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UAW talks ….. Is GM listening?

An alert from the UAW regarding ongoing talks with the three big automakers. 59-impala-1.jpgAlthough the UAW negotiates with all three automakers, one company is usually selected as the ‘focus company.’ In this case, it’s GM – which will then be the strike target if it comes to that. The article here at the NYT also discusses health benefits and the dilemma some workers are facing, especially those who have retired.2007chevroletsilverado.jpg

Here’s the letter from UAW President Ron Gettelfinger:

UAW members enter the 2007 auto talks knowing that our willingness to address critical issues in our industry has helped secure a better future for our active and retired members and for the communities where we work and live. We also know the actions taken by our union have saved our employers billions of dollars, helping to position these companies to be more competitive.

There’s more at the UAW site. It’s a smart letter. Gettelfinger points out the new vehicle cost to labor costs comparison, and the highlights productivity of “manufacturing workers” employed in auto plants and the added benefit to the company per hour, which surpasses a worker’s earnings and benefits.

There were a couple of interesting comments in light of talks continuing past the midnight deadline with the UAW in Lordstown, Ohio (outside of Youngstown) from the AP.

Paul Taylor, chief economist for the National Automobile Dealers Association -“I see some posturing to let them know a strike is still a tool that can be used, but it’s like bleeding both patients in the negotiations with leeches,” he said. “It would bleed both sides to death.”

Catherine Madden, an auto manufacturing analyst with Global Insight, said GM has done a good job of controlling its inventory this year compared to past years. She fears a strike would hurt the company’s rollout of 2008 model year vehicles, particularly the Chevrolet Malibu sedan.

“We’re forecasting a very bleak year for 2008, with no growth,” she said. “A strike could push things in deeper and exacerbate what’s already going to be a difficult year.”


One Response

  1. I linked to your blog as a source for our discussion.

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