A regional UAW official who has been nominated to an executive role with the union said the UAW wants to eliminate the two-tier wage system that initially pays newer autoworkers about half the hourly wages of veteran workers.
Norwood Jewell, nominated to fill the vice president roles for the union’s General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC departments when UAW leadership changes next year following its convention, called the wage discrepancy a “financial unfortunate” made during tough times.
“The international executive board hates two-tier, ” said Jewell, director of UAW Region 1-C.
Jewell said the UAW wants to eliminate the separate wage scales over time, but first needs to organize autoworkers in the South. Those workers primarily work for foreign automakers.
“If we don’t organize them to bring them up to our standard, we’re never going be able to totally eliminate the second tier,” he said.
GM has used two-tier wages since 2007 to help make investments and add jobs. About 16 percent of GM’s about 51,000 hourly workers are considered entry-level. Their pay starts at less than $16 an hour and over time grows to more than $19 an hour.