By on August 25, 2009

The Freep reports that Ford officials are meeting with the United Auto Workers Union today, to renegotiate elements of their labor contract. Reducing pay for entry-level workers and reducing skilled-trades job classifications are said to be at the top of Ford’s to-do list. And why not? GM got the UAW to agree to streamlined skilled-trade positions, an entry-level wage freeze, a performance bonus freeze and a no-strike agreement. Why wouldn’t the UAW do the same for Ford, just because the Blue Oval didn’t give up major ownership stakes to the union and its allies in government?

No, even though Ford may be making money at the moment, the UAW understands that it’s simply not fair to put Ford at a competitive disadvantage. Especially considering that Ford hasn’t even had the opportunity to hire entry-level workers yet and has made the largest cash contribution to the UAW VEBA account of the Detroit automakers. Sure, Dearborn local committee persons are calling Ford’s requests for concessions “insane,” and are organizing workers against them according to Automotive News [sub]. But don’t let that fool you. The UAW doesn’t overreach and further make petty short term interests at the expense of a major employer’s well-being. Or, at the very least, the UAW understands that if Ford bleeds more money and goes under, the UAW is likely to end up with a good-sized equity stake in the bailed-out wreckage. Win-win! Or something . . .

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11 Comments on “Positive post of the day: UAW gives Ford a break...”


  • avatar
    hwyhobo

    Ron Gettelfinger should really learn to spell “Americans”.

  • avatar
    johnthacker

    Especially considering that Ford hasn’t even had the opportunity to hire entry-level workers yet

    And thus those entry-level workers aren’t UAW members yet. So Ford’s apparently hoping that the current UAW membership will rather the not yet members take the cut than themselves.

    Solidarity or not?

  • avatar
    segfault

    All American’s Need Gooder Educashun.

  • avatar
    tced2

    In the English classes I took, “American’s” could be the contraction of “American is”. Probably not want Mr. Gettelfinger meant. He probably meant the plural of “American” which is “Americans”. End of English lesson.

    I’ve never understood the union zeal for government health care especially the UAW. Government health care will be quite a bit less than what they currently receive. In other words, a benefit reduction.

  • avatar
    Lokkii

    Silly rabbits – that’s not a mis-spelling.

    He’s a UAW representative. He is deliberately speaking in the possessive.

  • avatar
    Nicodemus

    “In the English classes I took, “American’s” could be the contraction of “American is”. Probably not want Mr. Gettelfinger meant. He probably meant the plural of “American” which is “Americans”. End of English lesson.”

    Ah…but what if your talking about any possession of Mark Twain, who amongst other things was of course ‘The American’..

  • avatar
    Tommy Boy

    >I’ve never understood the union zeal for government health care especially the UAW. Government health care will be quite a bit less than what they currently receive. In other words, a benefit reduction.

    It makes perfect sense from their standpoint.

    The cost of their gold-plated healthcare, for current and retired workers, is crowding out funds available for raises, and is causing their employers real hurt (one of the myriad reasons why UAW employment is down by hundreds of thousands from its peak).

    With socialized medicine the taxpayers will fund basic coverage. The union will then negotiate contracts with “extra” coverage to bring the entire health care package back to where it is at present.

    In other words, Obamacare is a way for the unionized industrial dinosaurs to shift a big big hunk of their legacy costs onto the taxpayer.

    Yet another way that we taxpayers will get to bail out the UAW.

  • avatar
    MikeInCanada

    Why all the excitement about a two tier wage system for the Big 2.8?

    Assuming business picks up, and Ford, GM and ChyCo forget about the ability of their Mexican and Asian factories to make stuff – cheap – it will be years (decades, perhaps) before they recall all the existing laid off workers – at the old salary level – and then, only then hire some new people.

    I don`t see where the cost savings is going to be.

  • avatar
    Sid Vicious

    I’ve been getting a rare (very rare these days) laugh as the skilled tradesmen have been using the bumper sticker machine to re-label all their maintenance carts. (Knowing that the reduction of classifications is coming.)

    My favorites are Hydrowright (Hydraulic Repairman – Millwright), Pipetrician (Pipefitter – Electrician) or Hydromillrepair (Hydraulic Repairman – Millwright – Machine Repair.)

    Of course this is offset by other bullshit. The union is expanding with Ford’s new found prestige/success – additional full time Quality and Safety reps for example. It’s getting to be that the union is more chiefs than indians around here.

  • avatar
    rnc

    “it will be years (decades, perhaps) before they recall all the existing laid off workers – at the old salary level – and then, only then hire some new people.”

    All those people were bought out, any new hires will actually be new hires.

  • avatar
    RangerM

    tced2 :
    August 25th, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    I’ve never understood the union zeal for government health care especially the UAW.

    Read H.R. 3200

    SEC. 164. REINSURANCE PROGRAM FOR RETIREES.
    (a) ESTABLISHMENT–

    (1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall establish a temporary reinsurance program (in this section referred to as the ‘‘reinsurance program’’) to provide reimbursement to assist participating employment-based plans with the cost of providing health benefits to retirees and to eligible spouses, surviving spouses and dependents of such retirees.

    (2) DEFINITIONS.—For purposes of this section:
    (A) The term ‘‘eligible employment-based plan’’ means a group health benefits plan that–

    (i) is maintained by one or more employers, former employers or employee associations, or a voluntary employees’ beneficiary association, or a committee or board of individuals appointed to administer such plan, and

    (ii) provides health benefits to retirees.

    Essentially, what it means that the taxpayer is on the hook for UAW retiree health benefits.

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