In a newsletter to members of Local 598, an editor revealed an interesting wrinkle in the recently-ratified contract negotiations, writing
With the option of strike off the table and the government still a part of our negotiations (literally sitting in the room with us ‘observing’ our talks), I don’t believe any better agreement could have been reached,
But now, reports Bloomberg [via Automotive News [sub]], local shop committee person Dana Rrouse insists that there was not actually a government official present at union negotiations. He tells the news service
That was a misprint. I didn’t get to proofread it. It went out and then I said ‘Where did you get that from?’ I mean, I talked about us still being under government, but nothing as far as they were sitting there.
The government still owns a large portion of GM’s stock, but it too says it was not involved with negotiations with the UAW. Which is probably the right position to be taking: with so much acrimony generated by the latest round of negotiations, there are few reasons to be associated with them. Still, it’s strange that such an explosive “misprint” should have made its way into a union newsletter. Even if the government were not involved in the slightest, as it insists it was, there’s clearly a perception among UAW members that the government remains a consistent presence in the auto industry.