Workers at the former Toyota-GM joint venture NUMMI have approved a severance offer from Toyota. Union officials won’t reveal the exact amount involved, and while the Detroit Free Press reports that workers will make a “minimum” of $21,175, the San Jose Mercury says the deal “gives an average severance package of $54,000.” Could it be that some union brothers are more equal than others? What the Freep leaves out is that $21,175 minimum applies to 300 of NUMMI’s 4,700 workers who are already on disability leave. Workers with over 25 years of experience will receive $68,500.
But the minimum payout is drawing fire from local union members, and several workers have said they will file grievances with the UAW. Toyota’s $281m severance pool was made available in the form of a “retention bonus,” and injured workers were not able to meet the attendance requirements for eligibility. “As soon as NUMMI found a loophole to screw people, that’s just what they did,” one worker told the Mercury. But that still didn’t stop 90 percent of the local from voting for the lesser of two screwings.
In any case, union officials refused comment on the situation, prompting anger from workers and a statement by NUMMI spokesfolks confirming that:
The UAW committed of its own accord not to further denigrate NUMMI or Toyota as a term of the shutdown agreement. In fact, the union negotiated and proposed specific language for that provision of the agreement