Chrysler Union Workers Party On?

Mike Huckabee on auto employees caught smoking, drinking during work day



ROB WOLCHEK, WJBK REPORTER: Here they are, just steps away from the union hall, doing their thing. Check out this guy with the pipe and headphones. Wonder what he’s listening to, because it sure must be relaxing.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CHRIS COTTER, GUEST HOST: If he has not won a closet full of awards, he certainly should. That's Rob Wolchek. That's his voice, a reporter from WJBK, our Fox affiliate in Detroit. I mean, caught on tape, again, our Fox affiliate there capturing all of these Chrysler union workers getting buzzed during a lunch break, this coming as Democrats are trying to push more unions into the workplace, claiming they promote more efficiency and productivity. A big labor board hearing is set for next week on that very issue.

Mike Huckabee, host of the Fox News Channel's "Huckabee," is here.

OK, this is not the first time we have seen this, not even the first time from this reporter and that affiliate. We saw it last fall as well; big hullabaloo, all the unions involved, are the guys going to get fired, are they not, and here we are, not even a year later, and we're seeing it again.

MIKE HUCKABEE (R), FORMER ARKANSAS GOVERNOR: Well, first of all, I agree with you. I think that Rob deserves every journalistic award there is. And then he also deserves a Kevlar suit, because this guy’s got some guts.



HUCKABEE: He walks up right to these people's car, as he did in September of 2010, and confronts them. And then of course they drive out and, amazingly, did not run over him in the process.

But what he’s doing is exposing the fact that here are people -- and it is not just about being lazy. This is dangerous. When you’re operating very heavy machinery, and you have other people, whose lives depend upon you being alert, and you’re a stoner, and you come back from lunch and you are so mellowed-out, you do not even know what day it is, that’s a safety problem. It’s not just a wage issue.

Now, to their credit, Chrysler fired 13 people back in September of 2010, not because they saw this happening, but because the reporter sort of put it out there, and what could they do?


HUCKABEE: Don't know yet what the results are going to be, but it does point out that the unions have got to get a better control of their people and say to them, this is not a time when we can afford this imagery going on. The optics just -- the optics are horrible for us.

COTTER: You know, last fall, the speed at which those 13 were fired was shocking to me, because I looked at the unions and I looked at it historically, and you’ve got to go through the processes and appeal processes and hearings. If it's a non-union shop, they’re fired the very minute that that video goes on the air.


COTTER: But the union shop, you have got to go through the process. And, ironically, we have got these hearings next week about speeding up the process of starting a union shop, whereas we have a -- processes on the back end in terms of, if you want to fire someone, boy, you’ve got to go through this long process. But these hearings next week could be very dangerous.

HUCKABEE: Well, this could not come as a worse time for unions to try to go to Washington and make a case for an expedited approach to getting unionization.

And I'm going to be very fair and say, unions aren’t inherently bad. They have created a lot of good things for American workers. And when people were not being treated with a sense of safety and concern, the unions were there to fight for them. But there's been some very good articles recently to point out that unions are going to have to adapt for a very different role. They are not fighting for -- quote -- so much the "workplace safety." You have OSHA, EPA; you have all these federal agencies who are doing what unions once had to do.

And if the unions fight for unrealistic wages, unrealistic benefits in a tough market economy, what it means is that everybody loses a job, not just the union member.

COTTER: We had a teacher from Michigan on last week talking about the fact that if they didn't have enough time to really study and uncover the facts before their vote, they would’ve been voting on something blind, because the company could not talk with them, could not influence them, and the union wanted to speed up the vote.

And, fortunately for them, he said, even through intimidation, they were able to put it off, put it off, put it off, until the facts were uncovered. And that’s what this is going to do away with, that time that it may take these need that may or may not to become unionized that time.

HUCKABEE: Well, the people in Michigan who carried out these really irresponsible acts have done a disservice to all of their fellow union members across the country.

I think -- let's be fair -- that is not representative of every person who goes to work every day, thank goodness.

COTTER: No question.

HUCKABEE: Certainly not of every person who is in a union. But it could not have been more damaging. And the timing could not have been worse.

And what you hope is that Chrysler will take and the union will take as quick an action on these employees as they did the 13 who were fired before.

COTTER: The NLRB has been in the news a lot lately, whether it's a situation like this, the new rules, the situation going on with Boeing in South Carolina. Are you concerned a little bit about the lack of congressional oversight and the fact that NLRB sort of is on their own?

HUCKABEE: Well, I'm especially concerned because it was the NLRB that had the ridiculous position that Boeing shouldn't be able to relocate workers to South Carolina.

That’s a business decision. And it did not affect any jobs in Washington State, in the Seattle area. It was in addition to, not a subtraction of. And never in the history of this country has the government so micromanaged business.

But then again, when we start buying and owning car companies, of course, I guess, we feel like we can do that kind of nonsense. And it’s one of the reasons we should never, ever, have bailed out any business, ever, including TARP. All of the times when government gets in the business of picking winners and losers, government’s going to get it wrong. And, in fact, they are wrong to play the game. They're referees, not players. They wear striped shirts. They make sure the game is played fairly. They don't determine the outcome of the game.

COTTER: Don't forget, 8:00 on Saturday, "Huckabee." Check it out.

Thanks Mike. Good seeing you.

HUCKABEE: Good to see you, Chris.

COTTER: All right.

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