Community Service: It’s Who We Are

There is no greater calling than to serve your fellow men. There is no greater contribution than to help the weak. There is no greater satisfaction than to have done it well. – Walter Reuther There’s something special about union people. If someone is in need, we respond. We don’t judge or make excuses not

Social media is a powerful tool — when used wisely

Social media has changed the way we communicate. Whether it’s Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or a host of other apps, it has given all of us an immediate way to connect and share with friends, family and those who share our interests. When it comes to our union, social media is a powerful tool to communicate

What would Walter do?

“Who knows? It’s impossible to speak for the dead,” laughs Nelson Lichtenstein. Of course the question is absurd. After all, what would Walter Reuther do in a world he would not recognize? Since the fourth and longest serving president of the UAW died in an airplane crash in 1970, the UAW, auto industry and entire

Building Agreement Upon Agreement

When a UAW bargaining team heads to the table, negotiators begin with management where they left off in the last agreement.  This happens because of well-established federal labor law that holds that when a contract expires, the employer must maintain all terms and conditions of employment until a new contract is ratified or imposed if

Subjects of Bargaining

One area that the law is clear about is what unions and employers must and can bargain over.   “Mandatory subjects of bargaining” include the terms and conditions of employment.  That means wages, over time, benefits, etc.   If management does not bargain over these subjects in good faith, then the employer has committed an “unfair labor

Members are the Highest Authority

Members elect their local leaders, run their local union, elect their negotiators, vote on the contract and elect their grievance handlers.  Without question, the strength of our union begins and ends with membership. This is especially true when it comes to bargaining.  Bargaining proposals are rooted in the information collected from members.  Whether it is

Why It Gets Quiet Once Negotiations Start

After the bargaining committee is elected, has collected member priorities, and received training, the next step is to head to the table to begin bargaining. For members, this can be one of the most frustrating parts of bargaining because most bargaining committees do not provide reports to membership during this time.   This information “blackout” can

The Bargaining Team Doesn’t Go In Alone

Sitting across the table from management can be intimidating.  They sometimes have lawyers representing them at the bargaining table, and it’s a simple matter for them to hire experts to flood bargaining with information and arguments as to why workers should give up their hard-won rights. But UAW bargaining committees do not head into bargaining

The Bargaining Team Gets Prepared

Any seasoned bargainer will say that the first lesson of bargaining is the realization that there is someone on the other side of the table. The list of demands and new language might sound reasonable to one side, but negotiations require agreement from both parties and management is often pulling the agreement in the opposite

Pattern Bargaining

Pattern bargaining started as a collective bargaining strategy in which unionized workers across an industry or sector attempt to bargain uniform standards in their contracts. UAW autoworkers started this practice right after World War II, and by 1955, the UAW contracts with the major automakers set the same pattern wages and had the same contract

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