Efforts by Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm to woo Toyota Motor Corp. to build a plant in the state is of little concern to the United Auto Workers union.
The union says it already has experience working with Toyota at the auto maker's New United Motor Mfg. Inc. joint venture plant with General Motors Corp. in Fremont, CA.
But the union has been unable to organize wholly owned Toyota plants elsewhere in the U.S.
Ron Gettelfinger, president of the UAW, tells Ward's he is not opposed to the governor's attempts to land a Toyota plant in the union's home state.
“I don't see that working with Toyota will be any more of an issue than working with any other employer,” he says.
Separately, Gettelfinger says the union will continue to press the U.S. government for enforcement of trade pacts with foreign countries.
He says while 40% of the U.S. car market now consists of foreign-branded vehicles, foreign marques only account for 20% of the European market and less than 5% of the Japanese market.
It may be an uphill battle, but Gettelfinger says it is crucial for the union to keep fighting.