, no different than the way other groups have become completely different animals than their original intent (NRA - then: let's teach gun safety and ensure some american's know how to fire a weapon; now: if you take away an uzi, you will eventually take away the right to bear arms. ACLU: then - let's defend those with the least power/rights/etc against government supported oppression; now - please make sure that christmas tree where a branch is overhanging a public park is removed asap. AARP: then - let's make sure seniors are planning for and have recognized the need for $ as they retire; now - if medicare, social security, new health care legislation doesn't apportion an ever-increasing amount to seniors, it is the equivalent of ageism).
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  6. The Teamsters are pissed at nearly everyone these days, and they tried to draw some attention to their various crusades when the world turned its cameras on Detroit this week.
    _
    They attack Toyota because Toyota doesn't play ball. But their arguments lose credibility when they conveniently leave out the fact that NUMMI was a joint venture with GM, and that GM bailed first. They also lose points for not discussing Big 3 quality, which has traditionally lagged far behind brands like Toyota.
    _
    Chrysler? Same anger, different argument. They use the same patriotism/anti-tax arguments as the Teabaggers, but they do so as a matter of convenience -- they just think it'll play well. Whether the Teamsters would stand side-by-side with the Teabaggers at a demonstration is a different question altogether.
    _
    Is it just me, or is it REALLY strange that in their bailout rant (http://carbuyersbeware.com/content/bailout-american-taxpayers), they NEVER mention GM, which got FAR more dough than Chrysler? Is there some hanky-panky going on between Ed Whitacre and Ron Gettelfinger? Or does Ed simply know where the bodies are buried?
    _
    I'm guessing this is an in-house job and that the people behind it have very little experience on the advocacy front. Their rhetoric is sloppy and unconvincing, and their talking points are all over the map. They ought to hire a strategist ASAP.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  7. This is really not a surprise. Everyone is looking out for themselves and sometimes that means a common message even if the motivation may be different. I still can't figure out the motives of the tea-baggers other than maybe herd mentality caused by media playing on their fears (or creating new fears where there was already more than enough). As far as the unions are concerned, they just want to make more money than people in other countries for the same jobs making worse cars. That a country like Japan with similar if not better salaries than in the US can dominate the American market has got to be hard to fight other than by appealing to our need for self preservation.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  8. Who could blame Toyota and Gm for wanting to get out of California before the whole state sinks into bankruptcy? Toyota went along with unionizing the plant because their partner, GM, had no choice.
    The GM/Toyota arrangement was for the benefit of GM, not Toyota. GM wanted its people to see how the Japanese were able to get decent cars (Corollas) built by the lunkhead from the UAW. No question that GM could have learned a lot but the top brass simply could not get over their famous NIH factor disease. NIH=Not Invented Here. I heard that kind of stuff from my bosses when I was there.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  9. Not "tea-baggers" they are people who go to Tea-Partys.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  10. Why don't they force GM to bring their Korean and Chinese junk here? Why don't they tell Chrysler to bring their Canadian factories here? Why don't they tell Ford to bring Mexican jobs back? Last time I checked Toyota was selling some of the highest domestic content vehicles in the States and I'm proud to own one made in Indiana.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  11. Tea party goers are a bunch of clueless Americans who were bought by private health insurance companies to screw other Americans. Big companies are now engaged in splitting Americans apart, haves against havenots, union workers against nonunion workers while their executives continue to take home their exuberant pay. Many of the top executives of those companies earn more in one hour than many of their workers earn in one year. If those clueless Americans really want to do any good, they should fight against those exuberant pay packages and not against other Americans who just want to earn a decent living.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

 

Have an opinion? Join the conversation!

Advertisement
Advertisement
Try My Showroom
Save cars, write notes, and comparison shop with hi-res photos.
Add your first car
Take Us With You!
   
Related Used Listings
Browse used listings in your area
Advertisement

 
© 2014 The Car Connection. All Rights Reserved. The Car Connection is published by High Gear Media. Stock photography by izmo, Inc. Send us feedback.