After the Fed admitted over a year ago that the US unemployment rate (which in 2012 was supposed to be a rate hike “threshold” once it hit 6.5% and is now at 5.1%) has become irrelevant in a country where a record 94 million people have left the labor force, and with the Fed poised to hike rates even though …
Labor Pains for 137,000: The Auto Workers Union and Detroit’s Big 3
It’s six weeks since the United Auto Workers union began hardball negotiations with Detroit’s Big Three—General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US—over a slew of issues related to a new contract for some 137,000 workers.
The current contract expires Sept. 14, and with no agreement yet struck on the top grievance—a two-tiered wage system that pays workers hired after 2007 about half what senior workers warn—union members have voted to authorize a strike against all three manufacturers in the event of “bad-faith” negotiations.
Frank Hammer, a retired 32-year GM worker and former chairman and president of the UAW’s 3,500-member Local 909 in Warren, Mich., for 12 years, takes us behind the scenes of the current negotiations, but with a blistering critique of the UAW. The union’s leadership has been capitulating to the dictates of the auto industry for more than a decade, Hammer contends.