LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 16.5

Help for PORTSIDELABOR Archives


PORTSIDELABOR Archives

PORTSIDELABOR Archives


PORTSIDELABOR@LISTS.PORTSIDE.ORG


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

PORTSIDELABOR Home

PORTSIDELABOR Home

PORTSIDELABOR  July 2011, Week 1

PORTSIDELABOR July 2011, Week 1

Subject:

Detroit's Dilemma: How to Share Gains with UAW

From:

Portside Labor <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Portside Labor <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 5 Jul 2011 01:34:49 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (226 lines)

Detroit's Dilemma: How to Share Gains with UAW
By Bernie Woodall
Reuters
July 4, 2011

http://www.portfolio.com/business-news/reuters/2011/07/04/detroits-dilemma-how-to-share-gains-with-uaw#ixzz1RCpnU4hl

DETROIT (Reuters) - Over the past two years, Ford Motor
Co has roared back from the brink of failure, won
accolades for its gains in quality, posted its highest
profits in a decade and rewarded patient investors with
a 14-fold increase in its share price.

But Mike LeBeau, 23, who works at a Ford assembly plant
in Chicago making around $15 per hour and lives at a
bedroom in his parent's house, is not feeling the good
times yet.

Like thousands of newly hired unionized auto workers
brought in at half the wages of existing hires, he and
others like him are looking for new contracts between
the United Auto Workers and the Detroit automakers to
share the wealth.

"I can make a car payment, and my student loan," said
LeBeau, a recent graduate of Purdue University. But he
doesn't have enough for a place of his own, he said.

UAW officials meet next week in Detroit to map out a
final bargaining strategy for the first round of
contract negotiations with Ford, General Motors Co, and
Chrysler Group LLC since 2007.

They will square off against bargaining teams from GM,
Ford and Fiat-controlled Chrysler who want to use this
contract to break away from the industry's long-
criticized practice of coming out of a boom with the
kinds of higher fixed costs that contribute to the next
crushing bust.

"The biggest question for me is will the UAW and the
companies fall back into their old ways," said Tom
Saybolt, a former Ford lawyer who now teaches at the
University of Detroit-Mercy.

In the four years since the two sides last negotiated a
labor contract, the Detroit automakers were pushed into
crisis by collapsing vehicle demand and the financial
convulsion of 2008. Both GM and Chrysler, now managed
by Italy's Fiat SpA, were bailed out by the Obama
administration.

The controversial federal bailout helped the UAW secure
funding for retiree healthcare by giving a union trust
fund an ownership stake in both GM and Chrysler at the
same time that it barred the union from striking at
those automakers.

It also set the stage for a different kind of labor
negotiations that will play out in Detroit over the
next several months for some 112,000 autoworkers.

The outcome of the talks will be watched as a key
indicator of how much of the wrenching change intended
to make the U.S. auto industry more competitive in
recent years will stick as the crisis fades.

The U.S. automakers are ready to offer bonuses,
including one-time signing bonuses, to UAW workers at
the same time that they look to bring down overall
payroll costs by pushing union workers to pay more for
healthcare and bring them in line with workers in other
industries, according to executives and analysts
interviewed by Reuters.

UAW President Bob King, 64, now in his second year at
the helm of the union, has promised a collaborative
"UAW for the 21st Century" approach to negotiation
aimed at making the U.S. automakers competitive and
suggested he is open to bonus-type payments.

JOBS, JOBS, JOBS

For the UAW, whose membership has dropped 42 percent
since 2004, the contract talks also represent a crucial
opportunity to score commitments to keep factories open
or to reopen shut assembly lines with new products like
the Spring Hill, Tennessee plant, where GM launched the
Saturn brand in 1985.

"For the UAW I think it will be jobs, jobs, jobs with a
little bit in the background of 'We need a reward for
what we did.' And for the companies, it's going to be
'We're not out of the woods yet. We need to be
competitive,'" said Art Schwartz, a former GM labor
negotiator and consultant.

The 2007 talks reworked retiree healthcare, created a
controversial two-tier pay scale for workers and put
UAW representatives that manage the retiree healthcare
trust on the boards of directors of GM and Chrysler.

Now King and UAW leadership also face a grass-roots
clamor from workers who say the union went too far in
allowing the Detroit automakers to hire thousands of
workers at a "second-tier" wage of about $30,000,
compared with about $58,000 for established workers,
before overtime.

For perspective, that means that LeBeau, who makes the
Ford Explorer, a hot-selling SUV, cannot afford to buy
the vehicle that he is making. The top-of-the-line
Explorer prices out at almost $40,000.

UNION DISSIDENTS

Union dissidents say the second-tier wages have upended
a basic tenet of the industry that dates to Henry
Ford's decision to double the pay for his workers to $5
a day in 1914. Part of Ford's justification was to
create a market for the Model T by paying workers
enough to buy a new model on about four months of pay.

But hiring new workers at $15 per hour, the UAW has
allowed GM, Ford and Chrysler to close the gap with
Japanese competitors operating factories in the United
States. That was a point that Republican critics of the
bailout had insisted on early in the 2008 bailout
debate. The Detroit automakers now have an average all-
in labor cost of about $49 an hour for Chrysler, $58
per hour for Ford and a reported $60 for GM, compared
with between $50 and $55 per hour for Toyota's U.S.
plants.

Driving fixed labor costs down was probably the biggest
gain made by the automakers in 2007. After those talks
and the establishment of the retiree healthcare trust,
hourly labor costs including benefits fell from around
$75 per hour in 2007.

When President Barack Obama championed the success of
the $80 billion bailout of the auto industry in 2009,
he chose to do so at the Chrysler plant that makes the
Jeep Grand Cherokee. That plant, known as Jefferson
North, has the largest contingent of workers at the
lower wage of any Chrysler plant.

But the two-tier system of wages is a continued
sticking point with many UAW workers, who will be asked
to ratify new contracts. Some say they doubt that the
union leadership has their best interests in view, an
unusual degree of rancor in a union that has prided
itself on "solidarity" since its founding in 1935.

"We're not seeing eye-to-eye," said Rondo Turner, a 37-
year-old GM worker who lost his job last month when GM
closed its Indianapolis stamping plant. "The UAW will
come out and say we will get your rights back. But from
the way I see, they are setting up our negotiations so
it's OK to have more second-tier workers."

UAW leader King wants permanent union representation on
all of the company boards of directors, as is the case
with many unions in Europe.

King, who earned a law degree from the University of
Detroit-Mercy while working as an electrician's
apprentice at Ford, says the "UAW for the 21st Century"
is less adversarial with the companies while also
protecting worker rights, work rules, wages and
benefits.

King, who lives in the university town of Ann Arbor,
Michigan, has refocused the UAW's view on wider social
issues and human rights, and speaks without hint of
irony about working for world peace.

"WITHOUT YOUR BATTLESHIP"

The cerebral King and his lieutenants at UAW have said
that given the choice between higher wages and securing
and creating jobs, they would take the jobs.

Analysts expect King and the UAW to remain pragmatic
because the union has little choice. Ford is the
strongest of the Detroit automakers and it would be the
target for bargaining in a typical negotiating round.
But this time, "a Ford strike would be messy," and the
UAW has no way to force GM and Chrysler to accept the
same terms without the ability to strike those
companies, said Logan Robinson, a former auto executive
who teaches at University of Detroit-Mercy.

"It's like showing up without your battleship," he
said.

Harley Shaiken, a professor at the University of
California-Berkeley who has been a confidant of King,
said the UAW leadership understood that the new
contract would have to keep Detroit's recovery on
track, meaning any pay increase would probably be in
the form of a bonus.

"Nobody is blind to the realities that are out there,"
he said.

(Editing by Kevin Krolicki)

____________________________________________

PortsideLabor aims to provide material of interest to
people on the left that will help them to interpret the
world and to change it.

Submit via email: [log in to unmask]

Submit via the Web: http://portside.org/submittous3

Frequently asked questions: http://portside.org/faq

Sub/Unsub: http://portside.org/subscribe-and-unsubscribe

PS Labor Archives: http://portside.org/archive

Contribute to Portside: https://portside.org/donate

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

Advanced Options


Options

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password


Search Archives

Search Archives


Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe


Archives

February 2020, Week 4
February 2020, Week 3
February 2020, Week 2
February 2020, Week 1
January 2020, Week 5
January 2020, Week 4
January 2020, Week 3
January 2020, Week 2
January 2020, Week 1
December 2019, Week 5
December 2019, Week 4
December 2019, Week 3
December 2019, Week 2
December 2019, Week 1
November 2019, Week 5
November 2019, Week 4
November 2019, Week 3
November 2019, Week 2
November 2019, Week 1
October 2019, Week 5
October 2019, Week 4
October 2019, Week 3
October 2019, Week 2
October 2019, Week 1
September 2019, Week 5
September 2019, Week 4
September 2019, Week 3
September 2019, Week 2
September 2019, Week 1
August 2019, Week 5
August 2019, Week 4
August 2019, Week 3
August 2019, Week 2
August 2019, Week 1
July 2019, Week 5
July 2019, Week 4
July 2019, Week 3
July 2019, Week 2
July 2019, Week 1
June 2019, Week 5
June 2019, Week 4
June 2019, Week 3
June 2019, Week 2
June 2019, Week 1
May 2019, Week 5
May 2019, Week 4
May 2019, Week 3
May 2019, Week 2
May 2019, Week 1
April 2019, Week 5
April 2019, Week 4
April 2019, Week 3
April 2019, Week 2
April 2019, Week 1
March 2019, Week 5
March 2019, Week 4
March 2019, Week 3
March 2019, Week 2
March 2019, Week 1
February 2019, Week 4
February 2019, Week 3
February 2019, Week 2
February 2019, Week 1
January 2019, Week 5
January 2019, Week 4
January 2019, Week 3
January 2019, Week 2
January 2019, Week 1
December 2018, Week 5
December 2018, Week 4
December 2018, Week 3
December 2018, Week 2
December 2018, Week 1
November 2018, Week 5
November 2018, Week 4
November 2018, Week 3
November 2018, Week 2
November 2018, Week 1
October 2018, Week 5
October 2018, Week 4
October 2018, Week 3
October 2018, Week 2
October 2018, Week 1
September 2018, Week 5
September 2018, Week 4
September 2018, Week 3
September 2018, Week 2
September 2018, Week 1
August 2018, Week 5
August 2018, Week 4
August 2018, Week 3
August 2018, Week 2
August 2018, Week 1
July 2018, Week 5
July 2018, Week 4
July 2018, Week 3
July 2018, Week 2
July 2018, Week 1
June 2018, Week 5
June 2018, Week 4
June 2018, Week 3
June 2018, Week 2
June 2018, Week 1
May 2018, Week 5
May 2018, Week 4
May 2018, Week 3
May 2018, Week 2
May 2018, Week 1
April 2018, Week 5
April 2018, Week 4
April 2018, Week 3
April 2018, Week 2
April 2018, Week 1
March 2018, Week 5
March 2018, Week 4
March 2018, Week 3
March 2018, Week 2
March 2018, Week 1
February 2018, Week 4
February 2018, Week 3
February 2018, Week 2
February 2018, Week 1
January 2018, Week 5
January 2018, Week 4
January 2018, Week 3
January 2018, Week 2
January 2018, Week 1
December 2017, Week 5
December 2017, Week 4
December 2017, Week 3
December 2017, Week 2
December 2017, Week 1
November 2017, Week 5
November 2017, Week 4
November 2017, Week 3
November 2017, Week 2
November 2017, Week 1
October 2017, Week 5
October 2017, Week 4
October 2017, Week 3
October 2017, Week 2
October 2017, Week 1
September 2017, Week 5
September 2017, Week 4
September 2017, Week 3
September 2017, Week 2
September 2017, Week 1
August 2017, Week 5
August 2017, Week 4
August 2017, Week 3
August 2017, Week 2
August 2017, Week 1
July 2017, Week 5
July 2017, Week 4
July 2017, Week 3
July 2017, Week 2
July 2017, Week 1
June 2017, Week 5
June 2017, Week 4
June 2017, Week 3
June 2017, Week 2
June 2017, Week 1
May 2017, Week 5
May 2017, Week 4
May 2017, Week 3
May 2017, Week 2
May 2017, Week 1
April 2017, Week 5
April 2017, Week 4
April 2017, Week 3
April 2017, Week 2
April 2017, Week 1
March 2017, Week 5
March 2017, Week 4
March 2017, Week 3
March 2017, Week 2
March 2017, Week 1
February 2017, Week 4
February 2017, Week 3
February 2017, Week 2
February 2017, Week 1
January 2017, Week 5
January 2017, Week 4
January 2017, Week 3
January 2017, Week 2
January 2017, Week 1
December 2016, Week 5
December 2016, Week 4
December 2016, Week 3
December 2016, Week 2
December 2016, Week 1
November 2016, Week 5
November 2016, Week 4
November 2016, Week 3
November 2016, Week 2
November 2016, Week 1
October 2016, Week 5
October 2016, Week 4
October 2016, Week 3
October 2016, Week 2
October 2016, Week 1
September 2016, Week 5
September 2016, Week 4
September 2016, Week 3
September 2016, Week 2
September 2016, Week 1
August 2016, Week 5
August 2016, Week 4
August 2016, Week 3
August 2016, Week 2
August 2016, Week 1
July 2016, Week 5
July 2016, Week 4
July 2016, Week 3
July 2016, Week 2
July 2016, Week 1
June 2016, Week 5
June 2016, Week 4
June 2016, Week 3
June 2016, Week 2
June 2016, Week 1
May 2016, Week 5
May 2016, Week 4
May 2016, Week 3
May 2016, Week 2
May 2016, Week 1
April 2016, Week 5
April 2016, Week 4
April 2016, Week 3
April 2016, Week 2
April 2016, Week 1
March 2016, Week 5
March 2016, Week 4
March 2016, Week 3
March 2016, Week 2
March 2016, Week 1
February 2016, Week 5
February 2016, Week 4
February 2016, Week 3
February 2016, Week 2
February 2016, Week 1
January 2016, Week 5
January 2016, Week 4
January 2016, Week 3
January 2016, Week 2
January 2016, Week 1
December 2015, Week 5
December 2015, Week 4
December 2015, Week 3
December 2015, Week 2
December 2015, Week 1
November 2015, Week 5
November 2015, Week 4
November 2015, Week 3
November 2015, Week 2
November 2015, Week 1
October 2015, Week 5
October 2015, Week 4
October 2015, Week 3
October 2015, Week 2
October 2015, Week 1
September 2015, Week 5
September 2015, Week 4
September 2015, Week 3
September 2015, Week 2
September 2015, Week 1
August 2015, Week 5
August 2015, Week 4
August 2015, Week 3
August 2015, Week 2
August 2015, Week 1
July 2015, Week 5
July 2015, Week 4
July 2015, Week 3
July 2015, Week 2
July 2015, Week 1
June 2015, Week 5
June 2015, Week 4
June 2015, Week 3
June 2015, Week 2
June 2015, Week 1
May 2015, Week 5
May 2015, Week 4
May 2015, Week 3
May 2015, Week 2
May 2015, Week 1
April 2015, Week 5
April 2015, Week 4
April 2015, Week 3
April 2015, Week 2
April 2015, Week 1
March 2015, Week 5
March 2015, Week 4
March 2015, Week 3
March 2015, Week 2
March 2015, Week 1
February 2015, Week 4
February 2015, Week 3
February 2015, Week 2
February 2015, Week 1
January 2015, Week 5
January 2015, Week 4
January 2015, Week 3
January 2015, Week 2
January 2015, Week 1
December 2014, Week 5
December 2014, Week 4
December 2014, Week 3
December 2014, Week 2
December 2014, Week 1
November 2014, Week 5
November 2014, Week 4
November 2014, Week 3
November 2014, Week 2
November 2014, Week 1
October 2014, Week 5
October 2014, Week 4
October 2014, Week 3
October 2014, Week 2
October 2014, Week 1
September 2014, Week 5
September 2014, Week 4
September 2014, Week 3
September 2014, Week 2
September 2014, Week 1
August 2014, Week 5
August 2014, Week 4
August 2014, Week 3
August 2014, Week 2
August 2014, Week 1
July 2014, Week 5
July 2014, Week 4
July 2014, Week 3
July 2014, Week 2
July 2014, Week 1
June 2014, Week 5
June 2014, Week 4
June 2014, Week 3
June 2014, Week 2
June 2014, Week 1
May 2014, Week 5
May 2014, Week 4
May 2014, Week 3
May 2014, Week 2
May 2014, Week 1
April 2014, Week 5
April 2014, Week 4
April 2014, Week 3
April 2014, Week 2
April 2014, Week 1
March 2014, Week 5
March 2014, Week 4
March 2014, Week 3
March 2014, Week 2
March 2014, Week 1
February 2014, Week 4
February 2014, Week 3
February 2014, Week 2
February 2014, Week 1
January 2014, Week 5
January 2014, Week 4
January 2014, Week 3
January 2014, Week 2
January 2014, Week 1
December 2013, Week 5
December 2013, Week 4
December 2013, Week 3
December 2013, Week 2
December 2013, Week 1
November 2013, Week 5
November 2013, Week 4
November 2013, Week 3
November 2013, Week 2
November 2013, Week 1
October 2013, Week 5
October 2013, Week 4
October 2013, Week 3
October 2013, Week 2
October 2013, Week 1
September 2013, Week 5
September 2013, Week 4
September 2013, Week 3
September 2013, Week 2
September 2013, Week 1
August 2013, Week 5
August 2013, Week 4
August 2013, Week 3
August 2013, Week 2
August 2013, Week 1
July 2013, Week 5
July 2013, Week 4
July 2013, Week 3
July 2013, Week 2
July 2013, Week 1
June 2013, Week 4
June 2013, Week 3
June 2013, Week 2
June 2013, Week 1
May 2013, Week 5
May 2013, Week 4
May 2013, Week 3
May 2013, Week 2
May 2013, Week 1
April 2013, Week 5
April 2013, Week 4
April 2013, Week 3
April 2013, Week 2
April 2013, Week 1
March 2013, Week 5
March 2013, Week 4
March 2013, Week 3
March 2013, Week 2
March 2013, Week 1
February 2013, Week 4
February 2013, Week 3
February 2013, Week 2
February 2013, Week 1
January 2013, Week 5
January 2013, Week 4
January 2013, Week 3
January 2013, Week 2
January 2013, Week 1
December 2012, Week 5
December 2012, Week 4
December 2012, Week 3
December 2012, Week 2
December 2012, Week 1
November 2012, Week 5
November 2012, Week 4
November 2012, Week 3
November 2012, Week 2
November 2012, Week 1
October 2012, Week 5
October 2012, Week 4
October 2012, Week 3
October 2012, Week 2
October 2012, Week 1
September 2012, Week 4
September 2012, Week 3
September 2012, Week 2
September 2012, Week 1
August 2012, Week 5
August 2012, Week 4
August 2012, Week 3
August 2012, Week 2
August 2012, Week 1
July 2012, Week 5
July 2012, Week 4
July 2012, Week 3
July 2012, Week 2
July 2012, Week 1
June 2012, Week 5
June 2012, Week 4
June 2012, Week 3
June 2012, Week 2
June 2012, Week 1
May 2012, Week 5
May 2012, Week 4
May 2012, Week 3
May 2012, Week 2
May 2012, Week 1
April 2012, Week 5
April 2012, Week 4
April 2012, Week 3
April 2012, Week 2
April 2012, Week 1
March 2012, Week 5
March 2012, Week 4
March 2012, Week 3
March 2012, Week 2
March 2012, Week 1
February 2012, Week 5
February 2012, Week 4
February 2012, Week 3
February 2012, Week 2
February 2012, Week 1
January 2012, Week 5
January 2012, Week 4
January 2012, Week 3
January 2012, Week 2
January 2012, Week 1
December 2011, Week 5
December 2011, Week 4
December 2011, Week 3
December 2011, Week 2
December 2011, Week 1
November 2011, Week 5
November 2011, Week 4
November 2011, Week 3
November 2011, Week 2
November 2011, Week 1
October 2011, Week 5
October 2011, Week 4
October 2011, Week 3
October 2011, Week 2
October 2011, Week 1
September 2011, Week 5
September 2011, Week 4
September 2011, Week 3
September 2011, Week 2
September 2011, Week 1
August 2011, Week 5
August 2011, Week 4
August 2011, Week 3
August 2011, Week 2
August 2011, Week 1
July 2011, Week 5
July 2011, Week 4
July 2011, Week 3
July 2011, Week 2
July 2011, Week 1
June 2011, Week 5
June 2011, Week 4
June 2011, Week 3
June 2011, Week 2
June 2011, Week 1
May 2011, Week 5
May 2011, Week 4
May 2011, Week 3
May 2011, Week 2
May 2011, Week 1
April 2011, Week 5
April 2011, Week 4
April 2011, Week 3
April 2011, Week 2
April 2011, Week 1
March 2011, Week 5
March 2011, Week 4
March 2011, Week 3
March 2011, Week 2
March 2011, Week 1
February 2011, Week 4
February 2011, Week 3
February 2011, Week 2
February 2011, Week 1
January 2011, Week 5
January 2011, Week 4
January 2011, Week 3
January 2011, Week 2
January 2011, Week 1
December 2010, Week 5
December 2010, Week 4
December 2010, Week 3
December 2010, Week 2
December 2010, Week 1
November 2010, Week 5
November 2010, Week 4
November 2010, Week 3
November 2010, Week 2
November 2010, Week 1
October 2010, Week 5
October 2010, Week 4
October 2010, Week 3
October 2010, Week 2
October 2010, Week 1
September 2010, Week 5
September 2010, Week 4
September 2010, Week 3
September 2010, Week 2
September 2010, Week 1
August 2010, Week 5
August 2010, Week 4
August 2010, Week 3
August 2010, Week 2
August 2010, Week 1
July 2010, Week 5
July 2010, Week 4
July 2010, Week 3
July 2010, Week 2
July 2010, Week 1

ATOM RSS1 RSS2



LISTS.PORTSIDE.ORG

CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager