Latest Solidarity Issue

GM

July 27: UAW and GM open negotiations at the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant for the union’s 48,500 members.
Sept. 14: The two sides agree to contract extension before midnight; the current contract was set to expire at 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 14.
Sept. 16: UAW and GM reach tentative agreement (T/A) at 11 p.m.
Sept. 20: UAW National GM Council meets in Detroit; local union leadership votes to recommend T/A to UAW GM locals, who then conducted ratification votes.
Sept. 21-28: UAW GM locals hold ratification vote meetings throughout the country.
Sept 28: UAW members at GM overwhelmingly vote to ratify new contract – 65 percent in favor among production workers and 63 percent in favor among skilled trades workers.

FORD

July 29: UAW and Ford open negotiations at the company’s Rouge Visitor’s Center in Dearborn, Mich.
Sept. 13: The two sides agree to an indefinite extension as the UAW focuses on reaching a deal with GM. The contract was set to expire at 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 14.
Oct. 4: The union and Ford reach a T/A. The UAW National Ford Council meets in Detroit at the UAW-Ford National Programs Center. Local union leadership votes to recommend the proposed agreement to UAW Ford locals, who then conducted ratification votes.
Oct. 12-18: Nearly 41,000 UAW Ford members were holding ratification vote meetings throughout the country.

CHRYSLER

July 25: UAW and Chrysler open negotiations at the company’s national headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mich.
Sept. 14: The two sides agree to a seven-day extension as the UAW focuses on reaching a deal with Ford. The contract was set to expire at 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 14.
Sept. 21: The union and company agree to an extension through Oct. 19.
Oct. 7: The union summons the UAW Chrysler Council to Detroit to meet on Oct. 10.
Oct. 12: The union and Chrysler reach a T/A. UAW Chrysler Council leaders meet in Detroit and vote to recommend ratification of the proposed agreement. The UAW represents 26,000 employees at Chrysler, including 3,000 salaried employees. At press time, Chrysler members were holding ratification meetings.

 


Jobs for America

A recap of UAW negotiations with domestic automakers


The UAW has shown, once again, that collective bargaining works. For all those in the country who attack unions and want to eliminate collective bargaining, these Big Three agreements prove that collective bargaining does indeed work. It works for the companies, it works for the employees and it works for America.

The results of the agreements reached with General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group LLC are a testament to the success that can be achieved at the bargaining table. With global markets in disarray and the U.S. economy stagnating, the UAW entered into domestic auto bargaining this year with the wind in its face. Against great odds, the union stood committed to securing decent contracts with long-term security for members, creating jobs in communities hit hard by the economic recession and producing quality products.

These contracts are the story of our membership hunkering down during historic economic downturns and rising to the challenge of achieving a contract that protects the financial security and health of our membership, while maintaining the financial health of the companies and helping communities left in the wake of the nation’s financial disaster.

“In these uncertain economic times for American workers and faced with the globalization of the economy, the UAW approached these negotiations with new strategies and fought for and achieved some of our major goals for our members, including significant investments and products for our plants,” said UAW President Bob King.

“First and foremost, as America struggles with record levels of unemployment, we aimed to protect the jobs of our members. And we have done that. This contract will get our members who have been laid off back to work, will create new jobs in our communities and will bring work back to the United States from other countries,” King added.

“When these companies were struggling, our members shared in the sacrifice. The wages and benefits negotiated in this tentative agreement reflect the fact that it was UAW members who helped turn these companies around,” King added.

These were the first negotiations since GM and Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy. The tentative agreements deliver job security for thousands of members and new jobs from expanding business due to billions of dollars in product investments. UAW members employed at GM, Ford and Chrysler rely on the companies for good and safe jobs at fair wages. Each company’s success is key to the continued success for our members. The workers are here for the long run and have the most at risk if the company fails. These contracts, while providing members with a fair share of the success of the companies, also ensure that the companies continue to prosper.

The UAW and collective bargaining created the American middle class. These contracts help protect the middle class by providing members with a stable income and generating money in the communities where we live and work.

Collective bargaining works. The UAW has demonstrated that by giving workers a voice, we can create jobs, rebuild the American manufacturing sector and restore the American middle class.

Here’s a recap of the 2011 domestic auto talks:

UAW GM
Good American jobs at a good American company

At GM, the new agreement makes significant progress toward the union’s goal of equal pay for equal work by increasing wages for entry-level workers to $19.28 over the term of the contract. Entry-level workers will also receive $5,000 annually in tuition assistance and additional benefits and job protections.

A major breakthrough for UAW members at Ford, GM and Chrysler is the transparency in the formula for profit sharing. The formula was simplified but maintains economic gains for the membership.

The UAW GM agreement includes a $5,000 signing bonus, the new profit-sharing plan that will guarantee employees a minimum of $3,500 the first year of the agreement, $1,000 inflation protection bonuses in 2012, 2013 and 2014, as well as awards for meeting quality targets.

Jobs, investment and product guarantees in the ratified agreement, including in-sourcing work previously outsourced to other countries including:

•Spring Hill, Tenn., plant reopens with production of two mid-size vehicles (see sidebar on page 18).

•Warren, Mich., new transmission program.

• Romulus, Mich., new engine program.

• Wentzville, Mo., full shift added and new mid-size pickup program.

• Saginaw, Mich., castings for next generation engine program.

• Fort Wayne, Ind., next-generation full-size pickup.

• Compact vehicle at a yet-to-be determined plant.

“GM, like most private and public employers across America, immediately sought reductions in health care and pensions, but we were able to maintain those benefits and made important gains for our members to secure their jobs and create new jobs in communities across the country,” said UAW Vice President Joe Ashton, who directs the union’s GM Department.

“The Spring Hill members were always with us, and I appreciated their support and now they will have products in their plant,” Ashton added.

The UAW reached a tentative agreement with GM on Sept. 16. The agreement was ratified by UAW members by a 2:1 ratio on Sept. 28. The UAW represents approximately 48,500 GM workers in the United States.

UAW Ford
Shared prosperity, jobs for America

At press time, UAW Ford members’ ratification voting on the tentative agreement was in progress and expected to be completed by Oct. 18. The proposed new agreement adds 5,750 new UAW jobs, which results in more than 12,000 new jobs in total with jobs previously announced by Ford. Many of these jobs will be added by the end of 2012, and all will be added during the term of the new contract. Many of the jobs are from work that is being returned to the U.S. from China, Mexico and Europe.

“In terms of economic security, we won a $6,000 Settlement Bonus for workers and $7,000 in Inflation Protection and Competitive lump-sum payments over the term of the agreement,” said UAW Vice President Jimmy Settles, who directs the union’s Ford Department.

“Workers will see significant gains in profit sharing and will receive their first payment by year’s end, averaging $3,700 for the first half of 2011 profits. We were also able to increase entry-level wages to $19.28 over the term of the proposed agreement.”

The tentative agreement includes $16 billion to produce new and upgraded vehicles and components by 2015, of which, $6.3 billion will be invested directly into retooling and upgrading plants.

Jobs, investment and product guarantees in the tentative agreement include:

• Flat Rock, Mich., second source for the next-generation Fusion and next-generation Mustang.

• Kansas City, Mo., in-source Transit Commercial Van from Europe.

•Louisville, Ky., new unnamed vehicle in addition to 2012 Escape.

• Wayne, Mich., insource C-Max from Europe in both hybrid and plug-in hybrid models.

• Avon Lake, Ohio, insource medium truck and frame assembly from Mexico, along with in-source Motorhome Chassis.

The UAW Ford Council voted Oct. 4 to recommend the tentative four-year agreement to the membership. The UAW represents approximately 41,000 hourly and salaried workers at 27 Ford assembly and manufacturing facilities in the United States, making vehicles with the Ford and Lincoln brands. The UAW also represents workers at four Automotive Components Holdings Inc. (ACH) plants.

UAW Chrysler
New jobs, a new day: rebuilding America

On Oct. 12 – just eight days after reaching a tentative agreement with Ford – the UAW reached one with Chrysler, completing its third agreement with domestic automakers in a month.

That same morning, the UAW Chrysler Council voted to recommend the proposed agreement for ratification by UAW members at Chrysler.

“It’s a new day at Chrysler,” said King. “In less than three years, Chrysler, through the dedication and hard work of its UAW-represented workers, has emerged from bankruptcy, repaid its federal loans six years early and is now helping drive the U.S. economy.

“Through this collective bargaining agreement, we are adding jobs and helping to rebuild America. This proposed contract builds on the momentum created from the UAW GM and Ford agreements and will bring 2,100 new jobs to America,” King added.

The UAW Chrysler tentative agreement includes $4.5 billion to produce new and upgraded vehicles and components by 2015.

Jobs, investment and product guarantees in the UAW Chrysler tentative agreement include:

•Belvidere, Ill., New compact vehicle.

•Sterling Heights, Mich., New compact vehicle.

•Kokomo, Ind., New Front Wheel Drive 9 Speed - 946 TE transmission and new Rear Wheel Drive 8 Speed - 845RE transmission.

•Toledo, Ohio, Next-generation steering columns, FRW and RWD Torque Converters.

• Trenton, Mich., Reutilize portion of the Trenton North Engine Plant to produce an incremental volume (150,000 units) of 3.8L V-6.

“UAW members sacrificed when the company was struggling, and this agreement ensures that our members will now share in Chrysler’s prosperity,” said UAW Vice President General Holiefield, who directs the union’s Chrysler Department.

“Together with the loans from the U.S. government – and make no mistake, the loans, supported by President Obama, provided the foundation for the company’s turnaround – make it possible now to give workers what they deserve and to further repay American taxpayers by investment in plants and job creation in communities,” added Holiefield.

The tentative agreement returns to workers the Tuition Assistance Program they gave up during the economic downturn. Economic improvements in the tentative agreement include a $3,500 ratification bonus and $1,000 in annual bonuses for performance and quality, in addition to a new, more transparent profit sharing program and an “Upside Bonus” that will begin paying at the point Chrysler achieves financial stability.

“This additional money in the paychecks of UAW members is well-earned, but it doesn’t just benefit them; they will spend that money in their communities, providing a well-needed boost to local economies across the country,” said Holiefield.

“For all those people who attack unions and want to eliminate collective bargaining, these contracts prove that collective bargaining works. It works for the companies, it works for the employees and it works for America. The UAW agreements with Ford, GM and now Chrysler provide decent wages, benefits and rights on the job for workers while ensuring quality products and healthy profits for the company,” said King.

The UAW represents 26,000 employees at Chrysler, including 3,000 salaried employees at 48 Chrysler facilities in the United States, making vehicles and components with the Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Mopar and Ram Truck brands.

Gwynne Marie Cobb
Jennifer John contributed to this story.

A summary of the tentative agreements, as well as the complete proposed contracts, are available on uaw.org.