For all the rhetoric being passed back and forth between the OEMs and the CAW in this round of contract negotiations, the overwhelming feeling from our commenters is that there will be no strike, compromise will be had, and somehow, both sides will play it off as a victory. The latest bulletin from the CAW seems to support that notion.
The CAW published this copy of a leaflet, apparently handed out to the rank and file. The leaflet lists some of the automaker demands, including
eliminating the 30-and-out pension;
creating a two-tier workforce, mirroring the UAW agreement;
moving to a Defined Contribution pension plan even for current workers;
permanently eliminating the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA);
further reducing benefits, including access to prescriptions.
The corporations are also refusing to commit to any new investments, which puts members’ jobs in jeopardy. Each
company has also insisted that any reward or bonus will be paid for by additional cuts to other areas of the agreement
Of course, not all of these demands will go through. But the CAW is already covering their own ass as far as compromises go. And we should expect some hefty ones.
The last paragraph continues this theme. Following a bit about how the union has “no intention of making these kinds of deep cuts again,” it reads
“A week from the deadline, anxiety levels are understandably high and rising. The bargaining committees will do
their best to keep members up to date on the status of negotiations. As September 17 approaches, it is increasingly
important that members at all facilities, in all local unions support their bargaining committees. To reach a deal, it’s
crucial that members continue having faith in their elected representatives and support their bargaining committees.”
And then we have the kicker. The one clause that basically undoes the entire (albeit necessary) “rah-rah solidarity” language of the bulletin
“As the landscape continues to shift, the bargaining committees will also strategically shift approaches with the goalof best protecting members’ interests.”
If that doesn’t say “we are totally willing to compromise to avoid a strike/save our jobs/save our plant” then I don’t know what does. There couldn’t be a better example of corporate doublespeak, buried right below a Fox-worthy tract of “us-versus-them” prose that it almost seems ironic.