UAW President Bob King is disputing reports that the union has agreed to enter contract negotiations early with the Detroit 3. In King’s speech addressed to the Automotive Press Association, he explained that there are a “lot of issues” to resolve and so it won’t be “realistic” to expect that things would get done early.
This September, the four-year labor agreements with General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler are set to expire. King revealed that there have been regular meetings between the parties.
He hopes that they would achieve sufficient progress with the talks so that the UAW wouldn’t have to choose a particular carmaker as the first to undergo rigorous negotiations.
This year, Ford Motor Co. gave $26.5 million in compensation for 2010 and a $56.5 million stock reward to CEO Alan Mulally. King believes that this will damage the contract talks, explaining that this high compensation raises what the rank-and file expect from the bargaining talks.
The rank-and-file have made plenty of sacrifices and they’re being watched to see if they will go back to being less agreeable.
The 42,000 hourly workers of Ford can strike under the current contract while the UAW members at General Motors and Chrysler Group can do no such thing. King said that Mulally is a “good CEO” but he has a “blind spot” as he doesn’t see how he’s harming his own cachet and making negotiations more difficult.