Williams: UAW Vows To 'Bridge The Gap' Between The Tiers

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon
williams uaw vows to bridge the gap between the tiers

During his speech at the 2015 UAW Bargaining Convention in Detroit, president Dennis Williams proclaimed that the time for sacrifice and tiers are over.

According to Automotive News, Williams stated before the 900-strong delegates inside Cobo Center that the UAW’s goal was to “raise everybody up and bridge the gap” between Tier 1 and Tier 2 employees in the union’s upcoming contract talks with the Detroit Three: FCA US, Ford and General Motors.

Not only did he vow to roll back Tier 2 toward Tier 1, he had this to say about Ford’s and GM’s desire to create a third tier for lower-skilled employees:

We’ve got too many damn tiers now!

Though preventing a Tier 3 from occurring could be a possibility, bringing Tier 2 on par with Tier 1 may prove difficult for Williams and the UAW.

Established in 2007 as a temporary measure to help the Detroit Three weather the storm of the oncoming Great Recession, the two-tier wage system is now firmly entrenched among the trio, with FCA holding the most Tier 2 employees at 42 percent of its workforce. Around 33,000 employees hired since the middle of 2011 are Tier 2, making up 29 percent of the overall Detroit Three’s 137,000 employees.

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4 of 13 comments
  • Conslaw Conslaw on Mar 26, 2015

    Any progress made to bridge the gap between the two tiers will have to come directly or indirectly out of Tier 1. As it was before, it will be a hard sell to those members.

  • SoCalMikester SoCalMikester on Mar 26, 2015

    dunno why they cant just start all new hires at tier 1, then when they reach top pay scale put them into tier 2 at a similar pay rate. they can also play around with the goal hours needed to move up a step. make the newbies sweat it out for 1000 (or whatever) goal hours between raises. that would weed out the people that cant hack assembly line work. topped out workers could be given bonuses instead of raises. there are a lot of options they could compromise on.

  • Oldyak Oldyak on Mar 27, 2015

    Probably the BEST place to start rebuilding the middle class! If there is any hope.....

  • DeadWeight DeadWeight on Mar 27, 2015

    The AFL-CIO put out a chart today purporting to illustrate the difference in annual income from work between the CEOs of the largest 350 companies listed on the S&P 500 (yes, by excluding 150 of those companies it probably skewed the results) and the average annual income (yes, they should ha ensued median rather than average) of the worker at that same company, and the ratio clocked in at 330 to 1. Like I said, I am a capitalist and believe free markets are best, while acknowledging mechanisms for market failure have to be put into place to prevent or compensate for serious, adverse externalities brought about by market failures.. ...but given the incredible, growing inequality growth in income now taking place, even I, as an avowed capitalist, but recognizing that market failure is real and common, and that regulatory & legislative capture is accelerating this massive inequality growth (IMO), recognize that... ...Houston (and Manhattan, and Los Angeles, and Cincinnati, and Nashville, and Atlanta, and Anchorage, and Seattle, and Chicago, and Phoenix, and Tampa, and Omaha, and Des Moines, and Boston, and Augusta, and Concord, and Dallas, and Detroit, and St. Louis...)... ...we have a fundamental, hard core problem.