By on November 27, 2018

 

Ren Cen. GM

The big news this week is General Motors’ decision to cull its lineup, closing plants and sacking about 15 percent of its North American workforce in the process. According to Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra, GM’s official reasons for doing so are all part of its grand plan to transition to a company focused on electric vehicles and self-driving cars.

While we harbor a vague suspicion that the automaker is actually trying to prepare itself for an incoming economic downturn, leaving itself with plenty of financial wiggle room, GM currently enjoys relatively healthy profits (thank you, truck sales) and a lofty share price. In fact, GM shares rose nearly 5 percent after it announced the shuttering of several plants in the U.S. and Canada, cutting as many as 14,800 jobs.

Unfortunately, GM’s investors seem to be the only group that’s pleased with the decision. Everyone else appears to be absolutely furious.  (Read More…)

By on November 6, 2018

Uaw-Logos

The training center embezzlement scandal currently rocking the United Auto Workers began with the indictment of a former Fiat Chrysler labor chief who offered kickbacks to select union officials in exchange for favorable treatment. Alphons Iacobelli, the ex-FCA executive in question, was sentenced to five years in federal prison last August but spent nearly 10 months helping the FBI’s investigation into unionized corruption, resulting in additional indictments.

Federal prosecutors have secured convictions of seven people linked to the conspiracy at this point, claiming FCA executives provided gifts or covert cash payments through the jointly operated UAW-Chrysler National Training Center in an effort to influence collective bargaining. It became such a problem that several union officials now claim they engaged in illicit activities because they were fearful of bucking the trend, losing their six-figure salaries, and being forced back onto factory floors — you know, like the people they were supposed to be representing.  (Read More…)

By on January 4, 2018

Uaw-Logos

The United Auto Workers’ executive board has selected Terry Dittes, current regional director on the East Coast, to become the union’s newest vice president. Dittes is tasked with overseeing the UAW’s Fiat Chrysler department, which is currently involved in an ugly federal corruption probe involving millions of dollars from a joint training center allegedly embezzled by both union and company officials.

Replacing Norwood Jewell, whose retirement became effective upon the close of 2017, Dittes is stepping in roughy six months before his first four-year term was supposed to end. While Jewell has not been formally charged with corruption, his supervisory role during the FCA-UAW scandal likely forced the early retirement.  (Read More…)

By on August 19, 2017

FCA sign, Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Federal prosecutors charged a fourth player in the widening United Auto Workers-Fiat Chrysler Automobiles corruption scandal on Friday, providing a clearer picture of how the years-long conspiracy went down.

Virdell King, a former senior UAW official and the first black woman to head a UAW-FCA local, now faces the same charges as three others indicted in the $4.5 million money-funnelling scheme. King, who retired in 2016, served on the board of the scandal-plagued UAW-Chrysler National Training Center — a facility prosecutors claim acted as a money pit for the enrichment of FCA and UAW execs.

In a document filed in U.S. District court in Detroit yesterday, prosecutors allege former FCA vice president Alphons Iacobelli opened the cash taps to UAW brass in an attempt to bribe them into taking “company-friendly positions.” The training center’s funds, earmarked for autoworkers, served as the bank. NTC credit cards apparently made making the lavish purchases a breeze.

“If you see something you want, feel free to buy it,” Iacobelli said, according to the court filing.

(Read More…)

By on February 27, 2017

Elon Musk ice cream

With his employees showing a growing interest in unionization, Tesla CEO Elon Musk shot off a lengthy email to staff urging them to forgo joining the United Auto Workers. While the UAW has romanced Tesla’s growing workforce for years, a recent — and highly publicized — blog post written by an employee expressed renewed concern over the company’s treatment of its workforce, as well as his hope to see them join the labor federation.

Musk initially reached out to the press to defend his company and is now appealing to workers directly, refuting allegations about subpar wages and condemning an earlier investigation into worker safety. “After looking into this claim, not only was it untrue for this individual’s team, it was untrue for any of the hundreds of teams in the factory,” he wrote. (Read More…)

By on February 17, 2017

General Motors #AMERICA

Before the end of the 1980s, disenchanted drivers were voting with their wallets in ever greater numbers. Family sedan buyers, burned by the quality control issues of the late 1970s, turned their attention to the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, while German automakers increasingly carved off a larger slice of the premium segment pie.

In many cases, the buyers who turned their backs on domestic vehicles stayed in their new camp for years, buying another, and then another Japanese or German car. Luring them back remains a difficult task, as stigma often fades at a slower rate than quality improves.

“Buy American” campaigns are nothing new, but President Donald Trump’s ascent to the Oval Office has spurred a newfound focus on the health of the Detroit Three automakers. In a bid to bolster that health, the United Auto Workers union is on the verge of telling you to drive past all those import dealers.

Come home to America. (Read More…)

By on May 23, 2016

Tesla Model 3 Unveil, Image: Tesla Motors

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. (Read More…)

By on January 22, 2016

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!

(Read More…)

By on December 23, 2015

 

From DNF to DNS, the Nissan GT-R LM project has finally been retired.

That, and it’s lights out for some Crown Vics, the UAW just wants to talk, Hyundai will spend more to lend more, and more … after the break.

(Read More…)

By on December 7, 2015

 

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.

(Read More…)

By on December 5, 2015

volkswagen-chattanooga-solar-park-08 (1)

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.

(Read More…)

By on December 1, 2015

 

Ford announced Tuesday that it would spend $1.3 billion to retool, update and build a new body shop for its Louisville, Kentucky plant, which produces its Super Duty truck and large SUVs.

The announced spending, which will create 2,000 jobs at the plant, is part of Ford’s new contract with the United Auto Workers — and part of the automaker’s last deal with the UAW, according to Automotive News.

The investment will create an all-new body shop for the aluminum-bodied truck scheduled to go on sale late next year. With an all-new shop, production of the outgoing truck can continue while the new shop gets online, which could help the automaker avoid another shortage when the redesigned truck hits dealers.

(Read More…)

By on November 30, 2015

 

Ford will pay only 1.5-percent more in labor costs each year under a new contract with the United Auto Workers, the automaker reported Monday.

Ford announced it would take a $600 million charge this year to pay out the $10,000 ratification bonuses to their workers as part of the new deal.

The new deal allows the automaker to hire more low-cost workers who will either be temporary or entry-level employees, shift production of some of its cars overseas and continue using controversial “alternative work schedules” that favor fewer, longer shifts instead of traditional work days.

(Read More…)

By on November 21, 2015

UAWstatement112015

A week before Thanksgiving, the United Auto Workers and all of the domestic automakers know they will enter the holiday season without having to worry about a strike.

According to the Detroit News, the UAW announced late Friday that their members at Ford approved a proposed contract by a narrow 51.4-percent margin.

That news followed closely the union’s announcement that its International Executive Board considered ratified its contract with General Motors. It will go into effect starting next week. That deal had been delayed because, although the overall vote was in favor of the contract, almost 60 percent of skilled trade members of the UAW at GM voted against it. (Read More…)

By on November 19, 2015

 

My, that went downhill quickly.

United Auto Workers at a large Ford facility in Chicago voted 2-to-1 against a proposed contract with the automaker, according to the local union’s Facebook page (via Automotive News). According to the final tally, more than 2,000 workers at the Chicago plant voted against the contract, with only 99o to approve the deal.

According to Automotive News, ratification hinges on massive approval at Ford’s F-150 plant in Dearborn, Michigan, where 60 percent of workers there would need to ratify the deal for ultimate approval.

(Read More…)

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