UAW Leaders Fall Into Line on Chrysler Contract. Mostly.
The Detroit News reports that the United Auto Workers' (UAW) local officials have accepted the tentative contract agreement with Chrysler. Despite the vote, some high-ranking UAW officials- including the head of the UAW bargaining committee- aren't what you'd call sold on the deal. Citing issues with job guarantees (i.e. there aren't any) and the two-tier wage agreement (no provision for temporary workers' transition to full-time employment), they plan to campaign against the Chrysler agreement's ratification. UAW boss Ron Gettelfinger doesn't appear worried at the prospect of an internal rift, assuring Automotive News [AN, sub] that the contract vote was overwhelmingly in favor of the agreement. Yes, well, the exact results of the vote were not released, and AN forgot to ask Big Ron to define "overwhelmingly." Chrysler's 45k rank and file UAW members will vote on the proposed Chrysler contract later this week. Gettlefinger is confident this his union brothers and sisters will accept the new agreement as he moves on to [s]capitulate[/s] negotiate with Ford.
From your podcast comments (I must be one of your 4 listeners) it came to me that the Cerberus deal is better for a good reason - the folks at Cerberus are much more close to the actual owners of the company. The GM board and management is practically a political body completely detached from the stockholders. They feel more pain from the union strife than the stockholders' wrath. OTOH, the Cerberus negotiating team likely had to report daily to people who hade hundreds of millions of their own money on the table. Sort of changes the game.