Posts tagged Detroit

    Electric vehicle jobs are booming in the anti-union South. UAW is worried

    September 22, 2023 // “The auto industry’s move south hangs over these talks because now only a minority of workers are in unionized assembly plants,” said Stephen Silvia, a professor at American University and author of “The UAW’s Southern Gamble: Organizing Workers at Foreign-Owned Vehicle Plants.” While all of the Big Three’s plants are unionized, not a single plant in the South is unionized. Automakers’ transition to electric vehicles is accelerating these regional trends. Ford and GM are building battery plants below the Mason-Dixon Line, where states have laws that make unionization much harder than in the traditional working-class bastions of the Midwest. UAW leaders and union supporters worry the shift will lower compensation and cut out unions from the auto industry’s future, and they are seeking to address these concerns in talks with the Big Three.

    What plants could be targeted next for a strike by the UAW?

    September 20, 2023 // David Zoia, an auto expert with Ward's Automotive, believes the next group of plants could include where mid-size SUVs are made. "The GM plant in Lansing where they make the Traverse and Cadillacs, Ford Chicago where they make the Explorer and possibly the Jefferson Assembly in Detroit where they make the Grand Cherokee," Zoia said.

    Biden Flip-Flops On Decision To Send Officials To Meet With Striking Auto Workers

    September 20, 2023 // President Joe Biden announced last week that his administration would be sending White House senior advisor Gene Sperling and acting Labor Secretary Julie Su to Detroit to help resolve the UAW strike. The trip was canceled after the White House and the UAW decided it was best for the parties to speak virtually using the video-call platform Zoom, the White House told NBC News on Tuesday. Though the officials will not travel to Detroit this week, the White House is still exploring possible options to send Sperling and Su at a following date, though no plans have officially been made, NBC News reported.

    UAW strike Day 4: GM threatens to send 2,000 workers home, Ford cuts 600 jobs

    September 18, 2023 // Normally companies give partial pay to workers when a plant is idled. But because in this case it's due to a strike, the companies say there is no such compensation. General Motors said in a statement, "We are working under an expired agreement at Fairfax. Unfortunately, there are no provisions that allow for company-provided SUB-pay in this circumstance." Fain accused the companies of choosing temporary layoffs in an effort to intimidate workers. The UAW says it will make sure that affected workers don't go without an income.

    As Democrats back auto workers, GOP spots a divide over EVs

    September 18, 2023 // The administration has been doling out funding provided by the 2021 infrastructure law for electric vehicle charging infrastructure and giving tax credits for electric vehicle buyers enacted in a 2022 reconciliation bill. Autoworkers see the push to electric vehicles as resulting in jobs in non-union factories in the U.S. and abroad, a contradiction of Biden’s promises to boost domestic manufacturing. The workers are also disgruntled about the EPA’s proposed rule on tailpipe emissions. The walkout began after the carmakers’ offers failed to meet the UAW’s demands for a double-digit wage increase over four years, reinstatement of cost-of-living pay increases, and more paid time off.

    The UAW Might Drive the Big Three off a Cliff

    September 14, 2023 // Automakers face this reality every day. General Motors is losing money on every electric vehicle, a situation that it hopes to change by 2025, though the path is far from certain. Ford’s EV line is expected to lose $4.5 billion this year, up nearly 50 percent over last year. Stellantis’s CEO has said the costs of the EV transition are “beyond the limits,” meaning the industry can’t continue down this road without making EVs prohibitively expensive.

    Biden’s Union Problems Are a Gift to Trump

    September 8, 2023 // Former President Donald Trump, who won Michigan by just under 11,000 votes in one of the biggest political upsets of the 2016 election, weighed in on the possibility of a strike over the Labor Day weekend, referring to Fain as a "respected" union head and vowing to stop the "madness" of electric vehicles. A labor action from UAW is likely to open up an opportunity for Trump to seize one of Michigan's most critical counties. Recent polls show that Biden is in a statistical dead heat against Trump. The Democrat is leading by just one percentage point, according to RealClearPolitics' polling averages. "Fain is in no hurry to endorse President Biden when a significant number of UAW members supported former President Trump in previous elections," Arthur Wheaton, the director of Labor Studies at Cornell University, told Newsweek. "Why risk fractures in union solidarity during a crucial bargaining period. No upside to endorsing now and plenty of potential downside in an extremely difficult bargaining time at the Detroit Three." Political consultant Jay Towsend said that while a UAW strike would be unlikely to damage Biden's image as a union supporter, the economic impact and turmoil that a labor action could cause would give his re-election campaign "a headache it does not need, especially in rust-belt states he must win."

    From Strikes to New Union Contracts, Labor Day’s Organizing Roots Are Especially Strong Across the Country This Year

    September 5, 2023 // The first U.S. Labor Day celebration took place in New York City on Sept. 5, 1882. Some 10,000 workers marched in a parade organized by the Central Labor Union and the Knights of Labor. A handful of cities and states began to adopt laws recognizing Labor Day in the years that followed, yet it took more than a decade before President Grover Cleveland signed a congressional act in 1894 establishing the first Monday of September as a legal holiday.

    Labor leader Shuler touts union support as possible auto strikes loom

    September 1, 2023 // Unions would support President Joe Biden in his reelection campaign next year, Shuler said, praising the president’s work to deliver federal infrastructure spending. Biden campaigned on infrastructure improvements and supported the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure law Congress passed in 2021. The law supports millions of jobs, she said, not only in construction and transportation but in the service industry as well. Every job created by the federal spending should be a union position, Shuler said.

    ‘I have a pension; they don’t’: Why United Auto Workers are fighting to end a two-tier system for wages and benefits

    August 30, 2023 // U.S. automakers over the years have justified tiering as a way to stay competitive because of globalization, Lichtenstein said. “Whether the automakers are doing well [financially] or not, they’ll say the competition, like Toyota, will eat our cake.” But “across the board, the rank-and-file hated [tiering],” said Marick Masters, a business professor at Wayne State University in Detroit. “It was a sore point from Day 1. They viewed it as discriminatory that people were doing same job and getting paid substantially less, and that [some workers were] treated as second-class citizens.”