Automotive News Europe reports the United Auto Workers may borrow from German labor unions' playbook. UAW President Bob King says that he's seen the merit of the country's labor system after having being appointed to the supervisory board of Opel last year. Germany's so-called codetermination laws state that union leaders or employee representatives must receive as many as half of the seats on the supervisory boards that control an automaker's major investments. Those boards can also hire or fire executives, and special work councils handle decisions on issues like work hours, benefits and work conditions.

King believes the system gives workers a stronger voice, and says the UAW is open to building a similar system in the US. That could be done through the organization's current contracts with Chrysler, General Motors and Ford.

Shifting strategies could also help the UAW woo foreign-owned manufacturing plants in the US. King hopes the German labor union strategies will be seen as less combative than the union's current policies.


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  • 51 Comments
      oRenj9
      • 1 Year Ago
      I remember reading that VW is pushing for workers to consider alternatives to the UAW. So it is likely that the UAW is fearful of the IGM making inroads into the US and posing a threat to their monopoly. Considering empirical evidence suggests that the IGM is significantly more effective at increasing worker productivity than the UAW, and that IGM members get paid, on average, double what UAW members do, there is a business case to be had for both companies and workers to want to migrate.
      Jerry
      • 1 Year Ago
      RAAAWWWRRRR! (What it looks like he is saying in the picture)
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        samich
        • 1 Year Ago
        Germans work much less hours in a year than Americans. The average American worked 1,797 hours in 2011, the average German worked 1,330 hours in a year. That's 467 less hours than Americans or 57 eight-hour days. Try googling for some facts before spouting out nonsense. http://www.nbcnews.com/business/countries-where-people-work-least-915292
        Brewman15
        • 1 Year Ago
        0weblamo? Wow, the moronic ways of butchering his name as a supposed inslut are stretching pretty far at this point...
          Brewman15
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Brewman15
          insult* Not sure what an inslut is...
      Pj Taintz
      • 1 Year Ago
      the last thing i want is the UAw having any more power than they already do. I blame them for the 2009 collapse of the industry
        RocketRed
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Pj Taintz
        I guess the construction, real estate, and derivative markets also must have been lousy with union slackers.
        Alfonso T. Alvarez
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Pj Taintz
        Go study a little bit about the cause of the collapse in 2009 - it is not possible to blame the union at all for that! Try Wall Street and their sub-prime orgies!!
      m_2012
      • 1 Year Ago
      "and this" holding up hands in picture "is how big the piles of cash we steal from our workers".
      dss10
      • 1 Year Ago
      I can\'t wait to see what the yocals here say about this. If you ever worked in a company with a works council its actually a pretty good system. It make labor less adversarial and it keeps management honest and prohibits them from making labor pay (through layoffs and pay cuts) for when they makes big strategic mistakes. I don\'t work in the industry but Bob King seems like a pretty astute guy who has been able work support the intrests of the represented workers while not forcing the auto companies in to agreements that are not sustainable. It\'s sad that they are only looking at this option now in that I think that the auto industry could haave been in better shape if they had implemented this type of labor model prior to 2008.
      shelvis68comebak
      • 1 Year Ago
      Cue all the "hard working" sock puppets of the right posting about how the unions are lazy from their work computers.
        m_2012
        • 1 Year Ago
        @shelvis68comebak
        I got lazy from that. I think the word you were looking for is drunk. You can also substitute high as well as drunk.
      zoomy
      • 1 Year Ago
      So the UAW wants to make Detroit Autos 20K overpriced like the Germans do. NO THANKS.
        thequebecerinfrance
        • 1 Year Ago
        @zoomy
        Yet americans can't sell their cars outside of America and the Germans are selling well every where. Whose overpriced now?
      Matt
      • 1 Year Ago
      "union leaders or employee representatives must receive as many as half of the seats on the supervisory boards that control an automaker's major investments" The board should represent the shareholders, not the workers. Otherwise you'll see the board making decisions like "2 hour lunches! No work on Fridays! 100% salary pensions after 20 years!". You know, the crap that the UAW pulled that nearly killed the Detroit 3.
        thequebecerinfrance
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Matt
        You mean they would do exactly as the top managers are doing? They would not be so selfish. And the difference between the unions in Germany and in America is that in Germany working hand in hand with the unions is the law. And the unions are more open than their american counterparts. Seems to be working too, the Germans are selling cars like crazy.
        IVIaster
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Matt
        They dont the German boards make these kind of decisions? Futhermore, we arent talking about the companies board of directors. Instead these are more factory specifig boards.
        Daniel D
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Matt
        If that were the case Matt we would see such decisions being made in German factories - we don't.
      KEVIN
      • 1 Year Ago
      If I am part of Korean auto maker or Chinese government, I will pay lots of money to Mr. King. Why? Union in Europe broke auto industries in Europe. Now Mr King will follow and breaks auto industries in US; Korean and/or Chinese will gain big time.
        jaydc1388
        • 1 Year Ago
        @KEVIN
        Unions didn't break the auto industries in Europe or the US, cheap labor in Asia and the companies that sent jobs overseas in droves did break the world's economies though...........
      MTU 5.0
      • 1 Year Ago
      What reason(s) would the OEMs here in the US have for agreeing to this? Of course the UAW would want it, but the proposal seems very one sided as presented.
      m_2012
      • 1 Year Ago
      "We will screw the workers with a ***** THIS BIG"....
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