By on March 25, 2015

UAW Bridging the Gap Banner Circa March 2015

Delegates at this week’s 2015 UAW Bargaining Convention in Detroit are pushing hard for an end to the two-tier wage system in place since 2007.

Detroit Free Press reports that while the union may likely “bridge the gap” between Tier 1 and Tier 2 workers as far as pay goes during its talks with the Detroit Three — FCA US, Ford and General Motors — in September, the delegates want nothing more than the complete end to a scheme that was meant to be a temporary solution to keep the trio afloat through the darkest days of the Great Recession.

One delegate, Bill Parker of UAW Local 1700 in Detroit, went as far as to convince the 900-plus gathered inside Cobo Center to pass a resolution formally committing the union toward complete dismantlement of the two-tier system; the resolution did not pass:

Ending the two-tier wage and benefit relationship is something that we the delegates want to make abundantly clear coming out of this convention. Not as one of many things that have to be corrected, but as the issue that needs to be corrected.

As of this moment, 28 percent — 39,500 — of 137,000 hourly workers on the floors of the Detroit Three are under Tier 2, earning $15.78/hour with a raise to $19.28/hour after four years; Tier 1 employees — those hired before 2008 — earn $28/hour in comparison. FCA US holds the highest percentage of Tier 2 employees at 42 percent, with Ford and GM holding 29 percent and 20 percent, respectively.

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7 Comments on “Delegates Call For End Of Two-Tier At UAW Bargaining Convention...”


  • avatar
    HerrKaLeun

    Agree, put them all in the lower tier and give them a 3% cost of living increase each of the year the contract is for.

    Remember, 2 tiers is what the unions wanted so only nrw hires had to give something up. Hope the lower tier workers remember that.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      Interesting the non-Union transplants are paying as much or more than the UAW, negotiated Tier 2 wages. What a weak Union negotiating, such miserable wages for the vast number not on Tier 2

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Maybe they do that to keep the UAW out.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          Very weak Union indeed, no way would you get something like that here. To treat a larger percentage of their members like second class citizens is unbelievable.
          So much for a “Very strong Union”

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            I think all unions used to be a lot stronger in America than they are today. My dad was IBEW and my mom belonged to a union that evolved into the SEIU. That was a long time ago.

            These days unions in America are just persistent, no longer imposing, but still a threat to the health and profitability of their employers.

            So many regulations and mandates, edicts from government, have been levied on employers, that employees have far more rights than the owners or shareholders of a business do.

            I believe America would be more productive if American business was not being strangled by government and unions.

            But businesses are actually fighting back. Many are leaving America for elsewhere, others utilize tax-inversions and off-shore accounts to protect their financial interests.

            Apple is one of the most astute to protect their interests. Why bring money back to the US when it does much more good elsewhere and only adds to the bottom line? I hope to see Apple become a $1T company during my lifetime.

  • avatar
    Waterview

    There are a few very interesting dynamics in play here. As I recall, the UAW typically chooses a “target” for pattern bargaining. In the case of getting rid of Tier 2 (by moving them all up to Tier 1 wages), GM has the least to “lose” (20% of its workforce), while FCA could get creamed (42% of its workforce). It will be interesting to see if this is the driving issue. If GM said “okay, we’ll move the Tier 2 to Tier 1, but no raises for the Tier 1 folks”, would the UAW retreat and simply seek raises for Tier 1?

    Very interesting stuff here.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    I think a lot of this is going to be a tradeoff between wages and labor content in the plants.

    Now that the “jobs bank” is gone, I’d expect cranking up Tier 2 wages just leads to more outsourcing and contracting of labor.

    Back in the day, we had guys mowing the lawn and shoveling snow for assembly line wages. I assume most of that is long gone in 2015.

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