Mitsubishi – UAW Contract Signed

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Mitsubishi’s Normal, Il factory is the nation’s most under-utilized auto plant. Facing declining American sales, its operators have cut costs to survive. But unlike other transplants, Mitsubishi employs UAW workers, so it can’t just kill its workforce and feed them to Japanese-made robots, right? Well, Mitsubishi has actually surpassed the realm of mere xenophobic science fiction and has managed to wrangle concessions from the United Auto Workers. Bloomberg reports that 1,260 members of UAW Local 2488 approved pay cuts of nearly five dollars per hour and higher benefit costs in a new four-year contract with Mitsubishi. So much for the long-running Detroit narrative of the UAW being blind to the struggles of automakers and squeezing the life from domestic manufacturing. Sales and production have been cut in half at Mitsubishi’s American operations since 2002, and apparently the union get it. It’s not exactly a happy story for anyone, but the bottom line is that jobs are being kept in this country. Incidentally, this story explains with the utmost clarity why Detroit and the UAW joined forces to make a run on the federal piggybank. Otherwise they would have had to face the music and make an unpleasant but ultimately sustainable compromise like this one.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Ihatetrees Ihatetrees on Oct 07, 2008

    I wonder how the compensation at this plant compares to the big 2.x?

  • RedStapler RedStapler on Oct 07, 2008

    Current UAW scale at GM is ~$27 something hour with a extra $2 for swing shift.

  • Timd38 Timd38 on Oct 07, 2008

    Nice people with great intentions, but put a fork in them because they are done.

  • Snabster Snabster on Oct 08, 2008

    $50K a year for a factory worker is not excessive. GM and Detroit are going down because of failed corporate management -- not the unions. Replace every UAW worker with a robot, but you've still got to move product.