American Axle and UAW: Local Contracts Pit Worker Against Worker  

There's movement at AAM, but it doesn't really seem that good. There appears to be a framework to create local agreements:

from Freep:

More than two months into the UAW's strike at American Axle & Manufacturing, it appears that the two sides have pulled together a potential framework for a settlement, which likely will include buyouts, buy-downs in exchange for lower wages and the closure of at least two plants.

A settlement potentially would shed American Axle's national UAW contract, replacing it with individual agreements for the surviving plants, said people briefed on the talks.

Local agreements are the equivalent of a million paper cuts to the overall health of a union

Due to the local contracts that discuss the specifics of jobs and skills, we now have the potential of bigger issues to resolve. The new GM contract from the summer seems to have created greater issues for the locals in that they must now bargain on their own with GM in relation to what is considered "skilled" More from the Plain Dealer:

The bigger issue in November was skilled trades. At the time, Boneta said the company wanted to consolidate several job titles, eliminating positions for some of the plant's highest-paid workers.

Instead of having machine repair, millwright, tinsmith, pipe fitter and maintenance welder positions, GM asked for one position called maintenance, Boneta said in November.

Today, he declined to say what issues remained between the union and the company.

The loss of multiple skilled trades categories could mean demoting skilled tradesmen to the production line or cutting jobs.

And there's still more from Freep:

A settlement could include buy-downs -- which are lump sums of money offered in exchange for lower wages -- of $90,000 over three years and buyouts of $140,000 over two years. Wages at the company's U.S. axle operations are shaping up to be $17 an hour for production workers, $14 an hour for nonproduction workers and $25.50 for skilled trades workers...


Before the strike, workers at American Axle were making about $28 an hour, and skilled workers were making more than $30 an hour.

There also is the potential for an 8% match on 401(k) contributions.

Forging plants in Detroit and Tonawanda, N.Y., near Buffalo are negotiating deals that would close those factories, according to people familiar with the talks. It is unclear what would be offered to those workers in the event of a closure.

AH- more stupid local agreements. Wonder if AAM strikers will like this agreement or maybe they'll look at it the same way Parma GM workers did...they rejected it

UAW Parma local REJECTED their contract

Workers in Parma rejected a new local contract earlier this month. UAW Local 1005 President Tito Boneta, in a letter to his members, said voter turnout was less than 50 percent for that rejection, so the union's leadership is putting the tentative pact up for a new vote Wednesday.

Okay, so for me, this is the money quote:

That the four plants involved in the strike would have their own deals is a move that makes American Axle's labor contract more like those at other suppliers, which negotiate their terms on a plant-by-plant basis.

Dick Dauch's been pushing for "more like Delphi" and other similar screw the worker agreements forged between Bankrupt corporations and their workers. This of course is where trade kills the American worker.

It's not worker against worker as some on this site have claimed, it's really corporations against countries. Trade has everything to do with Environmental standards, labor laws, labor costs, benefits, safety rules, even the tax rate of these countries.

Trade isn't as simple as labor costs, it's much bigger and much worse than that.

We have an inability to force other countries to bring up their standards and when we can get them to raise their standards, we forge ahead and lower ours. Weeklytoll provides a toll that this has on work place safety

So, theUAW is going to bend over backwards and tell Dick to take whatever he really wants. So, how has this served the membership? I'm not feeling like this has served the membership, especially today of all days, May Day.

What the Fuck is the UAW thinking? In fact, I'm wondering if they're thinking at all, and I don't just mean the national here, I mean the freaking locals, too. WTF?

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