The United Auto Workers are currently negotiating new labor contracts with The Detroit Three. Due to bankruptcy restrictions, UAW members working at General Motors and Chrysler and can't go on strike. Ford, on the other hand, didn't get a no-strike clause since it didn't go through the bankruptcy process. That means the UAW can walk off Blue Oval production lines if it chooses to do so, and it is already threatening to do just that if it doesn't get the agreement it wants when the current contract expires on September 14.

The Detroit News report on the matter is reminiscent of sports press reportage on the former NFL and current NBA lockouts: haves and have-nots, short memories, separate legal actions, and phrases like "they don't believe Ford's claims of poverty."

A couple of days ago, it was reported that preliminary voting was heavily in favor of a strike, and that wasn't a fluke: strike authorization is running at 97 percent – well above usual. But some UAW workers feel that the plants that are doing well, like the Dearborn Truck plant making the F-150 pickup, is a case of "The fat-cat plants want more," while plants that want more work are content for now to let Ford get healthier before asking for more.

A strike authorization from Bob King and company does not necessarily mean that there will be a strike if an amicable conclusion can't be reached, but it does give the UAW more ammunition than it has with GM and Chrysler.


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  • 313 Comments
      Mike K
      • 3 Years Ago
      The UAW... Making Americans realize how obsolete labor unions are since 2009.
      Car Guy
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ok, I worked in a UAW shop for 7 years and make these statements from real life experience. 1) The majority of UAW members do their job with little to no issue 2) About 20 percent,however, are nothing but lazy toublemakers that do everything possible to throw the company and management under the bus. The problem is they get the workers who are usually good all worked up and distracted when the moment is right. 3) The truly outstanding ones are chastized by the losers for doing too good a job or working too hard. At the end of the day the union mentality doesnt all you to reward those who deserve to be rewarded and punish or fire those that deserve it. Its an antequated system and I would never work in that enviroment again.
        Carnut0913
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Car Guy
        Thanks for some real world perspective. It is easy to forget that the majority are just there for an honest day's work- and not the subject of TV station reports on drinking and illegal smoking. Unfortunately, the union system is out-dated and there are good % that take advantage and manipulate the system.
        Sugaki
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Car Guy
        True, but in any non-union situation, that 20 percent lazy contingent would get fired pretty quickly. So in that sense, union-employed companies are taking a 20% extra hit in extra labor costs (plus benefits, healthcare, etc)
      Houston Guy
      • 3 Years Ago
      Idiots. The auto industry is just getting back on its feet, let's cripple them again and have them go really bankrupt this time around.
      DARRYLL
      • 3 Years Ago
      As I recall, Ford did not take a Government "hand out/bail out" and likewise recall the UAW donated heavily to the Obama campaign; thus if the greedy UAW does go out on strike, they will have to dig a bit deeper into their own treasury to continue the sizable donations to the Obama campaign while still paying from their coffers, striking workers a fraction of what they would make if they continued to work. Ford did not take any bailout money from Uncle Sam, so now "they" are a target for greedy UAW union bosses? And we ponder why so many jobs have been sent overseas and so many are jobless or just barely making ends meet. So that we have it right, the UAW cannot go after GM and Chrysler because they were bailed out by the Government, but can go after Ford because they didn't take the bailout and conditions attached to greedy helping hand. And we wonder why so many companies are having their products made overseas. Just close the plants, go to a right to work State (who would no doubt give the companies special benefits and allowances since Ford would be helping their economy) and let the UAW support and find jobs for the thousands who once had great jobs, good benefits and good pay. Union greed is over shadowing common sense and the UAW is merely trying to establish a hallmark for when GM and Chrysler are no longer exempt from their strike threats. If the UAW cared about its members they would silence the hotheads and work tirelessly to get an equitable package as the members continued to work; there are alot of out of work people who would settle for half of what most of them are making, just to have an income. If the UAW really cared, they would be in joint talks with the major automobile manufacturers for future accords to avoid STRIKE threats when GM and Chrysler come out of the protective envelope. Try writing to the UAW and requesting, by job, what starting pay is for each job, and average pay for each job..."The UAW does not disclose the information you have requested." The reason they won't is that people associate what "they" are making and have absolutely no idea what the pay and benefits are afforded to UAW union members. Why? Because if they did, the "sympathy factor" would be lost. I do not begrudge the highly skilled men and women who are members of the UAW a fair wage for their work in a vibrant economy; but this is definitely the time to be grateful for their employment and not head out on a strike which will affect them personally and their families as well as the economy of our Country. Onve again consumers will shift to foreign made vehicles...employees not under the heavy hand of the UAW...and to a lesser extent to GM and Chrysler. It is "our" economic condition we are trying to rectify and not fill foreign pockets. Put the "NEED" of the employees ahead of the "GREED" of the UAW.
      FoxJ30
      • 3 Years Ago
      It may be back breaking work, but I'm sure there're a lot of people out there right now who'd rather be making $14-20/hour 40-hrs a week working at a car factory than working 10-hrs a week temping or working at a fast food joint. I'm sure there are others who can't get those jobs who'd be even more grateful. Play chicken, Ford. I bet you'll be back to 75% capacity within a month. (not based on any data, of course)
        danrarbc64
        • 3 Years Ago
        @FoxJ30
        Most of the jobs aren't back-breaking though. Only a few people per shift do something very physical, skilled, or dangerous.
          dukeisduke
          • 3 Years Ago
          @danrarbc64
          Jim, I've toured the GM Arlington assembly plant a couple of times, and I didn't see anything dangerous. Just the usual problems you get from being on your feet all day.
          Jim
          • 3 Years Ago
          @danrarbc64
          um, walk through an assembly plant sometime. It's plenty dangerous enough. You've got heavy equipment moving everywhere and the line speeds are such that resupply trucks are zipping around all over the place. you can easily get knocked around damn good if you're not careful.
      Chris B
      • 3 Years Ago
      Feel free to strike. For there's many people that would LOVE to take your jobs.
      Kevin
      • 3 Years Ago
      Bob King get out of this country.....we don't need you or the UAW...All you are is a bunch of blood suckers killing this country and putting Americans out of work.....READ MY LIPS .......GET OUT
      bk
      • 3 Years Ago
      Oh yeah, the economy is booming let's strike. Turf them all and rehire new people. You will get thousands of applicants.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @bk
        [blocked]
      Haywood Brookins
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ford should get the help wanted signs printed and ready to go. They should have no trouble replacing those who don't show up for work.
      Brandon Allen
      • 3 Years Ago
      Threatening your boss into getting more money when there's 10.9% unemployment in your city seems pretty dumb to me. If these folks are dumb enough to play chicken in this economy, they probably aren't the most productive or skilled workers either.
      Count Nomis
      • 3 Years Ago
      These unions are unbelievable. They are greedy and ungrateful to have a job. Their paychecks are through the roof and they still want more. The unions have destroyed so many companies in America and they have not learned that they are killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. The same thing happened with Boeing. I have no sympathy whatsoever for them.
      Dwayne
      • 3 Years Ago
      And this is how unions have helped wreck the economy. During the financial meltdown, Ford did not ask for a handout from taxpayers. This is the thanks they get. Let them strike then fire the selfish bastards and hire people that WANT to work.
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