GM – UAW Agreement Wearing Thin?
GM's "ground breaking" deal with the United Auto Workers (UAW) was a national negotiation; implementation occurs on a plant-by-plant basis. The main issue facing local leaders: determining which jobs are "core" to auto assembly and must be paid the old $28/hr rate, and which are "second tier" and can be filled with cheaper labor. According to The Detroit News, at least three local UAW leaders have accused GM of trying to bring in hundreds more "second tier" workers than the agreement allows. Well they would, wouldn't they? The wage reductions constitute the contract's main financial benefit to GM (for which the automaker agreed to establish a $32b health care superfund). And the clock is ticking. "The lack of agreement on wages likely wouldn't cause major problems until later this summer, when GM will need to bring in new employees to fill spots vacated by workers who took retirement incentives or buyout offers."