US: automakers looking to set the trend for UAW contract image

General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles are now deeply entrenched in the negotiations that would deliver a new four-year contract to the 141,000 unionized workers in the US.

The current contract is set to expire on September 14 and the anxious employees had to go through the Labor Day weekend without knowing if their queries would be answered or which of the three Detroit Big would set the pace for the upcoming four-year contract. UAW President Dennis Williams is set to go on stage later on Monday for the regular Labor Day speech. The occasion will mark the UAW’s 80th anniversary but it appears there would be no word on the automaker that would take pole position in the negotiations. Usually, the lead carmaker has the upper hand as it negotiates a master deal with the UAW that the other two usually match.

But Williams and the rest of union officials need to make a decision soon. The contract that covers 141,000 unionized workers will run bust on September 14 and as the Labor Day holiday is very late this year there would be little time until the deadline. Any of the three automakers will need to ink that master deal before the expiration date comes and the other two would traditionally have the contracts extended in order to settle their own negotiations. Each company wants to take the pole position because it’s easier to nail some of their own terms and this year at all three automakers the workers have the right to strike if they don’t like the terms.