Posts tagged pensions
Video: This is just bailing out the pension plans: Diana Furchtgott-Roth
November 28, 2023 // How come the Teamster bosses put enough money in the union bosses" pension plan, but the plan for their worker members went bankrupt? Former Labor Department chief economist Diana Furchtgott-Roth discusses the report that teamsters pension allegedly took $127M from U.S. taxpayers for nearly 3,500 dead people on ‘The Evening Edit.’
‘Battle royale’: Tesla and anti-union Musk make enticing targets for UAW’s next push
November 5, 2023 // Some current UAW members are already fired up to take on Tesla. “Go out west to California? Absolutely, I would go,” said John Jake Kincaid, a Stellantis employee in Michigan. “Show them our strength.” Still, fighting for a contract at companies with established relationships with union workers is a far different effort than starting from scratch. Several workers who were key to Tesla’s earlier union effort are no longer at the company. The Fremont plant’s history with the UAW predates the electric vehicle maker. For about 25 years, Toyota and GM operated the facility together in an unusual joint venture. It was a union shop. In 2009, GM pulled out of the partnership as part of its bankruptcy proceedings and in 2010 Toyota shut the operation down, throwing 4,700 people out of work. A month later, Tesla bought the sprawling 5.3 million square foot factory; the union didn’t come with the purchase.
UAW and Stellantis reach tentative contract deal as union adds strike at Tennessee GM factory
October 29, 2023 // Under the deal, the union said it saved jobs in Belvidere as well at an engine plant in Trenton, Michigan, and a machining factory in Toledo, Ohio. “We’ve done the impossible. We have moved mountains. We have reopened an assembly plant that was closed,” Fain said. The deal includes a commitment by Stellantis to build a new midsize truck at its factory in Belvidere, Illinois, that was slated to be closed. About 1,200 workers will be hired back, plus another 1,000 workers will be added for a new electric vehicle battery plant, the union said. “We're bringing back both combustion vehicles and electric vehicle jobs to Belvidere,” Fain said.
Unions push to represent more workers, but organized labor’s share of jobs is declining
October 24, 2023 // For all the sound and fury on the labor front, its net effect is unknown. Unions’ overall share of the workforce was 10.1% in 2022 and declining, about half the rate of 1983, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That percentage is swelled by union predominance in government work. In the private sector, the share of union jobs was 6% in 2022. The number of union members overall has grown but not as fast as jobs in the rest of the economy. “It takes a lot of new members to raise the union density,” said Robert Bruno, a professor of labor and employment relations at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
Workers at Mack Trucks set to strike after rejecting tentative contract deal
October 9, 2023 // Union workers at Mack Trucks have voted down a tentative five-year contract agreement reached with the company and plan to strike at 7 a.m. Monday, the United Auto Workers union says. Union President Shawn Fain said in a letter to Mack parent company Volvo Trucks that 73% of workers voted against the deal in results counted on Sunday. The UAW represents about 4,000 Mack workers in three states. Union leaders had reached a tentative agreement on the deal on Oct. 1. The deal included a 19% pay raise over the life of the contract with 10% upon ratification. There also was a $3,500 ratification bonus, no increase in weekly health care contributions, increased annual lump sum payments for retirees and a $1,000 annual 401(k) lump sum to offset health care costs for employees who don’t get health insurance after retirement. Fain said in his letter to Volvo Trucks’ head of labor relations that employees working early Monday will exit the factories after performing tasks needed to prevent damage to company equipment.
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.
Opinion: Bernie Sanders to Big 3 CEOs: “It is time for you to end your greed.”
September 19, 2023 // Bernie Sanders: "the average American worker is worse off today than he or she was 50 years ago."
‘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.”
UAW workers overwhelmingly vote to authorize strikes at GM, Ford, Stellantis
August 25, 2023 // "The Big Three is our strike target. And whether or not there's a strike — it's up to Ford, General Motors and Stellantis, because they know what our priorities are. We've been clear," Fain has said. Those priorities are far richer than during prior contract negotiations between the two sides. The union's demands include a 46% wage increase, restoration of traditional pensions, cost-of-living increases, reducing the workweek to 32 hours from 40 and increasing retiree benefits. The UAW said 98% of hourly workers and 99% of salaried workers at Ford voted in favor of the strike authorization. GM passed by 96%, while the action was approved at Stellantis by 95%. Voter turnout and how many votes still needed to be counted was not immediately available.
Ford union hosts strike authorization vote at Louisville Assembly and Kentucky Truck Plant
August 23, 2023 // Ford Motor Co., which operates both the Louisville Assembly Plant, LAP, and the Kentucky Truck Plant, KTP, in Louisville is facing a strike authorization vote from union members at UAW Local 862 as national UAW negotiations continue ahead of a nationwide contract expiration on Sept. 14. UAW Local 862 represents roughly 12,000 rank and file workers at both LAP and KTP. The LAP and KTP union halls were open for members to cast their strike votes from 11:30 a.m. Monday to 11:30 p.m. Tuesday. According to a UAW Local 862 News Letter [sic], polling hours were increased from previous strike authorization votes with the hope of allowing more members an opportunity to vote. "Typically, elections have very low turnouts ... but strike authorization votes typically have a much different, stronger turnout, because the strike authorization affects every single member," Sheckles said.