QOTD: Striking Out

Today's QOTD is an easy one -- what, to you, would be a fair deal between the UAW and the automakers?

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UAW Makes Sizable Demands of GM, Ford, Stellantis

There has been loads of speculation about what the United Automobile Workers would be asking for during this year’s contract negotiations, with the assumption being that demands would be fairly lofty. Much of this was fueled by statements made by UAW leadership, especially those coming from President Shawn Fain.

Following its massive corruption scandal, union members sought a change in management and Fain is eager to prove himself as on the side of workers. He’s taken a more-adversarial approach to the industry than his predecessors and has promised to make up for ground lost over the last few decades. While demands were initially left vague, the UAW has since shared a series of specific proposals to be brought forward during contract negotiations with Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis. Compared to the standards we’ve become accustomed to, they are indeed lofty.

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Former Union Boss Accused of Financial Shenanigans

In the latest development of the Jerry Dias saga – the man who, until recently, led most of the unionized auto workers in Canada – has taken yet another turn. According to reports, Dias is being accused by the union of taking money from a COVID-19 testing company, allegedly in exchange for promoting that outfit as a place to purchase test kits.

For those playing at home, the Dias saga has played out in this form: An announcement of taking time off for medical reasons, followed by an abrupt retirement, and now this development.

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Jerry Dias, Face of Canadian Automakers Union, Under Investigation

Readers may recall yesterday’s news about the retirement of Jerry Dias, head honcho for Unifor, which is the union outfit that represents many autoworkers in Canada. At the time, it was stated the man retired ahead of schedule due to health issues.

Now, less than 24 hours later, industry outlets are reporting that Dias has been under investigation by the union since January for “an alleged breach” of the organization’s constitution.

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Canadian Union Boss Retires, Cites Health Issues

Jerry Dias, the man who’s been at the helm of Unifor in Canada since its inception, has chosen to retire because of health reasons. On medical leave since last month, Dias announced his decision in a statement yesterday.

Unifor, in case you’re wondering why we’re covering this on a car site, represents about 40,000 workers in the Canadian auto industry and was formed out of a merger between the Canadian Auto Workers union and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada in 2013.

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UAW Executive Board Names New VP, Director of Ford Department

Gerald Kariem has been unanimously selected by the UAW’s executive board to become its new vice president and director of the Ford department. Kariem, 63, has been a board member himself for almost ten years and currently oversees Region 1D. His placement frees up Rory Gamble to handle more presidential duties (Gamble having taken on the top role in November after former UAW President Gary Jones resigned amid a federal corruption investigation).

“Gerald brings a wealth of leadership in contract implementation, and he will be able to pick up on the recently ratified Ford contract,” Gamble said in a statement. “His experience in implementing the merger of Regions 1C and 1D and building teamwork through his leadership will be invaluable as we implement reforms within the UAW.”

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No Labor Deal Without New Canadian Investment From Detroit Three: Union Boss

Detroit Three automakers need to invest in their Canadian operations or it’s no deal, the president of the union representing hourly workers said yesterday.

Contract talks kick off tomorrow between the automakers and Unifor, but a cloud already hangs over the negotiations in the form of recent threats of a strike and GM’s reluctance to talk about its Oshawa plant’s future.

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Union Boss Worried the Grim Reaper is Coming for Ford's V10

It was heady days at Ford’s Windsor Engine Plant in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The facility cranked out Triton V8 engines and the mighty 6.8-liter V10 for an insatiable truck and SUV market (remember the Excursion?), but its future is now in jeopardy.

Aggressive fuel economy targets and the move towards EcoBoost power and fewer cylinders in Ford engine bays have workers and their labor leaders wondering how long they can continue building the factory’s chief powerplant — the Triton V10.

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A Unionized Tesla? UAW Considering a Push for Musk's Workers

The folks at United Auto Workers are eyeing Tesla’s production targets and making plans.

The electric automaker wants to manufacture 500,000 vehicles per year in 2018, and the union wants the workers behind those EVs in its fold, according to USA Today (via Left Lane News).

Though it hasn’t announced anything officially, UAW boss Dennis Williams recently expressed interest in unionizing Elon Musk’s California assembly plant employees.

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Ford Drops $1.6 Billion on Midwestern Truck, Transmission Plants

You can’t get your hands on the gear-iest transmission in the land without throwing some money around first.

Ford Motor Company announced today that it will spend $1.4 billion to produce their new 10-speed automatic for future F-150s, and invest $200 million into large truck production at its Ohio Assembly Plant.

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Sorry, No Impala Production For You, GM Tells Korea

There are a lot of unhappy union executives in South Korea today after General Motors announced it won’t green light Chevrolet Impala production in the surging Asian market.

The model will continue to be imported from GM’s Hamtramck assembly plant, despite the popularity it has shown since going on sale in September of last year.

The union representing the bulk of GM Korea’s 17,000 workers isn’t taking the news lying down, saying the move threatens the existence of the company itself. Ko Nam-seok, leader of the GM Korea branch of the Korean Metal Workers Union, is expected to pan the decision in a meeting with GM CEO Mary Barra later this month.

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TTAC News Round-up: Mitsubishi Has a Plan, Volvo Wants You Online, and FCA Throws Down

Mitsubishi confirms it is going to shoehorn another SUV into its lineup to tempt those utility-hungry Americans.

That, Volvo wants everyone to buy S90s from their beds, Fiat Chrysler isn’t having a dealer’s trash talk, UAW bolsters its ranks, and your gas is going up … after the break!

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TTAC News Round-up: Don't Leave Europe Out of the Party, Bizarre End To GM Lawsuit, and 2015's Recall-mania

Volkswagen to European diesel owners: “Why you mad?”

That, the mailman can’t deliver on the first lawsuit against GM, Caddies built in China and 51.3 million cars were recalled in 2015 … after the break!

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Nissan's Mississippi Plant Latest Battleground for UAW in Southern Plants

The National Labor Relations Board accused Nissan of violating workers’ rights by creating a uniform policy for its workers at its Canton, Mississippi plant.

According to the charges, Nissan introduced a policy in 2014 that barred workers from wearing pro- or anti-union clothing at its Canton facility and at its plants in Smyrna and Decherd, Tennessee. Employees were expected to wear company-issued pants and shirts, and visible writing underneath those clothes was prohibited.

The United Auto Workers made the complaints leading to the charges, according to the Associated Press. The union has long sought to unionize workers at Southern U.S. manufacturing facilities with limited success. Last week, skilled trades workers at a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee voted to join the UAW, the first victory for the union in decades.

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United Auto Workers Wins First Vote At Volkswagen's Chattanooga Plant

Skilled trades workers at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga Assembly Plant in Tennessee voted Friday overwhelmingly to join the United Auto Workers union, the first UAW victory at an automotive plant in the South, Reuters reported.

The union vote was the first victory for the UAW, who tried unsuccessfully in February to unionize the entire plant, which included nearly 1,500 production workers. In August, the union filed to open voting only to maintenance workers and ballots were cast Friday.

Friday’s victory for the UAW only incorporated just over 10 percent of the overall workforce. According to the Chattanooga Times Free Press, 152 skilled trades workers voted in Friday’s ballot question.

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