Opinion: UAW needs Gettelfinger back

Paul W. Smith

“Outta’ my mind on a Monday moanin’”

Happy Labor Day!

A couple of labor-related thoughts:

-- A tough time for organized labor right now as the United Auto Workers find themselves in the midst of an extensive federal corruption investigation. “Corruption probe lands at UAW president’s door…Feds recover cash, documents…but make no arrests in cross-country raids,” read one of our own Detroit News headlines.

Sen. Carl Levin marches with UAW President Ron Gettelfinger in the annual Labor Day parade down Woodward Avenue in Detroit on  Sept. 7, 2009.

Whatever the outcome here, the suggestion I made on my radio show this past week still stands. I do believe the best thing the UAW could do right now to address these problems and start to fix the members' very legitimate concerns amid contract talks is to convince Ron Gettelfinger to come out of retirement and once again lead his beloved UAW back to good health.

History shows without question, he was the right guy at the right time. I believe it’s time again for Gettelfinger.

-- As shocking as it may have been to hear that 29-year-old star quarterback Andrew Luck was walking away from a game that he loved and was financially very good to him, in retrospect, after seeing a partial list of his many injuries (torn cartilage in two ribs, a partially torn abdomen, a concussion, lacerated kidney), maybe it shouldn’t be shocking that he would decide enough is enough.

But what turned out to be the most shocking news (to me) was that “former” fans actually sent Luck off the field with boos! How dare he mess up their fantasy football plans with his real-life concerns.

I sure hope we didn’t boo the great Barry Sanders when he unexpectedly decided to call it quits 20 years ago.

Maybe it’s best I don’t remember.

Paul W. Smith is the host of "The Paul W. Smith Show" on WJR-AM (760) from 5:30-9 a.m. Monday-Friday.