Ford’s announcement that it would restore merit pay increases and 401k matching to salaried employees has drawn protests from the UAW even though it has restored profit-sharing for UAW workers. The UAW’s head of Ford representation Bob King tells the Detroit News:
They’re two separate issues. We gave up a long laundry list of benefits. None of that is being restored. We think they should use the money to pay down debt
We agree that they’re not linked,” say Ford spokesfolks. “But we don’t believe that we violated the contract.” And while the union bashes Ford for restoring white-collar benefits, it’s actually reaching out to salaried Delphi retirees, as MLive reports that UAW boss Ron Gettelfinger has written a letter to Delphi asking it to restore salaried pensions which are being cut. So does the UAW support salaried auto industry employees, or does it see them as an opponent in a zero-sum game? More than likely, the answer is neither. Or both. As this video of chaos breaking out at a UAW meeting of NUMMI workers seems to indicate, the UAW is still an out-of-control juggernaut, unable to share a coherent perspective on the industry. But hey, thanks to their ownership of a majority stake in Chrysler and about 15 percent of GM, they’re an out-of-control fact of life.