Positive Post of the Day: UAW Gives Ford a Break

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
positive post of the day uaw gives ford a break

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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  • MikeInCanada MikeInCanada on Aug 25, 2009

    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.

  • Sid Vicious Sid Vicious on Aug 26, 2009

    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.

  • Rnc Rnc on Aug 26, 2009

    "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.

  • RangerM RangerM on Aug 26, 2009
    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.