Bob King’s attempts to ingratiate himself with German unions, and to make Opel’s Bochum workers reconsider their decision to turn down Opel’s restructuring plan, are being ignored. Actually, it appears as if they had the opposite effect. Days after King’s comment, Bochum plant manager Manfred Gellrich rejected new discussions, saying Opel does not want to “waste precious time,” Reuters says. Over the weekend, Opel dropped another bomb: Bochum will be closed completely. A parts depot that was supposed to stay open, will also close its doors. (Read More…)
UAW boss Bob King told Opel’s Bochum workers to vote again, and to this time accept a deal that had been worked out between the German metal worker union IG Metall and GM. (Read More…)
When, in early February, the first (unconfirmed) rumors made the rounds that UAW’s Bob King would get a seat on Opel’s supervisory board, the assumption was that King will speak for “the equity side.” According to the “co-determination law,” the supervisory board of a large German company consists of 50 percent equity side and 50 percent labor, with the chairman having two votes in case of a tie. The UAW, through VEBA, owns 10 percent of the stock of GM. That puts King definitely on the equity side. One would assume. (Read More…)
American carmakers cast worried glances on Senators and union groups that want to create a level playing field with China. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Sherrod Brown, alongside union representatives and the labor-backed Economic Policy Institute try to push “the administration to bring a possible case at the World Trade Organization or begin a U.S. Commerce Department investigation that could lead to duties on Chinese-made auto parts,” as Reuters reports.
A study by the EPI alleges that the Chinese auto parts industry has received $27.5 billion in government subsidies since 2001. The study forgets that large parts of the U.S. auto industry would not be here anymore, would it not have been bailed-out by the U.S. government.
Why are carmakers horrified by the surely well-meant suggestion? Several reasons: (Read More…)
A good month after our trek to the South where we checked on the (un-) willingness of transplant workers to join the UAW, the hard-hitting team at the Reuters Detroit bureau did the same. In a special report, Reuters comes to the same conclusion as we did: It won’t be easy. Bernie Woodall and Ben Klayman of Reuters did more thorough digging. And they unearthed the secret strategy of the UAW: With the help of the German metalworkers union, they want to talk themselves into Volkswagen and Daimler: (Read More…)
Ron Gettelfinger retired and Bob King took his place as President of the UAW. Mr King has some pretty big shoes to fill, but the name is a good start. After all, Mr Gettelfinger helped persuade President Obama to bail our GM and Chrysler (can’t say I blame him, quid pro quo, and all that). So what can Mr King do to really show the rank and file that he means business? Better working conditions? Input into designing cars? More job security? Nope. His next step is to make sure that Detroit and the transplants are evenly matched, so to speak. (Read More…)