UAW is making ‘luck’ for others

May 23, 2010

As United Auto Workers members, have you ever had someone approach you and say," You are lucky to have this job?"

Webster defines "lucky" as fortuitous, or acquired by chance and good fortune. Luck is a flip of the coin. Luck is winning the lottery. Luck is being car No. 11 in a 10-car pile-up. As UAW members working on an assembly line, we are not "lucky" to have a decent job; we have earned the right to a decent job.

Ray Kroc, the mastermind of the McDonald’s Corp., said, "Luck is a dividend of sweat, the more you sweat, the luckier you get." Well, it seems to me that our UAW membership is pretty lucky, based on that statement.
How lucky we are to accept a job that has forced many of us to move our families halfway across the country, and leave all that was sacred to us.

How lucky we are to have been forced to multiple locations in our career, and drive for hours every day, just so we can pay the bills.

How lucky we are to have a job that is controlled by a buzzer and a mechanical moving chain that demands mind numbing, repetitive tasks every 67 seconds.

How lucky we are to have a job where every movement is engineered down to a tenth of a second with a grip, place, bend, walk, get, grasp, bend, or a bend over.

How lucky we are to have a job where we are confined to a work space and must endure the invasion of our privacy, when we are forced to "call for help" just to go to the bathroom.

How lucky we are, when we are threatened with discipline for a problem we did not create, nor can we control. How lucky we are to have a job where at the end of every day, our muscles are tired our backs are sore and our feet can barely carry us home.

I would submit that anyone who thinks we are lucky to have this job, has never spent eight hours on an assembly line. Fact is, the more we sweat, the luckier we get.

So who are the lucky ones?

The lucky ones are the managers who have the honor of working with the most skilled and dedicated workforce on the globe. The lucky one is the corporation that, despite all the recent concessions, confusion and upheaval, has a work force able to maintain focus and build the highest quality cars and trucks on the planet.

And ultimately, the lucky ones are the customers who are the beneficiaries of our world-class products.

So, the next time someone approaches a proud UAW member and says, "You are lucky to have this job," take a moment for a dramatic pause, straighten your aching back, square your drooping shoulders, look them directly in the eye and say, "No. You are the lucky one, because I will be back tomorrow."

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