The UAW will no longer be an adversary and now seeks to cooperate with the management of automakers, the organization’s president, Bob King stated recently in a speech during the Detroit Regional Chamber's Mackinac Policy Conference. He said that the public is observing if the union learned anything from the crises or if it will return to “business as usual.”
According to King, who has been the union’s president for a year now, the 21st century UAW sees the management as a partner, and “not as an adversary and the enemy.”
He will be negotiating new contracts for agreements expiring September 14 later this year with Chrysler Group LLC, General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co.
He added that employees must be rewarded for the concessions ranging from $7,000 to $30,000 that they each gave since 2005 that helped the vehicle manufacturers survive. During that time, the organization surrendered cost-of-living adjustments, raises and bonuses.
It also concurred to a two-tier wage system, wherein new hires earn about $14 an hour, which is only half the amount paid to senior production workers. According to King, the organization is seeking to take a "moderate, pragmatic and inclusive" method to make sure that the vehicle manufacturers succeed.
He added that the union is in the process of instituting radical change, as it has learned many lessons from the crisis that hit the vehicle industry. The union recognizes that it cannot take the same method anymore that it has done five, 10 or 20 years ago, King said.