US: the UAW faces big challenge to increase wages image

UAW President Dennis Williams has openly stated that after going around almost a decade with the same base wage, longtime autoworkers now deserve a salary increase.

But he swiftly and niftily acknowledged there would be huge obstacles ahead, as he further said the UAW union understands that the Detroit Three will need help in keeping the wage strategy up to par with automakers operating factories in the South, without union implication. “We have to keep in mind that we want to keep the companies competitive,” Williams said during a year-end press conference last week. The UAW is gearing up for the upcoming negotiations with General Motors, Ford and Chrysler, as the current union contracts are set to expire this coming September.

According to Dave Cole, chairman emeritus of the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the automakers are currently satisfied with the flexibility of improved profit-sharing negotiated with the UAW during the last round of talks. They would prefer not to see their fixed labor costs rising because of better paychecks – while workers are rewarded when the automakers sees increased profits and in turn the latter are also protected in times of financial trouble.

Via Automotive News