Fiat bought another 3.3 percent of Chrysler, “bringing it a step nearer to its goal of creating the world’s seventh-largest automaker by sales,” says Reuters. What Fiat really wants is to consolidate loss-making Fiat with profitable Chrysler, and to get “access to some of Chrysler’s cash flow for investments in new models,” the wire says. (Read More…)
As Volkswagen gears up for a decision on expanding their Chattanooga factory, a member of Volkswagen’s supervisory board told the Handlesblatt that any new product would be contingent on VW adopting a works council (explanation by our own veteran of Volkswagen BS here) for the plant.
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…)
Lower gas prices and a turn-around in the housing market rekindled America’s love for the pickup, resulting in 2,000 new jobs at Ford’s Kansas City Assembly Plant. (Read More…)
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…)
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.
The driving force behind the 12 man protest at Chrysler’s Warren, Michigan plant has gotten the boot.
The Detroit News, which broke the story, reported that protest organizer Alex Wassell was suspended without pay after nearly 20 years on the job. The protest was not sanctioned by the UAW, and led to the leaking of some documents outlining quality problems with the 2013 Ram 1500, a crucial product for Chrysler.
Since Wassell’s suspension, groups like the ACLU and Labor Notes, a union activist group, have spoken out about the firing, which Chrysler described as being due to “…engaging in activity constituting or appearing to constitute a conflict with the interest of the company.”
Meanwhile, the UAW has been curiously silent on the whole matter, which gives us an indirect example of the inherent conflict that occurs when the labor union and the corporate owners are one and the same.
The UAW is stepping up their organization efforts at Nissan’s Canton, Mississippi plant by taking their campaign to…Geneva?
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?
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…)
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…)
GM is set to announce that production of the Chevrolet Camaro will move from its current home in Oshawa, Ontario, to a plant in Lansing, Michigan.