Following several months of news that Apple Inc. was in talks with battery suppliers to set the company up with the necessary hardware and know-how to manufacture electric vehicles, it looks like the iPhone purveyor is back to square one. Reports have emerged claiming the discussions with China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited (CATL) and BYD have stalled.
While the tech giant is said to be keeping a channel open, companies informed Apple over the last two months that they would not be willing to establish teams and U.S. facilities catering exclusively to its needs. While Japan’s Panasonic is still in the mix as a potential partner, it’s looking like the other companies are bowing out. Reasons are said to vary, however, political tensions between the U.S. and China are alleged to be a contributing factor.
United Auto Workers President Gary Jones announced Monday that worker strike pay has increased from $200 to $250 a week, signaling the possibility of walkouts just a few months before U.S. worker contracts expire. While it would appear the UAW is preparing to strike, President Gary Jones said it’s not the union’s intent. “No one goes to the bargaining table expecting to strike. But the UAW goes to the bargaining table prepared to strike if our members need to strike,” Jones said. “Raising the strike fund is an important symbol that we have their backs.”
However, Jones chose slightly different phrasing when addressing union members at Cobo Hall on Monday. “Activism and solidarity, that is what secures our power,” Jones told hundreds of union members in Detroit. “The stakes are high. We are ready … We are ready to gear up and fight for what is right. We are ready to fight for our brothers and sisters and act as one.”
Now that Mexican negotiators aren’t reacting specifically to President Trump’s heated rhetoric over foreign trade policies, their terror and rage has begun to subside. The North American Free Trade Agreement might even continue to exist for the time being.
Trump’s previous attacks on NAFTA, import tariff threats, and promise of a border wall incensed Mexican officials to a point where many suggested Mexico should simply abandon the renegotiation talks on principle. However, now that cabinet officials will be speaking on behalf of the president and the focus of the negotiators have shifted toward the fundamentals — and not the politics — Mexico can relax a little.
A proposed contract between the United Auto Workers and General Motors will eventually end a tiered pay system divided between veteran auto workers and employees hired after 2008, and provide annual bonuses and substantial raises for the first time in a decade. The automaker has offered an $8,000 signing bonus to approve the deal.
The proposed deal outlines the automaker’s $8.3 billion investment in American plants — above its $6.4 billion improvements already announced — over the life of the contract. The deal was posted on the UAW website Thursday.
The deal for GM workers, which is sweeter than the deal hammered out between the UAW and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, will be reviewed and voted on in coming weeks.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles may double the amount of temporary workers it uses under a new deal negotiated with the United Auto Workers, Bloomberg reported (via Automotive News).
The negotiated terms include a provision for the automaker to use the workers any day of the week, instead of the previously allowed Monday, Friday and weekend shifts.
According to the report, the terms may have been negotiated as a way to keep labor costs lower and offer more workers raises. Temp workers are hired at rates lower than any of the tiered-pay scales. Temp workers can be terminated at any time by the automaker.
Hourly employees at FCA’s stamping facility in Sterling Heights and parts operation in Warren, Michigan aren’t exactly thrilled with the deal they’ve been presented.
According to The Detroit News, more than half of hourly workers at the two locations have voted “no” to the new contract.
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.
The UAW is disseminating a message of hope on its YouTube channel, letting the members know the negotiations are going to be rosey, everyone is getting a pony, and you absolutely totally shouldn’t question their ability to negotiate better contracts.
(Also, the UAW has a YouTube channel. I guess it’s a lot cheaper than inviting members out to a golf course to let them know what’s going on.)
The video uses some incredibly strong, forceful language to let the members know that the negotiators mean business.
As talks with the United Auto Workers continue, domestic automakers may be using global production strategies to leverage lower wages from the massive union, Automotive News is reporting.
News that Buick may import most of its lineup from outside North America, or Ford shifting production from Michigan to Mexico, could be weighing on conversations to keep production in the U.S. and Canada at union plants.
“It’s a veiled threat to the workers,” Gary Chaison, a professor of labor relations at Clark University told Automotive News.
The automakers may be saying: “If you ask for too much, we can take the work out of the U.S. So, give us a reason not to shift more production overseas,” he added.
The newest round of negotiations between the Big Three automakers and the United Auto Workers will focus on narrowing the gap between veteran workers and “second-tier” workers hired after 2011, Reuters is reporting.
Talks between the UAW, which represents around 138,000 workers, and Ford, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and General Motors will begin Monday. The UAW’s contract with GM ends Sept. 14.
Union President Dennis Williams said he wanted to focus on narrowing the gap between veteran workers, who make on average $28 an hour, and workers hired post-recession, who make on average $16 to $19 an hour, according to the story.
Sometimes Wikipedia cracks me up.
The Toyota Previa… “failed to steal any significant share from the Chrysler minivans due to its high price, odd Asian styling, poor fuel economy, terrible horn, and weak engines.”
Note to Toyota engineers. Work on that horn! The old ones apparently weren’t horny enough.
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