UAW to vie for board seats at GM, Ford and Chrysler

The United Auto Workers currently doesn't have any representation on the boards of General Motors, Chrysler and Ford, but boss Bob King apparently wants to change that. is reporting that King and co. would like to add union representation to boards, and the UAW chief is looking to Germany for inspiration. German automakers adhere to a co-determination law that requires automakers to have union representation on the Board of Supervisors of each company.

According to TDB, the UAW hasn't had any representation on a board since Owen Bieber (no relation to Justin) served on the board of Chrysler in the 1980s. Bieber was allegedly voted off the board for voting against executive pay raises. The union has also has some indirect representation thanks to the Voluntary Employees' Beneficiary Association. General Motors and Chrysler each have a VEBA representative, though the board spots aren't affiliated with the UAW.

King hasn't given many specifics about any plan to add union representation on company boards and he hasn't outright called for The Detroit Three to agree to such an arrangement, but it looks like it may come sooner or later. The UAW contracts are up as of September, and there has been talk that King may want to negotiate with all three automakers at the same time instead of picking one target for pattern bargaining.

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