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UAW Withdraws Appeal of VW Chattanooga Plant Vote

Major setback for union’s Southern organizing drive.

by on Apr.22, 2014

UAW President Bob King.

The United Auto Workers Union has withdrawn its objections to the results of the in February’s representation election at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tenn.

The union had narrowly lost a vote it fully expected to win and blamed the defeat on political interference by Republicans in Tennessee.  Over the years, the UAW has lost a series of representation elections in the Southern United States, where  aversion to unions is strong, so the defeat in Chattanooga came as a major setback to its so far unsuccessful bid to organize foreign-owned, so-called transplant, assembly lines.

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The union decision to withdraw  its protest to the National Labor Relations Board opens the door  for the UAW to call for another election at the Chattanooga plant early next year. The union made it plain in its statement that it will continue its campaign to bring VW workers in Chattanooga into the UAW.

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UAW Names Next President

Appointment of Dennis Williams comes amidst leadership shake-up.

by on Nov.08, 2013

Dennis Williams is expected to become the next president of the United Auto Workers Union.

Local union leaders have selected Dennis Williams, the union’s current secretary-treasurer, as the United Auto Workers Union’s next president amidst what is expected to be a substantial change in the union’s top leadership.

Under the arcane procedures used to select the union’s top officers, the UAW’s administrative leaders picked the 58-year-old Williams as their official nominee to succeed current president, Bob King, at the union’s constitutional convention next June in Detroit.

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The public announcement followed a caucus meeting in Dearborn.  Off-the-record discussions with union officials, both active and retired, had indicated that Williams was the overwhelming favorite to succeed King. “You hear lots of things but the decision already been made,” said one knowledgeable insider before the caucus convened.

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Mississippi Caught Up In Nissan-UAW Battle

UAW claims Nissan not living up to promises made to state for aid.

by on Jun.04, 2013

Nissan is not living up to its promises with the Canton, Miss. plant claims the UAW.

The state of Mississippi has found itself caught up in the increasingly contentious dispute between Nissan and the United Autoworkers Union.

The state improperly offered millions in aid to entice Nissan to build its big factory in Canton, Miss., while the maker is allegedly failing to meet the promises it made in return for a reported $1.33 billion in aid, according to a report by a pro-union, Washington-based think tank.

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Nissan and its supporters, however, dispute that claim as just another frantic effort by the UAW to prop up a faltering drive to organize the Canton plant’s workers. Despite an organizing drive that has the backing of Southern civil rights groups, the union has not called for an election, suggesting it is having a tougher go than it expected.

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Lots on the Line as GM Set to Begin Contract Talks with UAW

Maker wants more givebacks, workers want concessions restored. Is a battle brewing?

by on Jul.22, 2011

UAW Pres. Bob King doesn't think GM's 2-tier pay structure offers new employees a living wage.

The United Auto Workers Union is set to begin contract negotiations with General Motors Corp. Chrysler Group and Ford Motor in the coming days and, as always, the negotiations with the GM will once again serve as the main event .

After all, Ford hasn’t had a serious labor disruption since Gerald Ford occupied the White House. Even if the talks at Ford turn contentious — and they might — the company still has the option of bringing in executive chairman Bill Ford to smooth over any rough edges. Bill Ford is widely respected inside and has a well-founded reputation for being more than fair with union members.

At Chrysler union leaders and the rank-and-file have been thoroughly charmed by Sergio Marchionne, who has gone out of his way in the past two years to court the UAW. The union leadership at Chrysler has reciprocated, giving Marchionne wide latitude even though, up until this week, they were the technical owners of the company.

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But at GM, the long legacy of bitter fights and mistrust between labor and management still overshadows the negotiations. Both union leaders and GM’s management have made an effort to move on and give the company the equivalent of a post-bankruptcy fresh start.  Nonetheless, labor relations at GM are very much a work in progress.

And that could bring some serious problems as the talks head to a September deadline — even though the terms of GM’s 2009 government bailout bar both a worker strike and management lockout.

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Detroit Adding More Jobs, Says UAW’s Gettelfinger

Union boss delivers strong praise for domestic makers.

by on May.24, 2010

UAW President Ron Gettelfinger is taking a more proactive role in dealing with the Detroit Three.

United Auto Workers Union President Ron Gettelfinger sees more new jobs in the U.S. auto industry as the nation begins its slow economic recovery and praises the current Chief Executives of the Domestic car and truck manufacturers.

Speaking to the Birmingham Senior Mens Club the outgoing head of the UAW said the Big Three are focused on product and committed to growing manufacturing in America.  His comments were surprisingly upbeat and positive about industry management – a sharp contrast with the many past rebukes delivered by the union.

Regarding the domestic manufacturers, Gettelfinger called the Ford Motor Company team assembled by Chairman Bill Ford and President and CEO Allen Mullaly “second to none.”

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Gettelfinger said General Motors CEO Ed Whittaker is progressive and committed to growth in the US.  He cited the decision to build the Chevrolet Volt, an extended-range eletric vehicle, and the establishment of a factory to build batteries in Michigan as a major plus for the state and the nation.

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