By on September 15, 2015

 

Representatives from the United Auto Workers and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles agreed Tuesday to extend their contract on an “hour-by-hour” basis, Reuters reported. Workers reported Tuesday for their morning shifts, but those workers could walk out at any time if talks stall.

On Monday, it became clear that the UAW would set its sights on FCA and their larger share of Tier 2 workers — workers hired after the recession at a lower hourly wage — as the union aims to “bridge the gap” between the two tiers.

According to the report, the union may opt to strike, stage a limited walkout or continue negotiations if talks reach an impasse.

Tier 2 workers comprise 45 percent of FCA’s union workforce, according to reports. Those workers, on average make $8-$10 less per hour than veteran, Tier 1 workers.

Lower paid, Tier 2 workers comprise 28 percent and 20 percent of Ford and General Motors’ workforces respectively.

FCA chief Sergio Marchionne has said he’d like to abolish the tiered-pay system, but set a base pay lower than the top tier and establish a profit sharing program for FCA workers. Last month, in a candid interview with Automotive News, Marchionne acknowledged that he’s played, um, hardball with the UAW before.

The UAW extended its midnight deadline with Ford and GM to focus on negotiations with FCA, according to reports.

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46 Comments on “UAW May Pull Plug on FCA Work at Any Time...”


  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    There go the absolute MORONS of the UAW, again.

    I have learned, despite some momentary & inexplicable lapses from time to time, that the UAW is a malignant cancer (as is the AFL-CIO, etc.), destined to re-destroy the former Big Three.

    I have no mercy whatsoever for UAW members, and will watch them proceed to borrow enough rope from their so-called “leadership” with which they can hang themselves (again).

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Local government workers, such as in places like Rochester Hills, Macomb Township, or Shelby Township, MI, belonging to AFSCME, or similar unions, extort properly; they hold taxpayers hostage, as well as anyone wanting a permit, license, or merely owning or renting land in “their” jurisdiction.

      Building permit and sanitary sewer/municipal water tap fees have increased in all three of these locales by a rate of 250% to 300% in the last 6 years.

      Government unions at the local, state and federal levels show how to extort properly.

    • 0 avatar
      BDT

      The poor automakers. I feel so bad for them. Workers are mean.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Don’t worry; as history has proven, the more unrealistic the UAW, the more impetus for automakers & suppliers to ship more jobs south (including across the border).

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          DW, I think the UAW SHOULD pull the plug on Fiatsler.

          Let the whole world see what the UAW is made of.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            People will probably think I’m reflexively anti-union, when that’s not the case.

            I can say two things with confidence, that many people would ordinarily assume are in contrast with each other and/or aren’t “politically” consistent (but I’m a true independent):

            1) Wealth inequality has reached staggering levels in the U.S., with those levels last seen during the 1920s and 1930s, and this inequality is so severe, forcing what was the wide swath of “middle class” (that made the U.S. a former economic phenomenon historically speaking) to go into such deep debt, that it is now a genuinely destabilizing economic and social force in the United States.

            2) Unions, such as the UAW, are neither the cause of this inequality, but neither are they, in any way remotely structured as they are now, especially given the global nature of the economy, the solution (unions would have to depend on tariffs and protectionism in order to even meaningfully help their own members – and this would be at the expense of domestic consumers).

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Wealth inequality: what I know is that I had to work for everything I got.

            And what I see is that more people want things handed to them without having to work it.

            But we tie in to those government-mandated increases in pay by raising the rents annually on our rentals. They make more, we charge more. Works for everyone!

            I grew up in a union household. My dad and my mom were both union when I was a kid.

            They were both ecstatic to be able to break free from their unions and find work in non-union environments.

            His union did great things for my dad, like get him a job at California’s San Pedro Harbor when no one on the East Coast would hire him because he was too dark complected and mistaken for a half-breed negro without negroid features.

            But through his gratitude even he could see the BS of union-run shops. Ineffectual, compartmentalized, hierarchical, rank with favoritism, and on and on.

            My frame of mind is, if a worker feels abused, underpaid, under-appreciated, let them leave and seek work elsewhere.

            Let’s leave those employers for the people who enjoy working there.

            Ah, we already got them in right-to-work states in the South.

            No, it’s all about the dues.

    • 0 avatar
      Nascaraftu

      Someone really needs to do their homework before making idiotic comments about the unions killing the auto company’s. Union employees including all retirees only comprise five percent of the cost of a vehicle. Before the 2007 national agreement union workers and retirees made up seven percent. How is that killing a company? The CEO of general motors makes 450 times in salary of the average auto worker. Our vehicles when they leave our plant have an incurable replacement cost of $6500 that is for an average dirty thousand dollar vehicle. Our plant generates over ten million dollars a day in profits for gm so tell me again how my union is killing the company?

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Go ahead and strike – I hope it’s a very long one. That’ll teach FCA.

    Then FCA will teach you a lesson.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      I hope they move more of their production OUT of the US. Follow suit with Mazda, Toyota, etc.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Why would you hope that? Even if you don’t like the UAW, it’s better to have domestic production of automobiles than not.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          I agree that it is better to have foreigners set up production inside the US, providing jobs to Americans.

          But the UAW and other unions don’t want those jobs in America unless they are Union jobs.

          I do not believe that unionizing the South will be a good thing, like the insidious efforts at Boeing, VW, M-B, and the like.

          Even Airbus will no doubt feel the wrath of American Unions once they get into full production in Alabama. The TWU comes to mind.

  • avatar
    tresmonos

    The UAW has already ‘lost’ this round of negotiations. Ford has taken volume and shifted it from Michigan Assembly to Cuatitlan. Cuatitlan’s product will be built Thailand.

    Mullaly initiated Home Depot on the path to globalization, now his influence at Ford has proven that this OEM can and will build US product in cost competitive markets in Asia.

    The Focus platform volume will likely be replaced with a niche volume product. Those are jobs that will likely never be recouped in my lifetime. The UAW was just introduced to a world outside of NAFTA, and they don’t seem to realize it yet.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      It makes me sad that Wayne will lose jobs (and it will, regardless of spin by Ford or the UAW), but they were on borrowed time anyway. That plant would already be closed if it weren’t for the ATVM loan program. I do know a few guys that were at Wixom that work at Wayne, but most chose to go to, when Wixom closed or more recently from other plants, DTP. They knew what the future held for MAP.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        bball, but that is the adversarial nature of unions in America. The unions will stop at nothing and drive their employers into a financial grave. GM and Chrysler come to mind.

        The shareholders and owners take all the risks and the worker bees want to reap all the benefits without taking any risks themselves.

        If union-people don’t think they’re getting paid what they are worth, they should seek work elsewhere.

        Simple as that.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          The fall of Wayne has little to do with unions. A bullet would have been put in it’s head during “The Way Forward” if it wasn’t making a product that was pure profit for Ford (Expedition/Navigator). It also would have died during Carmeggedon if Ford didn’t receive a $550 million loan to retool it.

          Right now it makes small, fuel efficient vehicles that Americans aren’t buying. Cuatitlan has lost a bunch of product, is down to just the Fiesta (which will be leaving), and it needs a small car because Mexico has FTAs with everybody and their mother. Wayne is the odd plant out. If you play my favorite Sesame Street game, Wayne is the thing that isn’t the same.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            It’s always sad to see jobs lost in America.

            But, we, the people, have to step up to the plate and take responsibility for the direction we take our nation in.

            We elect our representatives who establish national economic policy.

            We Americans deserve exactly what we got, because we voted for it.

            Forcing Americans into Europeanizing their cars and their driving mentality was just bad karma.

            It is America’s exceptionalism that got us ahead, won WWII and gave us our enviable lifestyle.

            All we heard from the alarmists was that we would be running out of oil. Hence the trend toward smaller, lighter, more fuel efficient cars.

            They were wrong, as so many others voiced simultaneously that we had plenty of oil.

            People, no matter where, will buy the best they can afford, and little sardine cans on wheels just aren’t it. Maybe in Europe and Asia, but not in America where many households have three, four or five cars.

            The UAW is only interested in collecting dues, without regard to what is good for America.

            And as long as some working people are gullible enough to buy into that UAW shpiel, the UAW will always have their pitchmen to sell this crap to the unsuspecting members.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            highdesertcat – if you are referring to the Japanese portion of WWII then I’d agree but if one is looking at the German side of WWII then I’d have to disagree. The USA contributed greatly to the German side of WWII but since the USA has traditionally been anti-communist history has been slanted (in the USA) to downplay the USSR’s involvement. 75% of German soldiers died on the Russian front. The Russians lost millions of people.

            It took the USSR, the British Commonwealth and the USA to end the German side of WWII.

            The USA’s ramping up of production for WWII and not having a destroyed country to rebuild gave it a huge advantage over other countries that were decimated by WWII. That if anything is what pushed the USA to the forefront as an Industrial Powerhouse.

            A large percentage of manufacturing jobs have been lost to automation. You can blame the UAW and offshoring but in reality that does not account for most lost jobs. One source cited only 10% of jobs have been lost in the USA due to offshoring.

            Unions leaders aren’t much different than any politically motivated leader. They make all sorts of promises to get in and to stay in power. They live large when times are good and blame everyone else when things go bad.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Lou_BC, you omitted that America supplied ALL of the Allies in WWII, to include Russia, the UK, Canada, Free-French, Free-Dutch, Polish, Free-Norwegian, et al, during and after the conflict.

            Where FDR and his administration had been apologists and isolationists, like the current O’b*m* administration is, it took the bombing of Pearl Harbor to get FDR’s undivided attention.

            O’b*m*’s War (aka OW!) will be with us a whole lot longer than Shrub’s War if had it not been prematurely stopped.

            No doubt this will create more jobs in America for the “guns” side of the “guns vs butter” equation.

        • 0 avatar
          SoCalMikester

          so let workers be shareholders. except the UAW doesnt design turds like the old sebring, etc.

        • 0 avatar
          SoCalMikester

          GM and chrysler? ford is union too. what it boils down to is they were designing crap nobody wanted. calibers, sebrings, ssrs, cobalts.

          the UAW also did not design the ignition switches or airbags.

          there are auto maker unions the world over, but the UAW is the only bad one.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Couple things

            1. Automakers are in the business ultimately to make money. I know for a fact GM did not want to build those type of models because they lost money on every single one. The automakers were forced too by dot gov and its regulations. If you think for a second any automaker wants to lose millions in a segment year after year vs producing only for profitable ones, think again.

            2. SSR was created to give the Reatta (later Lansing) Craft Centre something to do. The Craft Centre was a UAW plum job, it might not have existed at all if not for UAW leverage in the 80s.

            3. True UAW did not design poor ignition switches or airbags full of shrapnel. One might argue the financial drain caused the domestics to cut corners, although we will never know.

    • 0 avatar
      SoCalMikester

      mullaly never worked for home depot

      bob nardelli drove homepo into the ground then was asked to front chrysler during the cerberus (3 headed hound of hell) years.

      mullaly was the CEO of boeing and from what i understand, did a decent job there. i think boeing has learned that outsourcing/offshoring isnt always a great idea.

  • avatar
    wrxtasy

    I have said it once and Ill say it a million times: the worst thing to ever happen
    to this country was convincing a whole generation of people that it is not noble
    to make a living with your hands. It has bred an entire army of smug twenty and
    thirty somethings with Sociology degrees who believe manual labor of any kind is
    below them.

    Had we as many trade school grads as we do liberal arts grads, perhaps that gaping
    void that was once occupied by the middle class might be filled a bit and generate
    some change among now-destructive unions such as the UAW. Perhaps.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Part of it was that people wanted better for their kids. My dad did his [email protected] to keep me out of the concrete. 40 years in that stuff has taken a toll on his body that only modern medicine can fix. I never became a concrete finisher, but I ran the business for 10 years. I make sure to thank him for that as often as possible.

    • 0 avatar
      ClutchCarGo

      “Had we as many trade school grads as we do liberal arts grads, perhaps that gaping void that was once occupied by the middle class might be filled a bit and generate some change among now-destructive unions such as the UAW.”

      Spoken like someone who has not spent his adult life making a living by doing manual labor. I’m one of those liberal arts grads and I’m lucky to have spent my adult life as a knowledge worker, and it’s left me with a body that works about as well as could be hoped for my age. However, I have several friends and family who have worked in the trades, and none of them have avoided work-related physical conditions that have left them at least moderately crippled and gulping down pain killers or seeking surgeries to let them keep working. There’s a reason that our working-class parents pushed us into higher ed, and I don’t begrudge manual laborers their higher pay to go with their carpal-tunnel, fused vertebrae or blown-out knees.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        My dad retired a few years ago and had two knee replacements, surgery on both of his ankles, and has arthritis. I’ll pass on all that.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        I agree.
        My dad was puled out of Grade 8 during the Great Depression to work the failing family farm. As he got older he left home and worked his way across the country sending money home to help support his family. The guy never had a real childhood or an easy go of it. He did eventually start his own small trucking business and did okay.

        He kept telling my brother and I to get an education. He used to say, “Lift with your brain and not your back because eventually your back will give out”.

        I’m happy I took his advice.

  • avatar
    Xeranar

    All the armchair industrialists are excitedly clearing their schedules to cheer their overlords on at smacking down their fellow workers in the name of class and cynicism. Let the bemoaning at people making a fair pay for their labor and effort commence!

    *munches popcorn from the sideline* Oh this is too hilarious to read….

    Anyways, the ‘hour-to-hour’ threat of a walkout is pretty much standard tactics, the fact that TTAC knows their audience is largely anti-union makes this writing slant towards the idea that they’re planning on marching when arguably FCA’s plan to lower all pay rates and do a profit sharing model is admirable but given the nature of profit sharing in large multinationals tend to lead to asset and profit hiding when the next regime decides they don’t want to share I would be hesitant to accept as well.

    Fight the good fight, Unionists. The sniveling armchair capitalists are fun to watch but they don’t amount to much at the end of the day.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      People here still act like it was the UAW that brought down Chrysler and GM. I’m guessing very few of them have run and owned a company employed union laborers. While I haven’t had direct dealings with the UAW, I have had plenty with the OPCMIA AFL-CIO. God forbid people want to have retirement plans, medical insurance, a living wage, training opportunities, and pride in their work.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        Sorry – a “living wage” isn’t $28/hr for a high school education and no transferable skills.

        Unions exist (in part) to distort the relationship between pay, skill set, and demand for services.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          We can always argue that some people get paid too much or some too little. There are many unionized and non-unionized professions that I think are underpaid or overpaid. There will always be someone somewhere in this world that will do your job for less than you will.

          Unions exist for other reasons, but I never said what people should make or that I fully support every union. I didn’t have any cement masons on my crews making $28 an hour. Partnering with OPCMIA allowed me to get better workers that were trained (or going though training), reliable, care about their job, and allowed my company to do better work.

          Full disclosure, I also owned a non union shop because I was disadvantaged price on some jobs competing against non-union work. I was tired of losing bids over $500-$1000 in labor costs and not having work for my crew. I kept my guys pay the same for the most part.

        • 0 avatar
          RideHeight

          “Unions exist (in part) to distort the relationship between pay, skill set, and demand for services.”

          I think another reason for their existence is to provide a weapon for disenfranchised smarties like, in a minor way, Xerenar to do battle with silver-spoon smarties in the struggle for wealth and influence.

          Either way, exploited dummies remain exploited. I see complete moral equivalence here.

      • 0 avatar
        bikegoesbaa

        “God forbid people want to have retirement plans, medical insurance, a living wage, training opportunities, and pride in their work.”

        Do non-union American Honda and Toyota employees have these things? How about non-union white-collar professionals?

        If yes, why is their availability a union issue?

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          I’ll admit that the benefits portion of my argument doesn’t translate well to domestics vs transplants, but it does in other industries. In some professions, non union shops do not have these options. The trades is a common one. I was often competing against companies that did $hit work with $10-$12/hour laborers that were paid in cash. I understand why a cement mason or coke oven operator would want a union. It is hard work that tears your body up by the time you are in your 50s.

          No, unions are not the be all end all and are not perfect. I think collective bargaining has both positives and negatives. I support the ability of people to collectively bargain though. If they think it is in their best interest to do so, more power to them. If they don’t think they need a union, that’s great too.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            bball40dtw – I have to agree that there are pros and cons to unions and collective bargaining.

            These discussions end up divided by political ideology. Doctrine/belief to most people matter much more than fact and/or reality.

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        I was off teaching a class and came back to this debate. For the most part it’s really an argument about class and who ‘deserves’ what. It’s something that this crowd feels they have a right to decide and be the arbiters of.

        It’s interesting to watch them dance around the topics in really unconvincing ways by pointing at the transplants while ignoring the accepted view of building in these rural communities allows them to tap a workforce that is locally overpaid but industry-wide underpaid. It’s exploitation that they don’t get because they’re caught up in the class argument and think that they’re the ones holding the coin to which they beg for when they’re just the ones not begging today.

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          People in areas without opportunities become exploited when they gain opportunities. This is what you just danced around. You might find yourself unable to avoid the conclusion that you’ve been wrong about everything. While you’re at it, look into how UAW workers defend their horrible work habits and attitudes by saying that they’re trapped in jobs they hate because they’re paid a multiple of what they could earn anywhere else with their skills.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            What is there to say? Congrats Normal, Ohio you helped a multi-billion dollar corporation get cheaper work because you continued to live in a small community in an isolated location?

            It is all framing I recognize but lets get this straight: They’re being exploited because they’re paid less than the industry average. It’s how the system works and your continued joy in serfdom makes me wonder what good are you as a capitalist let alone a socialist…

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            You’ve got some buzzwords, but no argument to make with them. You want to pick and choose who gets to make money based on preferences you don’t even try to understand. The progressives want nothing less than they want universal prosperity. They think they don’t want conditions to improve for the deprived because it would tax the planet, but really it is because their masters would feel less special and have a harder time enjoying exclusive access to what they hold dear. Doesn’t everyone hate hearing Jetskis buzzing around near their yachts?

            Capitalism is just an obfuscating term for freedom. Without private property rights we’re all slaves or serfs. Nothing you create can ever be yours without capitalism. All your labor is for your master. How does me wanting my capital to be used in a place where wages are tied to performance make me a bad capitalist? I don’t want the union cancer; with its hatreds, hindrances to accountability, and restrictive work rules anywhere near my industry. That’s not exploitative. That’s just experience combined with what used to be considered common sense.

            Compare my logical position to yours, where you find yourself attacking the right of people to make a living who live in small towns. You’re a blight on mankind.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Other than pragmatism, why did UAW agree to Tier II in the first place? Shouldn’t the whole solidarity thing have kicked in at the time and old timers given up a bit for the new kids on the block?

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Because they were [email protected] and they own a piece of the pie now. The guys that had been around weren’t going to take that kind of a pay cut ($15K-$25K), but the UAW had to sell them something. Therefore, we have Tier II wages. It was a bitter pill to swallow, but other options were limited at the time.

  • avatar
    SoCalMikester

    wouldnt surprise me if this was another crazy sergio scheme. stage a little walkout on a slow model (any) for a day or two and try to give the UAW a little respect back.

    see? look what happens! GM and ford had better watch out!

    “mamma mia! we have given them the effing… now they give us effing back”

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