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Thread: UAW Keeps $6 Million Golf Course for Members at $33 Million Lakeside Retreat

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    UAW Keeps $6 Million Golf Course for Members at $33 Million Lakeside Retreat

    Autoworkers Union Keeps $6 Million Golf Course for Members at $33 Million Lakeside Retreat

    Friday , December 26, 2008

    The United Auto Workers may be out of the hole now that President Bush has approved a $17 billion bailout of the U.S. auto industry, but the union isn't out of the bunker just yet.

    Even as the industry struggles with massive losses, the UAW brass continue to own and operate a $33 million lakeside retreat in Michigan, complete with a $6.4 million designer golf course. And it's costing them millions each year.

    The UAW, known more for its strikes than its slices, hosts seminars and junkets at the Walter and May Reuther Family Education Center in Onaway, Mich., which is nestled on "1,000 heavily forested acres" on Michigan's Black Lake, according to its Web site.

    But the Black Lake club and retreat, which are among the union's biggest fixed assets, have lost $23 million in the past five years alone, a heavy albatross around the union's neck as it tries to manage a multibillion-dollar pension plan crisis.

    Critics call it a resort for union leaders that wastes money from union dues.

    "It's their members' money that they're spending on this thing," said Justin Wilson, managing director of the Center for Union Facts, a union watchdog group. "The union has bigger issues at hand than managing a golf course."

    Managing the course may become a burden for the union. The UAW covers costs for the Reuther Center from the interest it earns on its strike fund, according to tax documents, but massive losses in the past five years have forced the union to make heavy loans to keep the center afloat. Critics call it a poor investment for a group with over $1.25 billion in assets.

    "Unions certainly have had real estate investments in the past, but investments are supposed to make money, not bleed money," said Wilson.

    The UAW did not return calls from FOXNews.com, and a spokesman could not be reached for comment.

    The Reuther Center is open 11 months of the year to offer courses on leadership, political action, civil rights and other topics; it hosts nearly 10,000 visitors annually. The UAW says it sends workers there to "learn, experience unionism (and) commit to labor's cause," according to their Web site.

    The center was purchased in 1967 and underwent massive renovations in the '90s under the careful watch of former UAW president Steve Yokich. "Today's Black Lake might not exist if not for Steve Yokich," said union member Bob Reidt, whom Yokich appointed as Black Lake's director. "Yokich is responsible for rebuilding Black Lake."

    The UAW erected a monument to its longtime president Walter Reuther — the center's namesake — which bears an inscription of his words: "There is no greater calling than to serve your brother. There is no greater satisfaction than to have done it well."

    But Reuther, who died in a plane crash en route to the center in 1970, never knew the satisfaction of Black Lake's "well-groomed fairways," a course that Michigan Golf Magazine called a "stunning visual marvel."

    Union members can play golf at discounted rates on one of the country's top 100 courses, designed in 2000 by famed course architect Rees Jones at a cost of $6 million.

    The center has a storied history. Reuther had his ashes scattered at the site, and Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz honeymooned there in 1940, well before it was bought by the UAW.

    "It's funny that they call it an education center — it's a resort," said Wilson. "If I was a union member, I would prefer that they rented out a room at the Ramada Inn."

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,472304,00.html

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    Re: UAW Keeps $6 Million Golf Course for Members at $33 Million Lakeside Retreat

    That's chicken feed, just like the corporate jets.
    Deo Vidice




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    Re: UAW Keeps $6 Million Golf Course for Members at $33 Million Lakeside Retreat

    Still, the union execs need to make sacrifices in the same manner that they expect of the corporate execs. That is my main beef with unions - initially they do a lot of good but as they grow they become as topheavy and unwieldy as the corporations from which they are supposed to be protecting the workers...

    I do not believe that the UAW is the only problem facing the big three, but I do believe that all parties involved need to look at things to see how improvements can be made.
    Go Dawgs!

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    Re: UAW Keeps $6 Million Golf Course for Members at $33 Million Lakeside Retreat

    It is natural for the oppressed workers to desire some of the trappings of wealth. Per Karl Marx:
    Between capitalist and communist society there lies the period of the revolutionary transformation of the one into the other. Corresponding to this is also a political transition period in which the state can be nothing but the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat

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    Re: UAW Keeps $6 Million Golf Course for Members at $33 Million Lakeside Retreat

    Quote Originally Posted by Herchel View Post
    That's chicken feed, just like the corporate jets.
    True, but the union ought to take the same grief that management took.

    Get rid of it - especially considering it is LOSING money.



    I'm still for a majority vote on nominations of any type, judicial, cabinet officer, whatever..........legislation, it's fine like it is. However, it won't mean a tinker's damn come January......... - ECDawg, October 2008

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    Re: UAW Keeps $6 Million Golf Course for Members at $33 Million Lakeside Retreat

    Quote Originally Posted by Dawg in Dallas View Post
    True, but the union ought to take the same grief that management took.

    Get rid of it - especially considering it is LOSING money.
    No more posts like that. My heart won't take it.
    Deo Vidice




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    Re: UAW Keeps $6 Million Golf Course for Members at $33 Million Lakeside Retreat

    Quote Originally Posted by Dawg in Dallas View Post
    True, but the union ought to take the same grief that management took.

    Get rid of it - especially considering it is LOSING money.
    Consideration of profit is much too capitalistic for the noble workers.

    It is imperative that those of us who recognize that electing a Democrat who is a racial minority and who talks a progressive game is a band-aid, at best, and that the real solution is to drive a stake through the heart of vampiric capitalism by uniting and by finding a means to take on the corporate media in such a way that we begin winning significant numbers of hearts and minds.

    Anti-capitalist academics, writers, publishers, organizers, speakers, community leaders, politicians, and activists need effective conduits through which they can meet, communicate, educate one another, derive a sense of solidarity, and coordinate their efforts.

    It is essential that we break down the perceived barrier between intellectuals and activists so that we can unify against regressive forces that thrive on inequality, injustice, environmental abuse, speciesism, and hierarchy—or in other words let’s come together and crush those loathsome bastards who prosper via the domination and abuse of the Earth and its sentient inhabitants.

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    Re: UAW Keeps $6 Million Golf Course for Members at $33 Million Lakeside Retreat

    This is all symbolism over substance. How dare the CEO of a $20B company not ride coach. How dare union executives party at a resort. These are the depths to which we have sunk.

    Do I see the dictatorship of the proletariat peeking around the corner?
    Deo Vidice




  9. #9
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    Re: UAW Keeps $6 Million Golf Course for Members at $33 Million Lakeside Retreat

    No, how dare they demand that the workers, who create the product, take pay cuts and lose their health insurance while they continue to live the high life. Everybody should be tightening their belts, not just the rank and file workers.
    Go Dawgs!

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    Re: UAW Keeps $6 Million Golf Course for Members at $33 Million Lakeside Retreat

    Quote Originally Posted by ugabrad View Post
    No, how dare they demand that the workers, who create the product, take pay cuts and lose their health insurance while they continue to live the high life. Everybody should be tightening their belts, not just the rank and file workers.

    I am waiting for ONE example of tightening from the rank and file workers.......at the moment, they are earning $70 an hour plus in wages and benefits, unless they are on layoff.......then they only pocket 95% of that...........wake me please if the tightening were to occur...........

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