Workers at an automotive seat factory in Mississippi are protesting what they say are low wages and poor working conditions as they attempt to unionize in what could become a new front for the United Auto Workers in the state.
Think the UAW is the only labor union that's angling to give General Motors headaches in the near term? Guess again. GM employees in South Korea's highly unionized and strike-happy workforce have officially approved a strike action against the automaker as labor talks are set to begin.
Toyota may be heading toward some labor issues in the Great White North, as employees at a pair of Canadian Toyota factories may be set for a certification vote. The Unifor union, which was the result of a merger last year between the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union, will be holding the vote.
Workers at a Goodyear tire factory in Amiens, France that is slated to close took the whole concept of peaceful protest a bit too far, holding a pair of executives hostage and demanding "enormous amounts of money," according to a report from The Guardian. The two men were held for two days but have since been released, according to a report from Business Insider.
The "will they, won't they" back-and-forth in the United Auto Worker's courtship of Volkswagen's Chattanooga plant is still in full swing, as the union, German and American executives and most importantly, employees, try to figure out just what the future of labor relations will be at a plant that sits in a right-to-work state.
According to Reuters, South Korea's labor unions may have reached a tentative deal with Hyundai following a compromise between the two sides on wages. Workers have staged a number of stoppages since August 20, which have cost the South Korean giant 1.02 trillion won – around $1.1B US. It also represents just over 50,000 units of production. That vehicle total sounds like a lot, but it's a small enough figure that Hyundai can apparently catch up with weekend and overtime shifts. We'd wager
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 fir
The United Auto Workers continues to pursue the unionization of a foreign automaker's plant in the U.S. and has redoubled its efforts on the Nissan facility in Canton, Mississippi. According to Reuters, the union plans to paint the organization effort as "the civil rights battle of the 21st century." Gary Casteel, one of the UAW's highest-ranking officials in the South has been quoted as saying the civil rights experience was fought in Mississippi. Since 70 percent of the Canton workforce is bla
The door has not yet closed on Saab. Hoping for yet another 11th hour stay of execution, the defunct carmaker's chief union, IF Metall, has written directly to President Obama, asking him to intervene, according to Just-Auto. While on the surface, this may seem silly, it's actually rather clever, even if it has little likelihood of working.
It sounds ominous. The United Auto Workers union has imported interns from other automaking countries like China, Germany, South Korea and India to teach them the organizing techniques the union uses in the United States. The UAW's Global Organizing Institute will give interns from other car building countries an indoctrination into the practices the union uses for collective bargaining, which they will then take back to their home countries and act as homegrown advocates for the UAW's organizin
Fiat claims that it is on pace to earn two billion euros ($2.8 billion in U.S. funds) in 2010. Good news to be sure, but Reuters reports that CEO Sergio Marchionne says that the company's five factories in Italy contribute exactly zero percent of that profit due to the country's rigid unions. In fact, the CEO claims that Fiat loses money in it's Italian factories, saying "Fiat would do more if it took Italy out from its results. We cannot continue to manage operations at a loss forever."
Back when I was a UAW member many moons ago, earning my college tuition by busting my ass in the factories, the union was an incredibly powerful labor organization. With nearly 1.3 million members, it had enormous political clout in Washington, D.C. And thanks to a monopoly on automotive labor, it could bring the entire American auto industry to a grinding halt by merely snapping its fingers. But then the world changed.
Ron Gettelfinger has been in the United Auto Workers for 44 years, the last eight of those years in the role of president. He's taken his share of lumps from the people he faced across the table and his own constituents, but he's led the UAW through some of the toughest years its faced in a decades, summed up by his quote, "We did what we had to do to get to tomorrow." And now he's out, with his chosen successor, Bob King, voted in by a landslide to replace him.