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Corker Warns Against Silencing Politicians

NLRB investigating UAW claims about inappropriate influence.

by on Feb.27, 2014

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker said the NLRB could set a bad precedent if it finds in favor the UAW's objection to the election results at Volkwagen's Chattanooga, Tenn. plant.

While some feel that U.S. Sen. Bob Corker was less than truthful when he said that Volkswagen would build a new SUV at its plant in Tennessee if workers voted against UAW representation there, he may never have been more honest today.

“I probably am ‘Public Enemy No. 1′ to the UAW,” Corker (R-Tenn.) told reporters at a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor this morning. “There’s no doubt there is some pent up anger towards me.”

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VW workers at the plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., that builds the Passat voted 712 to 626 to reject the UAW representation in creating a German-style works council. (more…)

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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Volkswagen Forges Deal With Union

Maker raises wages for IG Metall workers in Germany.

by on May.28, 2013

Volkswagen reached agreement on a new contract with its primary union, IG Metall.

Volkswagen AG agreed to a new labor contract with its principal German labor union, IG Metall, to raise wages by 5.7% over 20 months.

VW will increase base pay of its German workers by 3.4% as of Sept. 1, and another 2.2% as of July 1, 2014, the Wolfsburg, Germany-based maker said. In addition, the company will make a one-time payment of €300 to the company pension plan.

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Dr. Horst Neumann, Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft Board of Management Member for Human Resources, noted, “Employees are receiving a good pay increase. In addition, Volkswagen is improving company pension arrangements for its workforce, particularly with reference to young employees.

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The Race to the Bottom Continues

Offshore makers are demanding -- and getting -- more and more concessions from workers.

by on Mar.11, 2009

Better a pay cut than no pay at all says the union.

Better a cut than no pay at all says the union.

It’s not just the beleaguered members of the United Auto Workers union who are granting concessions to automakers in desperate, perhaps futile, attempts to save their jobs as the Great Recession careens toward depression. Toyota workers in the United Kingdom have just agreed to a 10% cut in wages on the recommendation of their union, as Toyota scaled back production 10%. It was just the latest in a series of economizing steps that Toyota is undertaking globally.

Peter Tsouvallaris, the Unite the Union representative in the United Kingdom said:  “Unite’s priority is to secure jobs and give our members a fighting chance of coming through this economic turmoil with their jobs and livelihoods intact. Any decision to cut wages and working time is never taken lightly, but the agreement we have reached with Toyota will ensure none of our members’ benefits are eroded and that these skilled workers will remain in place and at work ready for when the upturn comes.”

The agreement, effective April 1, is for one year. It applies to about 4500 workers at Toyota’s North Wales (Deeside) engine plant and the car manufacturing plant in Derby. Two hundred temporary positions were previously eliminated. The plants had just completed a two-week shut down.

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Jobs Banks Cashing Out

Employee protection programs ending.

by on Jan.29, 2009

UAW Pres. Ron Gettelfinger cashes out of Jobs Bank

UAW Pres. Ron Gettelfinger cashes out of Jobs Bank

One of the most progressive programs ever launched by the auto industry is about to come to an end.

Ford Motor Co. has reached agreement with the United Auto Workers Union to close its jobs bank, bringing to an end a program that was intended to keep blue-collar employees from being seen as just another line item cost, expendable during the down times of the industry’s normal cycles.

Chrysler has already closed its bank, and the 1,600 General Motors employees the program covered will be placed on layoff, starting February 2.

Job security has been an issue for the UAW since it was first formed, during the depth of the recession. But while the union was able to win a variety of progressive benefits – such as employer-paid health insurance – it was only during the boom years of the mid and late 1980s that the idea of protecting jobs finally gained traction.

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