UAW’s King says no delay to plan of organizing Asian, German carmakers in US

Article by Christian A., on March 23, 2011

UAW President Bob King, on the sidelines of the UAW special bargaining convention, said that the contract negotiations with the Detroit 3 won’t delay the union's drive to organize Asian and German automakers in the U.S. King said, "Everything is moving forward."

Local delegates from the union are converging to decide the bargaining strategy in the Detroit 3 talks. Actually, the convention marks the unofficial start of bargaining. Formal talks will open after July 4.

This September, the Detroit 3's master four-year contracts with the UAW expire. King’s keynote speech was set for Wednesday but he moved it up. In an interview, King, who became UAW president last summer, said that there won’t be surprises. He also said that he aims to share this contract cycle in the renewed profitability of the Detroit 3.

The union aims to bring back the concessions that were removed in the crisis that had thrown General Motors and Chrysler in bankruptcy in 2009. King revealed that for each worker since 2005, these concessions amount to $7,000 to $30,000.

The union prefers to receive product commitments and raises for the 120,000 members who work at Detroit 3 plants. On the other hand, Detroit 3 executives want to give bonuses to their hourly workers depending on quality and performance, so that new fixed costs won’t be locked in.

King is also preparing to organize the transplants. He aims to unionize at least one of the transplants this year. Those factories are located mostly in right-to-work states in the South.

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