Home > Rants... > Veteran’s Day, Auto style…

Veteran’s Day, Auto style…

Yesterday, November 16th, marked the observance of Veteran’s Day for the UAW.  We all know that Veteran’s Day was actually last Wednesday, the 11th, but inconveniently it did not coincide with the weekend before the opening of Michigan rifle deer hunting season, November 15th, so it had to moved on the organization’s calendar.

Hunting is grand tradition here in Michigan, with our plentiful wildlife, forests, lakes, and streams.  In fact, one of the most famous and nutty hunters in the world (and a fine artist), Ted Nugent is from and lives in Michigan.  I want to state here that I have nothing against hunting, and have done it myself.  It is a great way to become one with nature and enjoy the breathtaking scenery we have here in Michigan.  But as a U.S. Navy Veteran, I take issue with the holiday, meant to be a day of remembrance of those that have served and those that have died in the defense of our country, being reduced to a free vacation day during hunting season.

I can imagine a time in the UAW’s youth, when they rightfully fought for the day off to honor those auto employees who had bravely fought in some of the greatest conflicts our nation has ever known, World Wars I and II, Korea, and Vietnam.  Some of the Veterans volunteered their service, some where asked by our government, but all served to make our country and this world a better and safer place.

But as years went on and our memory of these conflicts faded, as it always seems to do in the U.S., I can see the Michigan based UAW members (who have always made up the majority of membership) noticing this day off so close to, but not quite in, hunting season.  I can see them beginning to wonder if maybe, just possibly, could it be ‘observed’ a little closer to the 15th, so that they could take advantage of the day to get a little extra hunting in?  I assume the UAW leaders, being elected officials, thought it wiser to take the ‘suggestion’ to the bargaining table than to push back on their membership. And I can see the Big 3 thinking it was easier to move a day off already on the calendar than to say no and risk a strike.

So now we have another UAW ‘holiday’, perceived by the general taxpaying public as useless, and the loss of a real day of remembrance for Veterans.  It’s this type of abuse that made 99% of taxpayers (100% of non-UAW members) opposed to giving loans to the auto industry.  If the U.S. based auto companies hope to change public opinion of their products, the public opinion of the UAW needs to change as well.  I’m not blaming the UAW for all negative opinion, there were some horribly designed vehicles with abysmal quality produced for many years.  But we’re all in this together, everyone has to change.  For me, a great way to start changing this perception is to do away with obvious gimme’s, like free days off during hunting season…

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