Down substantially from its peak of 1.5 million members in the late 1970s, the UAW went from 431.037 members at the end of 2008 to a low 355,191 at the end of 2009.
The value of UAW’s assets dipped by about $70 million to $1.13 billion, while its receipts fell by nearly $30 million to $277 million.
Faced with the humiliation of having to sell its famed Black Lake Resort, the UAW’s fortunes have fallen on hard times, despite gaining a majority ownership stake in Chrysler and 17.5% ownership in General Motors.
In addition to its loss of members, the UAW has also suffered an image problem over the last year. In part, this is due to the auto bailouts and structured bankruptcies under the Obama administration, as well as the negative perception of the public at large.
“They think we are overpaid, lazy workers, and we are not,” said Ronda Danielson, president of UAW Local 879 in St. Paul, Minn.
Well, that may or may not be the case.
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776
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