What if the UAW and automakers recognized their mutual interest in building better cars on a tighter budget? What if creativity were used in negotiations instead of confrontation? Wonder no more as UAW Local 12 and 14 in Toledo have decided to adopt such a stance with DaimlerChrysler against the behest of the UAW at large.

Michael Oneal of the Chicago Tribune has penned a nice piece on the town’s organized labor and the creative ways it’s conjured to cut costs in order to save jobs. One idea the local union is currently pitching to DCX is the construction of a $1 million processing facility to capture methane gas seeping from a landfill across the street. The company would save two-thirds on its natural gas bill per year and the cost of construction would be recouped in a year.

One point the article pushes is that Toledo’s local unions are maverick among UAW locals nationwide. Their ingenuity, however, has attracted $4 billion in investment, two new assembly plants, a GM transmission plant, as well as saving 10,000 union jobs and creating 1,200 more. How many industrial towns in the U.S. can say that?

[Top tip from Ryan, thanks!]

[Source: Chicago Tribune]