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Image of Bob King

© Gilles Perrin http://www.gilles-perrin.com/

Bob King
President, United Autoworkers (UAW)

I think Detroit’s coming back. I think obviously the auto industry coming back is really helpful to Detroit. It’s a wonderful location on the river here; I think there are a lot of natural assets that Detroit has.

I think what’s really unique in terms of the industry is it’s a collaboration of workers and management and government who really came together to save the industry. Workers take tremendous pride and will fight about quality if they think the company is doing something that will produce a lower quality product. We feel like the union took a lot of criticism about the crisis the company was in, and a lot of it from our viewpoint was not justified. When good-quality vehicles weren’t being made, it was because the company chose to push more out the door instead of maintaining the quality when companies didn’t have the vehicles that consumers wanted. It’s not workers who decide what the product portfolio is going to be. There’s nobody that has more at risk in the long-term success, or more at stake in the long-term success of the company than the workers.

The workplace and the manager succeed more when the workers really have a voice.

From June 7, 2012, interview