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Archive for the ‘Contract Negotiations’ Category

Hyundai Workers Plan Strike to Protest New Venture

Automaker teams with city for non-union auto plant.

by Michael Strong on Dec.05, 2018

Hyundai workers in South Korea are planning to strike in protest of a new joint venture planned between the automaker and Gwangju to build a non-union plant.

Union workers in Hyundai Motor’s plants in South Korea plant to walk off the assembly line in protest about a potential joint venture between the automaker and the city of Gwangju to build small vehicles using non-union labor.

The plan, which is still in negotiations, calls for the two sides to jointly own a plant employing 1,000 workers to produce mini-SUVs. The employees would earn a little more than $31,000 annually, which is less than half of what unionized workers earn at existing auto plants.

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South Korean workers often strike to during wage negotiations, walked this time for four hours to protest the salaries and use of non-union workers. (more…)

Steel Workers Ready to Strike

Despite "lavish" profits, company's pushing workers for cuts.

by Joseph Szczesny on Sep.27, 2018

United Steel Workers union members rally in Indiana, looking to keep wages and benefits from being cut.

A dispute over wages has left the United Steel Workers union at odds with two key makers of steel that control a large piece of the steel-making capacity in the United States.

Both United States Steel and Arcelor Mittal have been major beneficiaries of the tariffs imposed by the Trump administration. “Steel is going phenomenally well,” Trump boasted during a press conference this week.

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However, that hasn’t benefitted everyone. Ford CEO Jim Hackett said in an interview that rising prices, resulting from the tariffs, are likely to cost Ford Motor Co $1 billion this year and next. (more…)

UAW Leaders Struggling With Credibility Issues in Wake of Scandal

UAW-GM leader sends letter explaining outsourcing moves.

by Joseph Szczesny on May.03, 2018

UAW's Cindy Estrada was part of an investigation by federal officials about the potential misuse of union funds.

This story has been updated with new information.

With their credibility damaged by the worst scandal to ever rock the United Auto Workers’ top executive board, union leaders are scrambling to explain changes in the union’s contract with General Motors that will allow the outsourcing of job at GM assembly plants in Lordstown, Ohio, and Orion Township, Michigan.

“You deserve to know the facts about recent outsourcing at Local 5960 Lake Orion and Local 1112 Lordstown,” Cynthia Estrada, the UAW vice president in charge of union’s GM Department, said in a letter to a union members.

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“This was a decision agreed to by the involved local, regional and national leadership. Everyone agrees that this situation sucks. But what would suck even more would be to have GM shut down any of our plants and devastate hundreds of our members’ lives and the communities where those plants exist,” said Estrada, who noted GM car production has slashed by 20%. (more…)

Feds Charge Former FCA Exec in Labor Scandal

Seven people have faced indictments in ongoing probe.

by Joseph Szczesny on Apr.06, 2018

Michael Brown is the latest person to be charged in a federal probe of FCA and the UAW. (Photo credit: UAW-Chrysler)

The U.S Department of Justice is bringing charges against a third Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. official as part of the expanding corruption probe into the illegal use of funds set aside under FCA’s labor contract with the United Auto Workers for training union members.

Michael Brown, former director of employee relations at Fiat Chrysler, was charged with lying to a federal grand jury about an alleged bribery scheme involving his direct superior, Alphonse Iacobelli and others at FCA. The scheme netted Iacobelli and others participating in the scheme more than $4.5 million, according to the DOJ.

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Federal prosecutors allege Brown knew that FCA officials were bribing UAW leaders, but “deliberately” provided “misleading and incomplete testimony.” Not only did he know that this was going on, prosecutors allege, but he failed to notify authorities about the corruption, according to the DOJ. (more…)

Tesla Hit With NLRB Complaint Over Mass Firings

Feds probe controversial firing of nearly 1,000 employees.

by Joseph Szczesny on Apr.05, 2018

Tesla's Fremont plant has faced a series of problems over the last year.

The National Labor Relations Board has filed a formal complaint against Tesla, finding merit to a series of charges involving the company’s treatment of employees over the past months, including claims that union supporters were swept out in a mass firing.

Charges, cited by the NLRB, range from terminating employees in retaliation for engaging in union and/or protected activities to unlawful interrogations of union supporters. Many of the pro-union employees were fired last fall when Tesla dismissed nearly 1,000 employees for what it described as substandard job performance.

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Tesla has yet to file an answer to the complaint lodged by the NLRB but denied the allegations when the union fielded the charges last autumn. It will have to come up with a response before a trial date now set for June 11.

(more…)

Showdown in South Korea: GM Warns of Bankruptcy

Union concessions demanded by April 20.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Mar.27, 2018

GM is looking to shut down its underutilized Gunsan plant in South Korea.

Union workers at General Motors’ money-losing South Korean operations have barely three weeks to come up with a package of concessions or the automaker says it will plunge the entire unit into bankruptcy, a move that could lead to its pulling out of the market.

The announcement by GM follows its decision in February to close one of its four assembly plants in the country and examine whether it could keep the other facilities open. Along with the union concessions, GM is demanding new support from the South Korean government.

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The Detroit automaker is “using threats to ramp up pressure on the union to make concessions,” a government official told Reuters. The news service also cited a document indicating GM is trying to lock down $600 million in operating funds by the end of April to keep the South Korean operations going. (more…)

German Union Workers Accept New Contract

New deal includes 4.3% pay raise, shorter work week provision.

by Joseph Szczesny on Feb.07, 2018

German workers secured a new contract with a 4.3% pay raise and new rules for a shorter work week.

Union members in Baden-Württemberg, one of the most prosperous regions of German and the home of companies such as Daimler AG, Porsche and Bosch, appear to have gained a major bargaining victory, gaining a 4.3% pay increase and a reduction of the average work week to allow more time off for family leave.

The deal between IG Metall and the Suedwestmetall employers’ federation, which represent the employers, including major carmakers, calls, for workers in Germany to get a 4.3% pay increase April starting April 1.

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The workers will also receive other payments spread over the following 27 months until 2020, IG Metall’s Roman Zitzelsberger told reporters at the conclusion of the talks. (more…)

German Union Digging in for Tough Auto Negotiations

IG Metall preparing for industrywide strike as part of talks.

by Joseph Szczesny on Jan.31, 2018

German workers are being prepared to take a strike vote in talks with automakers.

German carmakers and suppliers are in a major battle with IG Metall, the powerful metalworkers union, which is demanding higher wages and shorter hours. The negotiations are turning into the biggest confrontation between labor and management in more than a decade.

So-called “warning strikes” – short-term walkouts lasting no more than 24 hours – have already hit Daimler AG and Porsche this week as well as major suppliers such as Bosch and ZF. In all, an estimated 260 metalworking firms have been targeted by IG Metall and more than 120,000 workers at Volkswagen AG are poised to go on strike for 24 hours, starting Thursday.

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The walkouts, which stretch across Germany’s industrial centers, follow a failed set of negotiations, where neither the employers nor the union could agree on a formula for a new wage agreement, observers in Germany noted. (more…)

Former FCA Executive Pleads Guilty to Federal Charges

Iacobelli takes plea deal; likely to serve 96 months.

by Joseph Szczesny on Jan.23, 2018

FCA's former top negotiator, Alfonse Iacobelli, right, pleaded guilty in the federal investigation of corruption at FCA and the UAW.

One of the key figures in the corruption charges that have damaged the United Auto Workers and raised questions about the management of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges.

Alphonse Iacobelli, Former Fiat Chrysler Automobiles labor relations chief, pleaded guilty to two charges related to a conspiracy to siphon millions from an employee training fund operated jointly by the company and the union. Sentencing was delayed to May 29, but Iacobelli could face up to 96 months in prison, according to the plea deal with federal prosecutors.

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Iacobelli pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate the Labor Management Relations Act and for subscribing a false tax return before U.S. District Judge Paul Borman in Detroit. (more…)