On Thursday, the United Auto Workers chose as their new president Dennis Williams, which has now already taken charge and warned the US automakers that next year’s negotiations would have “no more concessions.”
The union could be in a powerful position next year, as the automotive market in the US looks to have fully recovered from the 2008-2009 economic crisis and although the new president supports the carmaker’s strive to reach a healthy financial position, he contends that when it comes to further concessions, “enough is enough.”
“I want to work closely with the companies as long as it doesn’t hurt our members,” said Williams. “I do not like confrontation, but I’m not afraid of confrontation. When companies are being successful, don’t come to us and ask for ridiculous things,” he added.
The veteran UAW members working for the big three US automakers have gone now for almost a decade without a pay raise, while during the economic downturn the union had to agree to the introduction and later expansion of a two-tiered wage structure. Williams, 61, was elected by the delegates with overwhelming majority and said that he only wants to serve his four-year term as a president – then pass on the power and responsibility to a worthy successor.