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The mantra before, during, and after the bailout was (and still is) that without the bailout, gadzillions of jobs would have vanished, the American car industry would have been wiped out, wheels would have come off the arsenal of democracy, and the sky would have fallen into Lake St. Clair. Of course, that’s nonsense. There are more than enough other carmakers in America. They would have received the sales, and added the jobs. They would have been mostly non-union jobs though.
The truth is, without the bailout, the UAW would have vanished, and with it millions of Democratic votes. Read More >
German autoworkers want their share of the record profits announced by German carmakers last year. IG Metall labor union demanded 5.5 percent. Employers countered with 2.3 percent. Today, workers went on strike. Read More >
Chevrolet’s Celta, Prisma and Onix models will be in short supply when workers General Motors’ Gravataí plant in southern Brazil go on strike for higher pay and shorter hours. Workers of the plant’s first and third shifts already approved the strike, Reuters says, the second shift is expected to follow suit today. Read More >
Opel’s Supervisory Board, with half of its members delegates of the labor union, decided today the first closure of a German car factory in decades. According to Reuters, “Opel will end producing Zafira MPVs at its 50-year old Bochum plant by the end of next year, a move that has triggered a rare and public split within union ranks following months of tough negotiations.”
The closure will lead to the loss of 3,000 jobs in Bochum, as part of Opel’s attempt to put an end to 15 straight years of losses in Europe. It will be a while. Read More >
Nissan workers will get a pay raise without the help of the Union. Or maybe they get a pay raise to help keep the union out. Read More >
No works council without representation. Those are the words of UAW President Bob King, in an interview with Autoline Detroit, when asked about a possible works council at VW’s Chattanooga assembly plant.
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They may not have western-style unions in China, but workers sure do strike. Workers at Honda’s transmission plant in Foshan, Guangdong Province, walked off the job on Monday after their pay increases weren’t as large as they had hoped. Read More >
The head of Germany’s metal worker union IG Metall, Berthold Huber, urged workers at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant to join the UAW. In a letter distributed to Chattanooga workers, obtained by Reuters, Huber says: Read More >
News of Volkswagen being open to establishing a works council at its plant in Chattanooga are widely interpreted as the UAW getting a long-sought nose under the southern tent. It could also be a shrewd move to block the union. Read More >
Upon receipt of a multi-billion dollar loan from the Canadian government, General Motors signed a “Vitality Commitment”, essentially a covenant in the loan agreement between GM and Canada’s government, which guaranteed that a certain amount of GM’s North American production would remain in Canada. That number is widely reported as being 16 percent, while page F-69 of GM’s IPO filings outlines that the covenant is valid until GM repays its loan commitments or until December 31, 2016, whichever comes later.
While Oshawa has widely regarded as one of GM’s best plants in terms of producing high-quality vehicles, the future of GM’s Oshawa plant is looking increasingly bleak.
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The 12-person protest that took place at Chrysler’s Warren, Michgan truck plant got little notice in the automotive news cycle, save for a couple of mentions on the usual aggregators. In truth, it’s not the juiciest story to sell in this click-driven wasteland, though these stories tend to raise the most interesting questions. This example highlights an issue that is going to dog the UAW for some time – how will the UAW control their workers when they are also the owners?
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The UAW has been a bit luckless in its organizing efforts of foreign automakers in the U.S. Recent attempts to brand transplanted Asian and German automakers as human rights abusers have gone a bit over the heads of the targeted working masses. With that being a dud, the UAW is back to old-style organizing, and back at its old target, Nissan. The UAW has tried two times, two times it received a black eye in Smyrna, TN. The UAW is back to collect another shiner. Read More >
“Dieter Zetsche is lucky that he can stay for three more years,” writes Der Spiegel in Germany. The labor side of Daimler’s Supervisory Board had demanded Dr. Z’s head, the magazine writes. After long debates with Daimler’s Supervisory Board Chairman Manfred Bischoff, a compromise was found. Read More >
An alleged environmental measure will land Russia in the court of the World Trade Organization, a club Russia had joined only in August. Importers have to pay a “recycling fee” of around 5 percent of a car’s sticker price, local makers do not. “Russia’s trading partners say the new levy is a purely protectionist play under the guise of environmental ‘recycling’,” Reuters writes. “The European Union Trade Commissioner, Karel de Gucht, has threatened to invoke the disputes procedure of the World Trade Organization.” Read More >
CAW members at GM’s CAMI plant in Ontario have voted to begin negotiating their contracts as early as this week after a vote by workers. At stake is the production of the GMC Terrain and Chevrolet Equinox, two popular crossovers that may have their production moved to Mexico or the United States.
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