Alfred S. Warren Jr., former General Motors vice president of industrial relations, died at his home in Grosse Pointe on Friday.
Warren joined GM in 1955 as a teacher and conference leader at the General Motors Institute in Flint. Through the 1960s and 1970s, he managed manufacturing plants in Flint; Warren, Ohio; Buffalo; Cleveland, and St. Louis.
Promoted in 1980 to vice president for industrial relations, Warren negotiated labor contracts with the UAW in 1982, 1984, 1987 and 1990. Working with then-UAW Vice President Don Ephlin, he helped establish the first UAW-GM Center for Human Resources.
Warren, Ephlin and others were instrumental in developing Saturn in the 1980s as a new approach to labor-management cooperation. The Saturn plant in Spring Hill, Tenn., was GM’s attempt to stem the growing dominance of Japanese manufacturers in the U.S. auto market.
During the UAW contract talks of 1984, Warren agreed to create an “employee-development bank” that would help train or find jobs for senior UAW employees who would “otherwise be permanently laid off” because of better technology or higher productivity.
The concept, later known as the Jobs Bank, was cited as a cause for driving GM’s costs higher because the program encouraged the company to pay people who weren’t building vehicles or kept plants producing more cars than American consumers could buy.
His wife of 62 years, Jane Stepp Warren, died in December. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Oct. 23 at Grosse Pointe Memorial Church, 16 Lake Shore Drive, Grosse Pointe Farms.
) - Tuesday, October 15th, 2013 - filed under General Motors
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