GM just ratified an agreement with the Canadian Auto Workers union, and as soon as it did, Chrysler blasted it for being "weak." Chrysler's complaint was that the CAW didn't offer enough concessions to bring production costs into line with market realities. Now Ford has piped up in Chrysler's corner, saying "We believe the recently negotiated agreement between General Motors Canada and the Canadian Auto Workers will not keep Ford's Canadian operations competitive in today's global economy."
The Big Three automakers' massive pension liabilities are well known. To remove that burden, a fund called a VEBA -- voluntary employee beneficiary association -- has been mooted. Automakers would put an agreed upon sum into the VEBA, after which they would be free from further pension obligations. The UAW would be responsible for administering the fund. Goodyear used that exact setup last year to end a strike with the United Steel Workers.
Just a few months ago, based on its threat to cancel union labor contracts, Tower Automotive appeared on the brink of a work stoppage - an event that would have halted a significant amount of North American vehicle production. Now we can all breath a bit easier, as the bankrupt supplier has reached a tentative deal with the United Auto Workers and United Steelworkers.
Adding another layer to the Delphi drama this week, the company's creditors went to court asking that the company be allowed to cancel its established supply contracts with GM, supporting Delphi's request from March. GM responded to the original filing by calling the move "blackmail", and stated that if allowed, the action could cost GM up to $1B each month. The creditors claim that the legacy costs inherited from GM are what drove Delphi to bankruptcy, and therefore the automaker