The Resulting Union-Management Relationship
IT is obvious from the facts presented in the preceding chapter that a fundamental disagreement has always existed between the UAW and General Motors in the most vital areas of their relationship. Although the parties have engaged in collective bargaining, each has had a sharply different concept of its proper function and scope.
The conflict of economic and political philosophy has been even more basic. The corporation has stood squarely for freedom of management from government or union regulation. The union has advocated broad social planning through government and labor participation in the economic decision-making of the automotive industry. Underlying these attitudes has been an internal competition for leadership and a determined struggle for power. In almost every labor-management relationship there is some competition for leadership and power between union officials and employers. In the relations between big unions and big corporations this struggle as more pronounced and more vital, not only to the parties but to the nation as well, because their decisions reverberate throughout their organizations, their industries, and the national economy as a whole.