There May Be A Big Union Fight Brewing In American Auto
The auto industry is on the rise again and workers are trying to get in on the action by threatening with strikes as early as this weekend if they don’t get better agreements.
September saw a sharp increase in sales for the major car makers who have struggled in the aftermath of the financial crisis in 2008. Workers are now demanding a replacement to the initial concessions set up by The United Auto Workers (UAW) during the crisis to help out companies such Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford Motors and General Motors.
Fiat released a sales report that showed a 1 percent increase in sales compared to the same time last year.
Fiat union members voted no to a labor agreement proposed by the company for the first time in 30 years Thursday. The company has a concession that allows for a two-tier system, which, according to The Wall Street Journal, may give some assembly staff substantially less pay than others for same work. The same two-tier system exists to a lesser extent at GM and Ford.
Ford plants in Missouri face similar problems in their negotiations for a new labor agreement.
“We’ve come of a record number of new product launches last year and to the first half of this year,” Ford Sales Analyst Erich Merkle said in a statement. “Then those new products are really taking hold in the market place, we were up 23 percent overall, and 23 percent at retail which was our best September retail performance since 2004.”
UAW cancelled a contract extension with Ford Tuesday amid troubled labor negotiations. The union has already sent out strike assistance information and a picket line schedule for a strike that may come as early as this weekend, the local affiliate for ABC reports.
General Motors workers in Missouri are following suit by also threatening a walkout this weekend.
“Staying focused on core values like initial quality, sales and service satisfaction, cost of ownership, dependability and advanced technology is paying off in higher sales and share, stronger transaction prices and lower incentives,” Kurt McNeil, vice president of Sales Operations, said in a statement. “Unlike our competitors, we did not need to rely on higher incentives to grow our business.”
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