Two-Tier Wage System Targeted For 2015 UAW Negotiations

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon
two tier wage system targeted for 2015 uaw negotiations

2015 is only 15 days away, which means new contract negotiations between the Detroit Three and the United Auto Workers are coming, the main focus being the elimination the two-tier wage system implemented in 2007.

The Detroit News reports the UAW’s hourly members are calling for the abolition of the system, which has done nothing but “cause a divide” up and down the roll “on both sides of the aisle,” per Local 2209 president Brian Hartman.

There may be trouble within, however, as Tier 2 employees receive bonuses and profit-sharing checks in lieu of being on parity with Tier 1 workers. The former may not be so willing to see lowered or disappeared bonuses just to level up to those making more, while the latter would like to not only see the system die, but to gain a raise in pay — including the restoration of holiday and cost-of-living adjustment payments — in so doing.

Other issues on the table for 2015 include securing overtime pay after eight hours per day — instead of overtime after 40 hours per week — ensuring all employees receive a defined pension scheme, and hiring temporary employees for permanent positions after 90 days.

The environment for the negotiations will be different compared to those held since 2007: UAW workers at General Motors and Chrysler Group will be able to strike for the first time since 2011, while non-union employees now have the right to remain as such via Michigan’s right-to-work law. UAW president Dennis Williams hasn’t focused too much on the right-to-work situation, believing that if one does their job in representing those under their care, the people would give their undying support to the leadership.

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  • Mikey Mikey on Dec 16, 2014

    @ HDC...If I can go by some of your previous comments, your quite happy, and content, with your Texas built Tundra ? Would you prefer that your next Tundra was assembled south of the border? Keeping in mind, of course, that Toyota USA pays a fair wage, and benefit package to the American workers. I'm confident that Toyota pays such an expensive package out of the goodness of their corporate heart. One would be cynical to think, that Toyota would fear the nasty UAW knocking on their door.

    • Highdesertcat Highdesertcat on Dec 16, 2014

      Mikey, I can't muster any sentiment or compassion for the UAW leadership. For them it is all about union dues. The "worker representation" guise is just a figment of the workers' imagination. Were many of the rank and file workers not collectively bargained out of their jobs as recently as 2009? I understand about the time you spend on the factory floor and you have my respect. But I do not respect what the unions, and the UAW in particular, have done to their employers. The Hostess debacle also comes to mind. In short, I am very happy with my Tundra and hope to buy a 2016 model as my last and final truck of my driving life. Toyota and the UAW were in a joint venture at NUMMI in California, and we all know who was left holding the bag there. It wasn't the UAW or GM. And I find it plausible that Toyota pays a fair wage to keep the UAW meddling out of their business, having been there and done that before with NUMMI.

  • Mikey Mikey on Dec 16, 2014

    @ HDC..The NUMMI plant? Where they ran the Vibe/Matrix. Someone correct if I'm wrong, but isn't the Toyota made Vibe, the only GM vehicle with a UAW worker installed, Takata air bag ? I know in the past, HDC that you have inferred that GM was out to kill their customers with the faulty ignition switch. Was Toyota, and Honda, out to kill their customers also ?

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    • Mikey Mikey on Dec 17, 2014

      @CJinSD Oh I see, so Honda was blissfully unaware, of the Claymore mines lurking in their, air bags ? Your hatred of all things domestic, has clouded your thinking. Of course Honda knew, long before, any shrapnel went into a customers face. Honda thought it best to sweep it under the rug, and hope it goes away. Can't say that Honda is any different from the rest of them. They screwed up, tried to cover it up, and got caught. In other news, the sun will rise, and set, tomorrow.

  • Mikey Mikey on Dec 16, 2014

    HDC... I know what your saying. My point was that UAW, or non UAW, Asian, or German, things can go wrong. I don't think that any individual worker, or that matter the entire corporation, set out to kill anybody. Even vehicles from 10 or 15 years were built to a price point. All of the car companies, bar none, were guilty of some sort of negligence/ cover up. As far as the guys living in the tent? I would bet that somehow, somewhere those folks made some poor choices in their life. If one finds themselves living in tent. One can't blame GM the UAW or Toyota.

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    • Highdesertcat Highdesertcat on Dec 16, 2014

      mikey, Nguyen is quite secretive about his relatives living in the San Jose tent city. I don't know how they are related to him. I didn't pursue it, but I understand from previous conversations with him that the shutdown of NUMMI was devastating to them, and the others that were let go. My understanding is they lost everything because the California welfare payments did not cover the $1900 a month mortgage payments, among other payments due, like car payments, insurance payments. About the UAW and unions, well, I remember the days of "Go slow" so well documented by Phil LeBeau and others where UAW members interviewed said, "we don't do that any more." That being missing fasteners, or poorly assembled vehicles, or purposely slowing down production to coerce management to give in to outrageous demands. Unions in America are not the same as unions in Europe or Asia, or even Mexico for that matter. Outs!de of America, unions work as partners with management to achieve the company's objectives. Sure, there are differences but they're not as vicious as the UAW with their well-documented tactics. In America, the union-employer relationship is adversarial. My mom and dad were both union, albeit different unions. When they broke free, they really got a different perspective on labor relations, especially my dad who advanced to the managerial level within the dept of defense civil service. My mom opened up her own shop and hired people in to do the work. That gave her a new perspective on how unproductive most hired help is, while at the same time that same hired help p!sses, moans, complains and b!tches about how little they get paid for "all" the work they have to do. I've seen it for myself when I hired American workers in. They can't even come close to the illegal aliens I hired in productivity and who cranked out an honest day's work for an honest day's pay. It's all in the eye of the beholder. The further away one gets from unions, the more blatant and destructive they appear to be to employers. But I fully understand that union members and former union members, will have a diametrically opposed view of the same facts.

  • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Dec 16, 2014

    The organization of labour had a huge beneficial effect on workers and society. We seem to forget that point. BUT Any time power shifts out of balance we eventually see corruption of those wielding power. "It is not only the slave or serf who is ameliorated in becoming free... the master himself did not gain less in every point of view,... for absolute power corrupts the best natures." Alphonse Marie Louis de Prat de Lamartine. Most tend to believe that was the origin of the quote ""Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely" Lord Acton. The pendulum swings back and forth. The UAW feels that it is its turn once again.