Chrysler Workers: UAW Contract Blows

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams

“This contract is garbage. It’s a suicide pact. It lowers pay and continues to let the company outsource work. I’m not losing too much because I’m going to retire soon, but what about the next generation?" That's the no-holds-barred opinion of "John," a Chrysler worker at the Jefferson North assembly plant in Detroit, Michigan. It arrives courtesy the World Socialist Web Site, who polled a sampling of the union members who [eventually] voted down the proposed Chrysler – UAW agreement. "Craig" felt "The UAW is trying to be a big powerbroker on Wall Street at our expense. They must think that we are illiterate and unable to read what the contract says." "Charles" expressed his displeasure with the proposed two-tier wage system. "The older you get and the more seniority, you should be able to get those [higher paying] jobs. Now they are going to be paying half the wages. I just don’t think it is fair.” "Juli" was upset about the idea of a union-controlled health care superfund. “It scares me to think that the union is going to be in charge of the retiree health benefits. There is a huge amount of money waiting for them." Mark Fiedler sees the same downside. “I am totally against the VEBA. The way the union does things it probably will not be around in 10 years. Then we will have nothing left.” Whether or not the UAW contract goes through, the two-tier, job guarantee-deficient proposal is leaving a lot of disgruntled workers in its wake.

Frank Williams
Frank Williams

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  • Robert Schwartz Robert Schwartz on Oct 22, 2007

    "It's a suicide pact." Strange thing for a dead man to complain about.

  • Jaje Jaje on Oct 22, 2007

    Alot of people blame the UAW rank and file employees. It's not their fault (their obsolence maybe part of the blame) but they didn't create the mailstorm of budget-built-bland-mobiles. It was the Big 3 and Union management. The UAW created an artificial rift between the line workers and the Big 3 in order to increase their bargaining position - and beget greed. The Big 3's management didn't care about their employees or their product - just their own cash hordes and private jets. The mess is the result of both the leader's unwillingness to work together for the greater good - rather ousting to get as much as they can out of each other. A prime example of the Prisonner's Dilemma.

  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Oct 22, 2007

    "Work together for the greater good" ???? Holy Toledo. Please remember this: Every time people have an opportunity to legally divide up large amounts of wealth, greed and self interest will take over. Those who want fairness will be overrun by those who want "fairness." There once was a time in this country where there was a huge abundance of labor that was easily underpaid and mistreated by tightly held companies. The solution became unions, and it wasn't all that bad a solution at the time. The only over abundance of labor we have today is seemingly auto workers. The large unions have become a source of more problems, than would likely be caused by the widely held companies of today. The excess wealth available to be split between the management and workers which was built up decades ago is almost gone. The people who know nothing other than how to get what they did not earn (on both sides) are going to fight as if it were to the death. They have skills in demagoguery, influence peddling, intimidation, and spinning. This will likely not end until the war is clearly won. For those of you confused by what we loosely call a war today would be best served to think about the way WWII ended rather than how more recent affairs have come to a shaky peace. Frankly, we will all be arguing about this until the UAW or the companies are destroyed.