Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Is Republican Senator Bob Corker Objectively Pro-Nazi?

I'm not saying he is, I'm just Cavutoing the question.

See, down in Real America (tm), the good people at Volkswagen would like to build some cars.

And they would like to build those with the cooperation and support of organized labor.



But maybe just crazy enough to work! (From the Washington Post):
This week at Volkswagen's plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., 1,570 workers will vote on whether to join the United Auto Workers. It's a big deal: While the big three American carmakers are all unionized, so far the foreign companies have avoided it by locating in Southern states with strong Right to Work laws. From their perspective, unions usually just mean work stoppages, expensive benefit plans, and the inability to fire people at will.
That's what's weird about the VW vote: The German company is campaigning for the UAW, not against it, in a kind of employer-union partnership America has seldom seen. What gives?
Well, VW is kind of different, as automakers go. It understands how having a union can boost productivity and allow it greater flexibility in adjusting to downturns. It should know: The rest of its plants are unionized too.
It seems the Germans have this thing called a "works council" wired deep into their law and business culture:
This would also be something new for the United Auto Workers. They wouldn't have the same relationship with VW as they do with Chrysler, General Motors, and Ford. Rather, the idea is to create something called a "works council," which are widespread across Europe and enjoy tremendous influence over how plants are run. In America, that kind of body can't be established without a union vote -- but crucially, the works council would be independent of the union, meaning the UAW would give up some control as soon as it gained it.
While the details of the arrangement would be ironed out after the election, works councils -- which are elected by all workers in a factory, both blue and white collar, whether or not they belong to the union -- usually help decide things like staffing schedules and working conditions, while the union bargains on wages and benefits. They have the right to review certain types of information about how the company is doing financially, which often means that they're more sympathetic towards management's desire to make cutbacks when times are tough. During the recession, for example, German works councils helped the company reduce hours across the board rather than laying people off, containing unemployment until the economy recovered.
So if the union is cool with it...and the company is for it...what sort of reactionary, inbred, gas-sipping halfwit could would possible be against it?   

Because freedom!  

And jobs!  

Also Freedom!

Enter Republican Senator Bob Corker, trailing the state's Republican leadership and -- surprise -- another of our nation's apparently infinite supply of amply-funded, anti-labor wingnut front groups:
That doesn't mean, however, that the vote is unopposed. National anti-union groups and the state's Republican leaders are campaigning against the UAW, saying unionization will spread like a contagion through Tennessee's other auto plants. “Then it’s BMW, then it’s Mercedes, then it’s Nissan, hurting the entire Southeast if they get the momentum," said Sen. Bob Corker (R.-Tenn.).
The thing I have not heard mentioned in any of the articles so far is how Germany came to have "work councils" in the first place.  They date back to 1920, when "the Betriebsr√§tegesetz (Works Council Act) was passed, mandating consultative bodies for workers in businesses with over 20 employees. Social and economic interests of workers were to be represented and considered to the management."

Then, in 1933, they were abolished and German unions were broken up because of the fucking Nazis.

In 1946/47 they were reinstated by the "Allied Control Council, through the Kontrollratsgesetz No. 22 [which] allowed works councils as in the Weimar Republic."

So, to sum up...

Those in favor of work councils:  
  • Volkswagen
  • The UAW
  • Most of modern Western Civilization
  • Those brave, liberty-loving American heroes who fought to free the world from Nazi tyranny.
Those against work councils:   
  • Republican Senator Bob Corker.  
  • The leaders of the Tennessee GOP.  
  • The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.  
  • Hitler.


Pete C said...

What's the inverse Godwin's law?

Anonymous said...

Good god! Next thing you know, those living in the "Right to fire you for looking at me wrong" states might start demanding that job creators stop dumping poison in their water!
Slippery slopes everywhere.
VW should just move to Detroit. Leave the south to the carpet manufacturers.

bowtiejack said...

Well, Mussolini did say something about fascism really being called corporatism because it's the welding together of corporate and state power. I'm sure Bob Corker's down with that.

He reminds me of a conservative friend with whom I once used the Nazis as an example of fascism. With withering scorn, he informed me the Nazis were "socialists" because Nazi stood for National Socialist Party.

Although the matter didn't come up, I assume he would also have argued that the North Koreans are all Democrats because they live in the "Democratic People's Republic of Korea" .

It's not just evolution and global warming. Facts generally are meaningless to these people.

Anonymous said...

I don't think he's pro nazi.

Let's face it, the south, along with the rest of flyover, is utterly worthless. The only point of it even existing is as a toxic waste dump, the only reason to have any sort of investment there is because you can abuse the shit out of the refuse that lives there.

If you can't do that, there is no reason to even pay attention to it, flyover might as well not exist. If you are going to pay real wages you should do that on the coasts, where there are actual humans and an actual civilization worth giving a crap over. Plus that way you can be closer to DC, NYC, or Sanfran on the other coast, and you don't have to deal with bible thumpers or rednecks.

GOP governors in flyover know that their states are second tier and largely worthless. Without the ability to exploit the crap out of them there is no reason any sentient being would bother to spend time there outside of a layway.

Cirze said...

I can't help but think of putting a cork in him.

All of them.

My friends in Germany are incredulous that Americans don't protect their workers' jobs like they do "over there".

It almost seems like we learned the wrong lessons from WWII.

At least that's what I hear from them.

Anonymous said...


Well, he's correct in a way. There is no reason to create any jobs in flyover unless you can exploit people. There's no money, there's no real people (just dumb hick Christians) and there is no access to any real power or civilization.

The best you can say for places that aren't the coast is they make a good dumping ground for people who failed to hack it on the coasts, and their employment in those areas makes a nice "do not hire me I fail at life" note on their resumes.

n1ck said...

Man, such hatred for those of us not living on the coasts!

Keep up the hate, the Tea Party patriots love it!

Monster from the Id said...

It is possible, if one is sufficiently cynical, to think of the two World Wars as chiefly a struggle between the established English-speaking capitalists and the upstart German-speaking capitalists, over who would control the emerging global capitalist system.

This explains the alliances. From the viewpoint of a preponderance of our Anglophone capitalists (although yes, many sympathized with and traded with the Ratzis), the Commies were only political rivals, while the Ratzis were political AND commercial rivals--hence our plutocrats could tolerate the Commies to some degree, while the Ratzis and their Nipponese allies had to be destroyed as military rivals and subjugated as commercial rivals.

Not that I disapprove, mind you. The Axis actually WAS the greater evil.

Anonymous said...

The thing about German companies is that they are FANATICAL about keeping production and ESPECIALLY labor costs down as much as possible. For an export-oriented company, it's understandable. The unions are a tool by which the company and labor agree on a wage scale that can be budgeted down to the cent, so the company isn't surprised in five years by its expenses.

Then again, this mostly works in the context of the German economy, where (for example) health care costs are not allowed to spiral wildly out of control for 30 years straight. In the US's sweaty libertarian moshpit of an economy, it's not quite such a reliable thing.

gratuitous said...

For those who remember Martin Niemoller's comments ("First they came for the Jews") about the rise of National Socialism, you should remember that one of the groups "they" came for was the trade unionists.

Corker and other union busters should indeed be objectively labeled as pro-Nazi, if we're to use the Repressive Right's own "logic" as they insist we do.

casimir said...

Anonymous (2:35/6:22 pm) - If you're not trolling, you ought to do something about that coast-based Master Race thing you have going on. Even on the coasts, a third of the folks vote Republican and even in Oklahoma, a third at least vote Democratic (which of course isn't sufficient, but it evidences some underlying decency). Here in my adopted state of Minnesota there are lots of critical-minded leftists and decent if not-very-critically thinking liberals, even if folks can be unconfrontational and passive-aggressive. Whereas my home state of Pennsylvania there on the coast is a hotbed of Rightwing putrescence. Finally, it goes without saying that the Rightwing base - as opposed to the grifters etc who profit from them - have just been victimized by manipulation of their lack of education and existential/economic fear over years. They shouldn't, of course, have the right to vote, but they don't deserve to be exterminated.