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

Where the Right to Bargain Comes From

It’s easy to forget that that the policy of the United States is to encourage “the practice and procedure of collective bargaining.”  (National Labor Relations Act, Foreword) The reason why is simple:  the federal government regulates free commerce, and it believes that collective bargaining is a useful tool to reduce obstacles to commerce.  Thomas Perez,

What is a Bargaining Committee?

UAW members are represented at the bargaining table by their bargaining committee.  The committee is elected pursuant to the local union bylaws, and their size and composition varies depending on the size of the local and the nature of the agreement. The committee’s job is to attend all negotiating meetings, and do the necessary research

Reflections 50 Years After The Delano Grape Strike

50 years ago today, the Delano grape strike started when Filipino farmworkers walked out of the fields to demand dignity. Lorraine Agtang, one of the few remaining strikers, remembers that day and all that grew out of their movement, including the help from a key ally – Walter Reuther. Hear her story in her own words

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