UAW Members Are Going to Ratify This?

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams

According to Bloomberg, the new UAW agreement could shift one fourth of GM's union workers into lower-paying jobs over the next four years. Under the new contract, more than 16k jobs will be classified as "non-core" positions– which don't qualify for a full UAW pension or retiree health care. Workers currently in these jobs won't have pay and benefit cuts, but there will be a "special attrition program" encouraging them to leave. Kristin Dziczek, an analyst at the Center for Automotive Research, points out that "non core" refers to any job that doesn't involve bolting bits together. To earn the full $51 an hour in pay and benefits, "you have to run an air gun on the line, and that's not easy work." So workers who used their seniority to get a relatively cushy job (e.g. driving a forklift) will suddenly find themselves SOL. Expect retiree numbers to swell as retirement-eligible workers choose between a pay-off and a significant downgrade in pay and bennies.

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  • Ryan Knuckles Ryan Knuckles on Oct 04, 2007

    If they ratify this, they will be one of the only groups I can think of that legislated themselves a pay cut. Perhaps GMs management and the U.S. Congress should be taking notes?

  • Emerlou Emerlou on Oct 04, 2007

    Its about time we got rid of all unions..........They are costing the american consumer untold millions.

  • MgoBLUE MgoBLUE on Oct 04, 2007
    Virtual Insanity : What is the standard length of a work week for a UAW line man making that $51 an hour? If I'm not mistaken, each daily shift is eight hours in length, but has two thirty-minute breaks within that eight hour stretch (because its more efficient to have everyone break for the same thirty minutes as opposed to whenever they want). So it is a forty-hour work week, then overtime kicks in (time and a half, including Saturdays, Sundays are usually Double-time, and holidays can be triple-time).
  • Curtis5309 Curtis5309 on Oct 04, 2007
    Expect retiree numbers to swell as retirement-eligible workers choose between a pay-off and a significant downgrade in pay and bennies Actually, there is a third option--they can transfer to a "core" ranked position and thus keep their "traditional" status with its attendant gold plated pay and benefits. There are many "core" jobs identified in the contract that don't involve "running an airgun on the line", particularly in some of the stamping plants, where you are not tied to the assembly line. The other thing to keep in mind that several articles out there have neglected to mention is this: workers hired under the "entry-level structure" can flow to "traditional" UAW GM jobs "as positions become available". Being that more than half of UAW GM workers will be eligible to retire in the next several years, many of the new "entry-level employees" will eventually hit paydirt. That's the fly in the ointment for GM--the failure to retire the (unsustainably) high wage/benefit tier when current UAW GM employees retire/attrition from their "core" jobs.