The union is mulling to “negotiate smart” in order to safeguard jobs rather than hitting the carmakers where it hurts the most – trying to snatch some of the record profits they have no in North America.
Taking Ford as an example, which has been posting record profits in North America, the UAW’s strategy is not to jump at the opportunity of grabbing unreasonable amounts of cash increases during the contract discussions already under way. UAW Vice President Jimmy Settles comments the union is still aware of the company need to remain healthy for the years to come, which in turn would also benefit the employees on the long run. “What we do is negotiate smart. We don’t negotiate for today. We negotiate for the future,” Settles said in a recent interview. “We are not negotiating to try to put anybody out of business.” Last month Ford announced its North American pretax profit reached $2.6 billion for the second quarter of the year, the highest in the company’s history. General Motors took home $2.8 billion in the region during the April to July period and Fiat Chrysler announced it had doubled its profit to $1.4 billion.
The massive advancements arrived just as the UAW union officials were shaking hands with the three automakers to start the negotiations on the four-year contract that is set to expire on September 14. Their agenda includes salary bumps for the entry-level – the so-called Tier Two – workers that earn between $15.78 per hour and a maximum of $19.28 per hour. Naturally, the union would also like to see increases for the veteran workers that gain an average of $28 per hour.