and the United Auto Workers
are apparently getting along so well in current contract negotiations that the union reportedly contemplated skipping a scheduled vote for strike authorization altogether. As you may have guessed, that authorization is required before the UAW
can order its members to strike – one of the more effective bartering chips in the organization's arsenal. But Gary Walkowitz, a union committeeman at the Ford
Rouge plant, is urging workers to use the threat of strike to help the UAW
gain back concessions that the union made during the tough economic period of just a few years ago.
UAW President Bob King
has already alluded to the fact that his organization may have to settle for profit-sharing agreements instead of wage increases during this round of talks. Walkowitz, meanwhile, says that he'll wait to read exactly how the new agreement is phrased before deciding whether or not a strike is prudent.
Despite how well negotiations are progressing, union workers at Ford have agreed to vote on the strike authorization. Conversely, workers at Chrysler
and General Motors
have both taken the possibility of a strike off the table.