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UAW Readying Contract Demands in Detroit

Two-tier wages, raise likely to top discussion list.

by on Mar.24, 2015

UAW President Dennis Williams wants a pay increase for hourly workers in the next union contract.

The United Auto Workers union is meeting this week in Detroit with its local leaders to set its agenda for future bargaining with General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler.

Among the many issues they are expected to broach during talks with automakers this year include the elimination of the two-tier wage system as well as a raise for employees. The two-tier wage system has been an effective tool to help some makers reduce their labor costs.

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However, its caused resentment among many workers and even top executives at the car companies have expressed reservations about retaining the set up. (more…)

Cost of Owning and Operating a Car Dips Slightly

Lower gas prices get most of the credit.

by on May.12, 2014


It helps to pay less at the pump - a major reason why overall operating costs have declined, says AAA.


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At a time when prices seem to be going up for almost everything, here’s a pleasant surprise: the cost of owning and operating a car actually is expected to be down a bit this year, or so shows a new study by the AAA.


Canadian Autoworkers Join New Union

CAW merges into new Unifor.

by on Sep.03, 2013

Unifor Pres. Jerry Dias comes from the communications side of the new union - with no experience in the automotive world.

This story has been updated to reflect the prior automotive experience of new Unifor Pres. Dias.

The Canadian Auto Workers Union is gone, having completed a merger with the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada to create a new union that will go by the name Unifor.

As part of the merger, CAW national president Ken Lewenza, a veteran of negotiations with Detroit’s automakers, and CEP president Dave Coles opted to step aside for new leadership team. Unifor’s new president, Jerry Dias, who was installed during a convention in Toronto,was one of Lewenza’s administrative assistant at the CAW, and has participated in negotiations with Detroit’s automakers.

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He’ll have to face off with automakers who have increasingly complained about rising labor costs in Canada – and who have been threatening to transfer work and jobs back to the U.S. or even Mexico.

Dias, however, said during his acceptance speech that organizing will be one of the new union’s top priorities. The old CAW had organizing efforts in place for several months at plants in Ontario operated by Toyota and Honda. The new union boss said he would uphold Unifor’s promise to dedicate 10% of its revenues to organizing workplaces and adding new members.


IRS Increases Automotive Mileage Allowance

Big jump reflects rising fuel prices.

by on Jun.27, 2011

At least you'll be getting a bigger deduction.

With gasoline prices touching record highs, the Internal Revenue Service is making a mid-year adjustment in the mileage deduction rate that could provide some much-needed relief for taxpayers who write off some of their automotive expenses.

The change will cover expenses accrued for the July-December half of the 2011 tax year.   A mid-year change is rare and reflects the huge jump in gasoline prices this year.

Taxpayers may use the optional standard rates to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business and other purposes. The rate will increase to 55.5 cents a mile for all business miles driven from July 1, 2011, through Dec. 31, 2011. This is an increase of 4.5 cents from the 51 cent rate in effect for the first six months of 2011.

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The IRS made this special adjustment for the final months of 2011 because of the big jump in gasoline prices this year. The IRS normally updates the mileage rates once a year in the fall for the next calendar year.