By on October 6, 2014

UAW-logo-outside-Union-Solidarity-House

Autumn 2015 will be a big moment for the United Auto Workers, as the union prepares to negotiate new contracts with the Detroit Three, with the aim of improving pay for both Tier 1 and Tier 2 members under conditions that weren’t there in the year prior to the Great Recession.

The Detroit News reports the UAW wants the Detroit Three to give Tier 1 employees the first raise since 2007, as well as add more jobs to the factory floor. Meanwhile, the union is also facing pressure to improve the financial state of Tier 2 employees, who earn less than those grandfathered by the 2007 contracts, with benefits to match.

On the other side of the table, the Detroit Three want to reduce pension costs among those on the floor as they had with those who retired. GM and Ford offered buyouts for employees who agreed to forgo future benefits, while Chrysler froze its plans for 8,000 salaried employees in 2013.

Outside the conference room, Michigan’s right-to-work law will give current union members and new employees the right to not be a part of a union. That said, UAW president Dennis Williams says members in other right-to-work states have remained members despite the option to opt-out, and won’t focus all of his energy on this issue.

As far as striking is concerned, Williams want to avoid using that option “unnecessarily,” but does want the Detroit Three to know that his membership “have sacrificed,” and that new members “want a higher standard of living.” The union recently raised dues 25 percent to replenish its strike fund — having fallen to $600 million — to remind companies how serious the threat of work stoppage can be.

Finally, the UAW will continue to bring aboard transplants in the Southeastern United States, like those working for Volkswagen, Nissan and Mercedes-Benz, as well as suppliers, employees in the gaming industry, and those in higher education.

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28 Comments on “UAW Prepares For Autumn 2015 Detroit Three Negotiatons...”


  • avatar
    racer-esq.

    Not a huge fan but these guys, mainly because of the luddite insistance on more jobs in the face of increased automation, but they are 10 times harder working and more accountable than the typical government parasite like a cop. Plus they have to negotiate against private executives, not politicians they have bought off, like public sector unions. Overpaid government employees with absurd pensions BK’d Detroit, not autoworkers.

    • 0 avatar
      frozenman

      +1 ,working in the construction industry and as a union member my employer can lay me off with just 1 hour notice as per the agreement. The industry ratio of work place deaths is far higher than cops or fire fighters, but if I die in the course of my employment it isn’t front page news.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    Anybody who hasnt gotten a raise since 2007 probably deserves one. There is however the arguement that most of the UAW rank and file were already making twice as much as market for the jobs they perform. They will all get their raise no doubt, but Union/Management problem is and has always been how to make a contract that makes sense in good time and bad. That is the challenge. Expect more profit sharing and performance based incentives. They are the only thing that makes sense in such a volitile industry.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I agree, and if there was any truth to the “solidarity” the Tier Is will either push for a higher percentage for Tier IIs or even forgo much of a bump themselves in order to free up funds.

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    “The Detroit News reports the UAW wants the Detroit Three to give Tier 1 employees the first raise since 2007, as well as add more jobs to the factory floor. Meanwhile, the union is also facing pressure to improve the financial state of Tier 2 employees, who earn less than those grandfathered by the 2007 contracts, with benefits to match.

    The union recently raised dues 25 percent”

    Hmmmm….

  • avatar
    Xeranar

    Watch out world! Armchair economists are coming to tell you what your market value is and why you’re being greedy in the face of the greatest march of wealth to the top .1% of society in the history of the world. You should know your place is to grovel at the feet of billionaires who are merely trying to make a buck…off your hard labor…because you aren’t 110 years old so you weren’t around to build a car company when the time was ripe for industrial expansion.

    So quick interest survey: What do you do that makes you so valuable to the economy?

    Professor of Political Science (American Political Development) & US History (20th Century with a focus on Labor and Race).

    I’m not sure I’m irreplaceable but I certainly make less than my private sector counterparts who work for think tanks or as lobbyist’s analysts…

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      You give yourself way too much credit for simply understanding the gist of the problem. Naturally, your behavior and profession lead to a general lack of curiosity regarding available solutions, and a fundamental inability to evaluate the solutions and to choose one that preserves social equity by providing benefit for everyone.

      There is no conspiracy, other than the people who reinforce your counterproductive cognitive biases for political gain. Please join the rest of us in the 21st century, sooner rather than later.

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        A general lack of curiosity regarding available solutions and a fundamental inability to evaluate the solutions and to choose one that preserves social equity by providing benefit for everyone?

        So…..Your argument is because I understand the situation and have a fairly well set view of solutions I’m disinclined to believe in the failed policy positions of my opponents? Color me amused! At least your pseudo-intellectual argument was funny to read. I would go further down the reasoning but frankly it isn’t worth my time. You’re anti-intellectual bent against the doctors who actually study the work your armchair policy-making comments are built on is a bit sad. You mind as well get upset that engineers design your cars instead of internet forums.

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          You said three trillion barrels of oil don’t matter.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            No, actually ABC news’ own reporting said they don’t matter. At the current valuation of oil they’re worthless. Barring tremendous breakthrough in technology solar and wind will beat them to the value per barrel so that those 3 trillion barrels will be irrelevant.

            See, when I explain the position from your one line attempt to slander the point explains itself. If you somehow think those 3 trillion are going to usher in an era of ‘cheap oil’ you’re going to have to prove some incredible market conditions and possibly a solar system collapse…

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            ABC didn’t say that three times as much oil as man has used in history don’t matter. You did. They also didn’t say it wasn’t accessible. One of the operations that is currently extracting the oil said that break even was $65/barrel, something that none of the ecoscammers can claim their idiot taxes disguised as alternative energy can match in cost. I understand that you have to ignore reality and then believe your own lies. The alternative is admitting to yourself that you’re wrong about everything.

        • 0 avatar
          TW5

          No. You adhere to a juvenile political paradox in which the greedy party of American money-grubbers is not able to understand how the declining American middle class adversely affects the fortunes of the 1%. The notion belies another juvenile political narrative that asserts the upper classes, middle classes, and capital classes have no common interests, only an adversarial relationship pertaining to the apportionment of wealth, resources, and political power.

          You don’t understand that the rapid ascension of the upper classes in the US is closely correlated to the boom in global middle class citizens. In other words, Americans are getting rich by developing the middle class elsewhere, and the upper working classes are growing wealthier by managing bigger operations in the global economy. There is no matter of social justice at hand, only a bitter political science professor, who takes solace in a growing faction of equally-clueless Americans.

          The US enjoyed an era devoid of global economic competition for nearly 50 years, until the formation of the Euro Zone and the rise of China (though Japan gave us a fright in the 80s). During that time, a large gap developed between the cost of US labor and the discretionary/disposable income of average American workers. During the same period, federal revenues were fairly constant, but public spending experienced a tectonic shift from productivity and investment to benefits for non-working demographics. As a result, companies a reluctant to increase their demand for American labor.

          That is all.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            Congratulations! You win the psuedo-intellectual prize for failing miserably at making a claim using classic conservative double-speak.

            Summarization of your statement: The middle-class is still growing by magically gaining the wealth of other countries as they become middle-class. This then somehow feeds into the idea that all three classes (upper/middle/lower) are symbiotic and not parasitic but because slave wages in China make investing in the US unattractive we should make inane remarks and assumptions about the nature of labor.

            Was that accurate enough? I left out the pointless ad hominems of anti-intellectualism again.

            Suffice to say you have zero idea of how globalization is working to undermine the pay of all Americans except those at the very top. If anything there is some minor truth to the overall leveling effect of middle-class societies developing in NICs and SE Asia but it has a debilitating effect on the US economy and society because we make zero effort to balance their efforts against our own society’s standard of living.

            So to put it in simple English so even a simple conservative like you can understand: No matter how many Americans go to work as managers in India or Mexico we cannot replace the jobs we lose without acknowledging the income inequality is unacceptable and change the trajectory of income back towards the workers. There simply aren’t enough jobs for the entire US economy to become middle-management of in your skewed model and regardless of manufacturing prowess and the UAW in particular you cannot stand back and claim complete ignorance to your own simplistic remarks and still be taken seriously.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            There is great truth to the forth paragraph, and all of it was predicted over twenty years ago.

          • 0 avatar
            S2k Chris

            “No matter how many Americans go to work as managers in India or Mexico we cannot replace the jobs we lose without acknowledging the income inequality is unacceptable and change the trajectory of income back towards the workers. There simply aren’t enough jobs for the entire US economy to become middle-management of in your skewed model and regardless of manufacturing prowess and the UAW in particular you cannot stand back and claim complete ignorance to your own simplistic remarks and still be taken seriously.”

            “without acknowledging the income inequality is unacceptable and change the trajectory of income”

            Even if we accept this is desirable, how do you propose that is accomplished? For full credit, describe a solution that does not result in complete American uncompetitiveness on the global business stage.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            52K – You don’t get to dictate your presumptions on my policies. If anything I’ve laid them out a few dozen times here already but you and your ilk (to be pleasant) have refused to acknowledge their effectiveness because you’ve been bred to presume their ineffectiveness because the elites you listen to reinforce these views.

            Thus, the answer is largely in changing how much we pay workers, increasing minimum wage, ending free trade and creating fair trade policies, and largely moving away from corporate investments from public funds to public investment from public funds.

            I can elaborate further but I rather save my fingers the trouble since frankly you’re going to make an empty rebuke based on hollow presumptions.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            The public investment thing has already been tried. The result was a lot of dead kulaks. Just because you won’t learn from history, it doesn’t mean anyone sane wants to repeat it.

          • 0 avatar
            S2k Chris

            So much presumption in what I think and why. BTW, the name is “S”2k, not 52k. 2000, not 52,000. Anyways, don’t think I’ve ever engaged with you, but hey, if you don’t wanna play, that’s fine. Suffice it to say that protectionism doesn’t work.

            My plan? Drop the corporate tax rate to 0.0% and hold a repartiation holiday. Bring investment back onshore and encourage it rather than tax it. But then we have to listen to the ignorant peasants bleat about who does and doesn’t pay taxes. Sigh.

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            Xeranar, if you really are a professor of political science, it behooves you not to publish record of your incompetence in a public medium. If you have an economics or global affairs department, go talk to those faculty members. They will provide enlightenment as to the movement of capital and labor, as well as the economics of public policy and its affect on American labor. If you show them my posts pertaining to socioeconomics, they will probably be happy to explain to you my political orientation.

            Perhaps you’ll find a particularly well-versed economist who can explain to you all of the policy options available to increase discretionary/disposable income without increasing the cost of labor.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            TW5 – Global affairs? We normally call international relations and most of them sit across the hall from me. Trust me the IR people are even farther to the left of me on most issues. In fact the whole discussion of middle-class jobs and income is actually often and highly discussed by IR professors and largely their views coincide with my own.

            As for economists who should I go talk to? The failed neo-liberals who support your arguments without much of a backing in objective reasoning or the Keynesians who have been saying all along why and how the collapse happened? I’m fully aware of the fact that even as economics departments completely failed to recognize the collapse happening before their very eyes have continued to cling to their broken views. But most economics departments are staffed by individuals who worked in large investment firms before getting their PhDs so their views are largely skewed by the short-term gains they propagated while ignoring the complex series of risks and actions that lead to those gains.

            By the way, trust me, nobody I care about reads TTAC and frankly if they did we would both have a good laugh at your expense. I understand at the water cooler your piss poor understandings make for great talk but in a room full of doctors my view is largely respected if a bit aggressive and tends towards more explicit post-marxist ideology but that’s because I came from History rather than straight Poli Sci where I would have been more of a critical theorist who uses post-behavioral techniques.

    • 0 avatar
      Civarlo

      Notice how quickly X climbs the academic pedigree tree once a challenge or possible opposition is detected.

      Oh well. It reminds me of a saying: the higher the monkey climbs, the more of his arse you see.

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        Challenges? What challenge are you seriously mounting? At some point my arguments may resort to my authority but I rarely do so. If anything there is a great deal of normative right-wing arguments being put forward that really on pure assumptions to justify their views. If you think your arms are long enough to box with me you’re deluding yourself.

  • avatar

    Where are the Pinkerton Goons when we need them to bust some heads and remind these commie pinkos who owns this world.

  • avatar
    Pig_Iron

    I wonder who the contract pattern target will be?

  • avatar

    Detroit Three, bear in mind:

    – Autoworkers are also consumers. Don’t expect the ones who got unemployed to keep buying the brand they used to work for if it’s made in China or Mexico.
    – German autoworkers are the best paid in the world. High labor costs AND making profits CAN go together very well.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      High labor costs can be manageable if the cars sell at a premium.

      In any case, the Germans have taken to offshoring much of their labor to other parts of Europe. A fair amount of the final assembly may take place in Germany, but a lot of the component assembly is being moved elsewhere. The German car ends up using a lot of non-German labor.


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