With a Handshake, Detroit Three Auto Negotiations Begin

    

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The UAW’s goal is simple and achievable with the power of collective bargaining: Bridge the gap for entry level and legacy employees while creating prosperity for members, company shareholders and consumers.

Walter Reuther defined power one day. He said, “Power is the ability of a labor union like UAW to make the most powerful corporation in the world … say, ‘Yes’ when it wants to say ‘No.’ That’s power.Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 1967
UAW President Dennis Williams, second from left, and Vice President Cindy Estrada shake hands with their counterparts at General Motors. Behind them is the UAW bargaining team at GM.

UAW President Dennis Williams, surrounded by UAW negotiating committee members, officially began 2015 contract negotiations with General Motors, Fiat Chrysler Automotive US (FCA US) and Ford in July with handshakes with company leadership and bargaining team members.

The current three-year agreements with the companies expire at midnight Sept. 14.

The UAW’s goal is simple and achievable with the power of collective bargaining: Bridge the gap for entry level and legacy employees while creating prosperity for members, company shareholders and consumers.

We’re doing more than shaking hands today,” said Williams at the GM press conference July 13 at the UAW-GM CHR (Center for Human Resources) in Detroit. “After the last two bargaining periods with GM, UAW members made a lot of sacrifices to help the company achieve prosperity. Now, we feel like it’s our time,” said Williams. “We can all win, working people, shareholders and the company.”

UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada, who directs the union’s General Motors Department, said collaboration is key.

When UAW members succeed, it lifts our communities’ economies and our state economies. Bridging the gap to prosperity for all is essential to not only UAW members, but to the country’s manufacturing economy,” said Estrada. “The stakes are high.”

GM posted an approximate $6.6 billion North American profit for 2014, added roughly 10,000 jobs, and made significant plant investments throughout the country.

UAW-FCA Opening Ceremony Proposal July 14,2015
UAW Vice President Norwood Jewell, who directs the union’s Chrysler Department, said the company has come a long way since the dark days of the auto crisis.

The day after the GM bargaining kickoff, President Williams and the UAW-Chrysler bargaining committee members officially began their 2015 contract negotiations, also with a handshake.

At the press conference at the UAW-Chrysler NTC (National Training Center) in Detroit, Williams noted the long journey FCA US’s working men and women went through to help bring the company back from financial hardship.

Today’s handshake is a signal that UAW members remember the sacrifices they made to achieve prosperity for FCA US and, now, they know it’s our time,” said Williams. “It’s time for FCA US, UAW members, shareholders and consumers to win at the table.”

UAW Vice President Norwood Jewell, who directs the UAW Chrysler Department, said the company has come such a long way since the dark days of the auto crisis.

UAW members worked hard for this day. It’s time to bridge the gap for all working people to a shared prosperity,” he said.

Since the last collective bargaining session in 2011, the company has added approximately 10,000 jobs and last year posted a profit in North America of $3.5 billion.

The final handshake press conference of the Detroit Three took place July 24 at Detroit’s Cass Technical High School.

President Williams and UAW-Ford negotiating committee members, kicked off the Ford talks, again, with a ceremonial handshake with company leadership.

From the Battle of the Overpass to the new era of partnership, from the early days of the post-war auto boom to the phenomenal growth of Ford after the Great Recession in recent years, the UAW and Ford have a long history together,” said Williams. “Today, I call on our decades together to launch us into contract talks that build on the prosperity that our members’ sacrifices have helped create with Ford.”

UAW Vice President Jimmy Settles, who directs the union’s National Ford Department, makes remarks at the opening of negotiations with Ford Motor Co.

UAW Vice President Jimmy Settles, who directs the union’s National Ford Department, said the bargaining team is well aware of the challenges they face. “We look forward to reaching a collective bargaining agreement that provides financial gains for our membership, while ensuring that Ford remains on its current path of profitability. Furthermore, I’m excited that this ceremony is taking place in the community, as it should remind each of us the impact these negotiations will have on the communities across this nation where our members work and live,” said Settles.

Since the last round of contract talks in 2011, Ford has added roughly 15,000 jobs and last year posted a North American profit of $6.9 billion.

Now, it’s time to build on those gains and head for this year’s goal – bridge the gap for all working people.

Joan Silvi



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