Report: VW, UAW hold high-level talks on organizing Chattanooga

Filed under: Government/Legal, Hirings/Firings/Layoffs, Plants/Manufacturing, Volkswagen, UAW/Unions

UAW New President

Volkswagen and the United Auto Workers union are now one step closer to achieving a deal that would see VW’s plant in Chattanooga, TN become unionized. If it happens, it would be the first major victory in recent years for the UAW at a plant in the United States run by a foreign automaker. The UAW had formerly represented workers at VW’s Westmoreland plant in Pennsylvania, which first opened in 1978 and is now closed. At present, the only non-Domestic facility in the States that is unionized is the Mitsubishi plant in Normal, IL.

While neither side is officially commenting, Automotive News Europe, citing a story in German newspaper Handelsblatt, reports that a meeting was held last Friday between plant officials and Bob King, president of the UAW. Negotiations are reportedly underway that would see a so-called German-style works council formed. This council would allow both blue-collar and white-collar employees to elect representatives that would have a say in any significant plant discussion.

VW’s Chattanooga plant is the only facility the automaker operates in the whole world that isn’t represented by a union of some sort, and US labor law apparently requires that an outside body, such as the UAW, be involved in any such negotiations. Horst Neumann, the board member for human resources at VW, said in March that “The UAW would be a natural partner,” but that any deal would “depend on negotiations.” It would seem those negotiations are now underway in earnest.

VW, UAW hold high-level talks on organizing Chattanooga originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 03 Sep 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: VW, UAW hold high-level talks on organizing Chattanooga

Filed under: Government/Legal, Hirings/Firings/Layoffs, Plants/Manufacturing, Volkswagen, UAW/Unions

UAW New President

Volkswagen and the United Auto Workers union are now one step closer to achieving a deal that would see VW’s plant in Chattanooga, TN become unionized. If it happens, it would be the first major victory in recent years for the UAW at a plant in the United States run by a foreign automaker. The UAW had formerly represented workers at VW’s Westmoreland plant in Pennsylvania, which first opened in 1978 and is now closed. At present, the only non-Domestic facility in the States that is unionized is the Mitsubishi plant in Normal, IL.

While neither side is officially commenting, Automotive News Europe, citing a story in German newspaper Handelsblatt, reports that a meeting was held last Friday between plant officials and Bob King, president of the UAW. Negotiations are reportedly underway that would see a so-called German-style works council formed. This council would allow both blue-collar and white-collar employees to elect representatives that would have a say in any significant plant discussion.

VW’s Chattanooga plant is the only facility the automaker operates in the whole world that isn’t represented by a union of some sort, and US labor law apparently requires that an outside body, such as the UAW, be involved in any such negotiations. Horst Neumann, the board member for human resources at VW, said in March that “The UAW would be a natural partner,” but that any deal would “depend on negotiations.” It would seem those negotiations are now underway in earnest.

VW, UAW hold high-level talks on organizing Chattanooga originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 03 Sep 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: UAW poised to take notes from German labor unions?

Filed under: Europe, UAW/Unions

Bob King, UAW boss stands at podium with arms up

Automotive News Europe reports the United Auto Workers may borrow from German labor unions’ playbook. UAW President Bob King says that he’s seen the merit of the country’s labor system after having being appointed to the supervisory board of Opel last year. Germany’s so-called codetermination laws state that union leaders or employee representatives must receive as many as half of the seats on the supervisory boards that control an automaker’s major investments. Those boards can also hire or fire executives, and special work councils handle decisions on issues like work hours, benefits and work conditions.

King believes the system gives workers a stronger voice, and says the UAW is open to building a similar system in the US. That could be done through the organization’s current contracts with Chrysler, General Motors and Ford.

Shifting strategies could also help the UAW woo foreign-owned manufacturing plants in the US. King hopes the German labor union strategies will be seen as less combative than the union’s current policies.

UAW poised to take notes from German labor unions? originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 26 Jun 2013 08:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: UAW to vie for board seats at GM, Ford and Chrysler

Filed under: Chrysler, Ford, GM, UAW/Unions

United Auto Workers president Bob King

The United Auto Workers currently doesn’t have any representation on the boards of General Motors, Chrysler and Ford, but boss Bob King apparently wants to change that. TheDetroitBureau.com is reporting that King and co. would like to add union representation to boards, and the UAW chief is looking to Germany for inspiration. German automakers adhere to a co-determination law that requires automakers to have union representation on the Board of Supervisors of each company.

According to TDB, the UAW hasn’t had any representation on a board since Owen Bieber (no relation to Justin) served on the board of Chrysler in the 1980s. Bieber was allegedly voted off the board for voting against executive pay raises. The union has also has some indirect representation thanks to the Voluntary Employees’ Beneficiary Association. General Motors and Chrysler each have a VEBA representative, though the board spots aren’t affiliated with the UAW.

King hasn’t given many specifics about any plan to add union representation on company boards and he hasn’t outright called for The Detroit Three to agree to such an arrangement, but it looks like it may come sooner or later. The UAW contracts are up as of September, and there has been talk that King may want to negotiate with all three automakers at the same time instead of picking one target for pattern bargaining.

UAW to vie for board seats at GM, Ford and Chrysler originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 26 May 2011 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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UAW creates Global Organizing Institute to organize transplants

Filed under: Etc., Government/Legal, UAW/Unions

United Auto Workers president Bob King

It sounds ominous. The United Auto Workers union has imported interns from other automaking countries like China, Germany, South Korea and India to teach them the organizing techniques the union uses in the United States. The UAW’s Global Organizing Institute will give interns from other car building countries an indoctrination into the practices the union uses for collective bargaining, which they will then take back to their home countries and act as homegrown advocates for the UAW’s organizing efforts at non-unionized transplant facilities in the United States.

Bob King, UAW president, has a goal of bringing his union to one of the currently non-unionized transplant auto factories in the American south. With agents arguing for the UAW on the homefront and the union doing its best to get a transplant automaker on board, the union hopes it can not only help workers organize in other countries, but also help its own causes.

The UAW has asked for no interference from the leaders of those car companies and has threatened to use protests and other attention-grabbing practices should any automaker try to strongarm its workers into staying non-union. The interns will be given six weeks of training and field experience before they’re sent back to their home countries packing a new arsenal of skills.

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]

UAW creates Global Organizing Institute to organize transplants originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 24 Mar 2011 17:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: UAW boss calls Mulally’s salary “morally wrong”

Filed under: Ford, Earnings/Financials, UAW/Unions

UAW boss Bob King

After the miracle Ford CEO Alan Mulally and his One Ford team pulled off in turning around the company in the face of an industry meltdown, it might seem hard to argue about the amount of money the CEO makes. But that’s exactly what United Auto Workers President Bob King did in front of reporters at an event in Detroit, calling Mulally’s $54.5 million stock payment “morally wrong.”

CNN Money reports that King said that he liked Mulally, but added, “It creates problems for Ford in both the salaried work force and the hourly work force. It seems like one individual is getting all of the gain.”

So how and why would King bring up Mulally’s pay at a time when Ford just doled out $5,000 in profit sharing checks to the union? King’s statements come as the UAW prepares to negotiate with the Detroit 3 automakers on a new labor contract to replace the last deal that was ratified in 2007. Yeah, that may have something to do with it…

King wouldn’t go into specifics when asked what the UAW is looking for in the next contract, but did add that he’d like to get back some of the concessions the UAW agreed upon when the Detroit 3 were losing money by the bushel full. The UAW boss also said that he wasn’t looking for a contract that will make Detroit automakers uncompetitive.

[Source: CNN Money | Image: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images]

Report: UAW boss calls Mulally’s salary “morally wrong” originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 23 Mar 2011 18:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Chrysler worker files sexual harassment lawsuit against UAW

Filed under: Etc., Government/Legal, Hirings/Firings/Layoffs, Chrysler, UAW/Unions

UAW LogoJanet Burney and Pat Byers may have been your average lovebirds back in 2007 when they started dating. Fast-forward a few years to March 2010, however, and the two had ended their relationship. Nothing unusual there, except that Janet was an autoworker for Chrysler and Pat is a union official for the United Auto Workers. Correction: We should say “was a worker,” because after their relationship ended, Burney alleges she was fired… and now she’s suing.

According to The Detroit News, when the two started dating, Burney was given a new position and her hourly wage rose from $30 per hour up to $40.35 per hour. Once they split up, a security guard arrived in Burney’s office with two boxes she could use to pack up her stuff and head out.

Janet Burney has filed a suit claiming sexual harrassment, gender discrimination and retaliation. She is looking to recoup lost wages and benefits, as well as emotional damages.

[Source: The Detroit News]

Report: Chrysler worker files sexual harassment lawsuit against UAW originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 17 Feb 2011 14:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: UAW’s King threatens to expose carmakers who avoid unions as “human rights violators”

Bob King

United Auto Workers president Bob King wants to reverse the UAW’s eroding course, and one of the best ways to strengthen its position is through increased membership. The Detroit News reports that King and company are looking to bring the power of one to the nearest transplant automaker producing vehicles in the U.S. King says that he wants foreign automakers to know that the UAW has learned from past mistakes and that the rank and file is not “the evil empire.” Good to know, right? Well…

After King informed the transplants that the dark side has no power over the UAW, he then went on to tell automaker management at Toyota and Honda that efforts to block the right to fair bargaining will be branded “human rights violators.” King reportedly went on to accuse some transplants of spending millions to keep unions out of plants, adding “I would not want to be a company that was branded as a human rights violator.” And what happens if the UAW feels the automakers are continuing to block workers’ rights to vote for or against the right to organize? King says the next step is to stage global protests that could cost automakers “hundreds of millions of dollars” to combat.

[Source: Detroit News | Image: Paul Sancya/AP]

Report: UAW’s King threatens to expose carmakers who avoid unions as “human rights violators” originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 13 Jan 2011 16:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Detroit 3 in discussions with UAW on how to share benefits of “amazing turnaround”?

Filed under: Chrysler, Ford, GM, Earnings/Financials, UAW/Unions

Bob King, UAW president

It’s no secret that some members of the United Auto Workers aren’t thrilled about the concessions that the union made during bankruptcy negotiations with both General Motors and Chrysler. Now that both of those automakers are back on their feet, the UAW wants a slice of their new-found prosperity. According to Bloomberg, UAW President Bob King believes that his members’ sacrifices helped keep GM and Chrysler afloat, and now they deserve to share in the fruits of those concessions. King said that UAW members each gave up between $7,000 and $30,000 each as part of negotiations since 2005, and the union gave up wage increases for cost of living, surrendered raises and ditched bonuses to keep the Big Three afloat during the darker days of 2009.

The UAW is expected to negotiate new contracts with Ford, GM and Chrysler early this year before they expire in September, and all three automakers are being tight-lipped about how additional compensation could factor into those negotiations. King has also been jockeying for positions on the executive boards of the domestic automakers in an attempt to better represent the union’s needs.

[Source: Bloomberg | Image: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images]

Detroit 3 in discussions with UAW on how to share benefits of “amazing turnaround”? originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 05 Jan 2011 15:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: UAW may seek board seats at Chrysler, Ford and GM

Filed under: UAW/Unions

Bob King, UAW President

Automotive News
is reporting that the United Auto Workers has set its sights on securing a position on the executive board of each domestic automaker. The move would mirror similar relationships between labor unions and German automakers in Europe, and UAW President Bob King says that his organization has broached the subject with the Big Three in the past. Moving forward, having a slot on each of the automakers ruling boards is something that the UAW will continue to push. King says that such a relationship would allow the UAW to preserve current jobs while advocating for the creation of new employment opportunities.

That’s all well and good, but as MT points out, there could be issues with plopping UAW representatives on the boards of America’s automakers. The biggest of those is that whoever the union chose to represent the organization would be facing large conflicts of interest when it came time to vote on labor decisions, though other issues would likely arise as well.

[Sources: Automotive News – sub. req. | Image: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images]

Report: UAW may seek board seats at Chrysler, Ford and GM originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 04 Jan 2011 16:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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