• Sep 14, 2007

GM has been chosen as the lead company in the UAW contract renegotiation talks. That means that the UAW will come to a contractual agreement with GM first, and that contract will be used as the template for negotiations with the other two carmakers, Chrysler and Ford.

Of course, that also means that GM becomes the first target of a strike. The UAW's agreements with all three carmakers ends today, September 14th, and Chrysler and Ford have managed to work out extensions. GM, however, has not, and the UAW has told its members to be ready for a strike that could come as early as today.

[Source: Auto News, sub req'd]



Everybody has a lot at stake. The last thing GM wants is a strike, but it and the other American makers desperately need to shrink the $20-per-hour difference in labor wages that they pay compared to Japanese companies that build locally. They also want to remove the profit-busting cloud of pension liabilities. With the Detroit makers reeling, the UAW knows it can't overplay its hand, but it still has 190,000 active members and even more retirees that it wants to make sure don't suddenly lose the benefits they've been working decades for. Solutions don't look like they'll come quickly, but the clock is ticking louder than ever for all involved.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 19 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      If I was GM, I'd tell the UAW I want the same deal Toyota has with them. :p
      • 7 Years Ago
      Is it just me or is a little late to decide who will be sitting across the table from you. Their contract expires in about 12 hrs.
        • 7 Years Ago
        it is very common to start negotiating after the contract is up. usually about 3 months before the end one party will contact the other in writing informing them they would like to open talks to change the contract. they both agree to some dates for the first meeting, usually after the current contract expires, and the process begins. if contract talks started before the end of the last contract there would be no way for the union to strike or the employer to lock out until the current contract expired. it may look like this is some union plan to force the company but in reality if the company can't afford a wage increase in their current fiscal year the delay of contract talks allows them to pay an increase with negotiated retroactive pay. the whole process is fair and the contract is a good picture of what the company is willing to give and what the union is asking for. UAW members do get paid more than most tradesmen in canada and it is greedy of UAW to have forced the issue to such impossible numbers. on the other hand the auto makers didn't close the book and say "that's it. there is no more money." because they were greedy too and wanted to keep selling cars. it will be interesting to see what comes out of this round. i think ford will have the hardest time because everyone knows they are low on cash and their UAW members will not want to fall behind chrysler and GM.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Or more likely GM employs more UAW workers than the other two. Even if they come to some sort of an agreement with GM, Ford might do the same or similar, Chrysler on the other hand may tell them to shove it.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Unions formed the middle class and in a cyclical motion will soon destroy what they have came to build. If the unions continue in the path they are taken they will soon lose public support and the tolerance of business leaders. By being as aggressive as recent times they are making the companies they depend on less competitive and profitable. The unions are exporting jobs they are trying to protect. It is unfortunate.
        far jr
        • 7 Years Ago
        This is "make or break" time for the unions. The unions have the ability to help "make" the domestics stronger. This is likely to require concesions and will fly with union leaders like lead balloons. However concesions may ensure that the domestics survive and continue to pay wages and benefits to the union members and retirees for a long time to come. This could also be "break" time as the unions could push for bigger wages, better coverage and benefits. They will threaten or actually enact a strike to get what they want. Then a few years from now when the domestics have gone bankrupt, they will stand in the wellfare line blaming management for all of thier ills. Management is a long way from being a shining star, but they have freed up designers and engineers lately and focused more on quality. Now it is the unions turn.
        • 7 Years Ago
        agreed. they served their purpose, now they have lost sight of what they should be doing.
      • 7 Years Ago
      UAW is getting very greedy, they get PAID very well for not having a collegiate degree and yet they still b*tch. Soon they will reap what they sew.
      • 7 Years Ago
      That's a good deal for GM because they'll be able to inject their own proposals directly into the new contract. Besides Rick Wagonner is an expert at the art of negotiation (having learned the hard way how not to do so), and a strike seems unlikely with him heading up the team. He carries a lot of weight on those shoulders, and is well respected by the UAW.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This will be very interesting and could be the last stand for all parties although if GM, Ford, Chrysler were to go bankrupt they could ge their contracts thrown out the UAW cannot survive if that were to happen.

      As for GM being the target I beleive this time around it doesn't matter who was picked because Ford and GM are in the same boat in which they are plugging the holes now. Still, GM and Ford have openly communitcated their desires in a new contract and they are in agreement on all major points so I wouldn't be surprised by the fact that you may hear Ford joining the talks at some point either offically or unoffically. The only reason that the UAW picked GM is because they have the most momentum and are trying to ramp up production on the new Malibu, which may be the most important car for GM in a long time and continue the success of their new crossover vehicles. A strike (not going to happen) could hurt those products but then again to help them get rid of the huge inventory of Tahoes, Silverados, and Cobalts they are carrying.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I can't believe these bottom-dwellers. GM is finally getting out of its rut, building cool cars, and immediately the leeches at UAW are itching for more money. Doesn't UAW understand the phrase "you can shear a sheep many times, but skin it only once"? They're such a big factor in their decline, yet UAW keeps wanting more more more.

      Maybe this is good for GM in the long run, if they can finally ditch this union.
        • 7 Years Ago
        In light of this the import guys shit all over the domestic auto maker for building cars in Mexico.
        If Toyota were on the same boat as the big 3 they would pull out of the USA and import every thing they sell here.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Wrong again dude..The Union has and is helping the companies get out of the mess the managers put them in......After this new contract is ratified, GM and Ford will have huge flexibility in growing the business and moving their products with bettr profits...Buy GM,,,,,,Goldman & Sachs is and their own stock portfolio is up and away check it out.......GM stock will double by the end of the year.........Watch...you loose out......buy.....you profit.
      franknic
      • 7 Years Ago
      GM should let them strike, im sure theres plenty of people who will gladly take there place.
        • 7 Years Ago
        @franknic
        agreed, let them strike, fire them for not coming to work 3 days in a row. hire a new bunch of folks...non union... hell, rehire the old ones, just leave the union at the door.

        UAW is a parasite.
      • 7 Years Ago
      What a bunch of wretched parasites those UAW guys seem to be.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Parasites right! Get a life guy......You wouldn't last 30 minutes in a production factory, you have no idea what work like this would be like for 30 years.....Go suck on your boss's ass.........
      • 7 Years Ago
      The UAW has the upper hand. A strike can kill any Corporation. It's not as easy as some try to make it. Fire the UAW or even have them uncertified and the plant(s) will be closed for years. Decertification requires a vast majority of union members. That will not happen. The union is not essential service and can't be forced to work. Starving the members out will take as long and the plants will still remain closed.
      in a brawl it is customary to knock the biggest opponent down first. That uneases the smaller ones.
    • Load More Comments