7/15/2019

UAW Launches Labor Talks

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The United Auto Workers union formally kicked off labor negotiations today for four-year labor contracts covering some 140,000 hourly workers at Big Three U.S. auto plants.

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The United Auto Workers union formally kicked off labor negotiations today for four-year labor contracts covering some 140,000 hourly workers at Big Three U.S. auto plants.

Today’s handshakes at Ford will be followed by similar ceremonies tomorrow at General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Current agreements with the three companies will expire in mid-September.

UAW President Gary Jones says the union’s aim will be to “halt that race to the bottom” by stemming job losses, repatriating production to the U.S., protecting wages and limiting healthcare costs to its members. He has promised a significantly stronger and more vocal union stance against plant closures.

Analysts say the UAW’s goals will be tough to achieve in a U.S. market where sales are slowing and carmakers face the rising costs of developing connected, self-driving and electrification technologies.

The UAW also hopes to regain some of its clout after watching its membership shrink from 1.5 million workers in the late 1970s to roughly 400,000 today. The union has been unsuccessful in organizing any of the 18 major foreign-owned assembly plants operating across the South.