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UAW Under Fire For Backing Korean Trade Pact

UAW Chief King counters the agreement protects American jobs.

by on Dec.08, 2010

"A fat load of nerve"? UAW President Bob King takes heat on trade bill.

UAW President Bob King is coming under fierce attack from inside organized labor for his support of the proposed Korean Free Trade agreement.

Other union leaders, particularly from the International Association of Machinists, are fit to be tied, according to an article on the political web site “Politico.”  The fracas comes at a tough time for King, the new leader of the United Auto Workers Union, who is struggling to find a balance between market realities and rank-and-file demands as the UAW prepares to renegotiate its contracts with Detroit’s Big Three automakers.

“It takes a fat load of nerve for the UAW to be asking others to abandon their long time positions just because the UAW went yellow-belly-flip-flop,”  IAM political director Matt McKinnon said during a meeting at the AFL-CIO this week, according to an account on another web site.

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King announced last week that he would support the agreement after the Obama administration succeeded in negotiating several major concessions on auto sector trade with a nervous South Korean government., The South Koreans offered  the concessions after a military clash with North Korea, which underscored the need for continuing US military support of the Seoul-based government.

“President Obama, Vice President Biden and their administration gave the labor movement, and particularly the UAW, an opportunity to be part of the discussions about this agreement,” countered King.