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UAW sneaks up on Volkswagen, GM sharpens the knives in Europe and the guy who can fold any map in the Dash


UAW sneaks up on Volkswagen, GM sharpens the knives in Europe and the guy who can fold any map in the Dash

What we're reading in the Dash this morning about the UAW's latest organizing bids, GM's latest moves for its troubled European business and where all those old paper road maps went:

UAW steps up bid to organize VW U.S. plant [Reuters] In what had been a quiet attempt to gain a foothold among foreign automakers' plants in the United States, the UAW has been handing out organizing cards at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tenn. It's been years since the UAW last attempted an organizing vote at a foreign plant, and the only time it's ever organized a foreign-owned plant it wasn't invited into was the previous U.S. VW factory built in 1979.

GM planning European factory closings [Wall Street Journal] Speaking of unions, the representative of the German labor union for Opel workers has vowed to fight any attempt by GM to close plants at its money pit, but given the decade of losses Opel's already generated, GM has no other options.

Congress debates raising maximum recall fine [Detroit News] Following the Toyota recall debacle, U.S. auto safety regulators want the maximum fine on an automaker for ignoring a safety defect raised from $17 million to $250 million, saying smaller fines no longer act as a deterrent. Given the gridlock surrounding the highway bill, the higher fines don't appear likely as of today.

Collector donates 13,000 road maps to Stanford [Stanford] As a child, Robert Berlo began gathering the maps his family would pick up on road trips. This month, he donated the lifetime results of that collecting to Stanford University — some 13,000 maps, including an official state map for every state in every year since 1927. Researchers will use the trove to analyze land-use changes.

Top shot: Michael Schumacher drives the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One car during practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix this weekend. Photo: Mercedes