UAW and Detroit Three Agreements Bring Jobs, Cars to U.S.

ChryslerWorker
The United Auto Workers and Chrysler reached a new four-year contract today, capping Detroit Three negotiations that included ratification with GM on Sept. 28 and vote-pending ratification with Ford, which union officials expect by Monday.

The contract agreements should add to the UAW’s Detroit Three ranks — currently at 112,000, a fraction of its membership in the 1970s and ‘80s — with jobs and cars returning to the U.S. Despite ruffled feathers at Chrysler when the UAW bumped Ford ahead in its negotiations, the process wrapped up in orderly fashion, with little apparent strife.

The agreements should create more than 14,000 new jobs: 2,100 at Chrysler, 5,750 at Ford and 6,400 at GM, the UAW says. Those are proportionate additions to current GM and Ford ranks, with a smaller addition to Fiat-owned Chrysler. The three automakers will invest more than $13 billion in U.S. salaries and infrastructure over the next four years, with a handful of future models locked in. Rather than getting hourly raises, UAW employees at all three companies will receive signing bonuses and profit-sharing programs, an important step for Detroit carmakers to keep labor costs down. Entry-level workers will get an hourly raise.

The agreements bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S.

Ford will bring production of its next-generation Fusion to Flat Rock, Mich., where the Mustang and Mazda6 are currently built. Ford builds today’s Fusion in Mexico, a country where autoworkers average just $3.75 an hour compared with an average of $33.46 in America, IHS Automotive reports. That could put the popular Fusion in contention for Cars.com’s American Made Index if Ford builds enough of them here. The UAW contract names Flat Rock as a "second source" of Fusion production, meaning some production could remain south of the border.

Other insourcing includes the Transit Connect cargo van, which Ford will build in Kansas City, Mo. Currently, all Transits bought here are built in Turkey. The UAW deal also slates the C-Max hybrid, next-generation Escape crossover and next-gen Mustang for U.S. production.

GM, meanwhile, will reopen its Spring Hill, Tenn., plant — made famous in Saturn commercials — to build two midsize vehicles. The redesigned Chevrolet Colorado pickup will stay here, possibly at GM’s Wentzville, Mo., plant. The next-gen Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra will retain production in Fort Wayne, Ind.

The product fruits of Chrysler’s contract remain unclear, but Automotive News reports the U.S. could see production of two Alfa Romeo vehicles in Chrysler plants in Toledo, Ohio, and Sterling Heights, Mich. As reported before, a new Dodge compact will come out of Chrysler’s plant in Belvidere, Ill.

Comments 

Amuro Ray

Now wait a minute there...

Didn't the old GM and old Chrysler (and even Ford in a way) get into bankruptcy trouble in the 1st place due to (part of the problem) excess inventory, a result of too many employees - a significant labor cost not just due to salary, but also pensions and benefits (these 2 are even costlier than salary)?

And wasn't the solution determined back then was to shut down factories and to lay off the excess workforce, 'coz these companies were "too big?"

Though this is great news for those workers, is this really a good thing to the companies and taxpayer money, setting up a potential bail-out again if thgs are back to what it used to be pre-2009?

Why am I starting to see the old US auto industry again (business side)?

Did I miss sthg?

WTF

Don't get confused. The Transit and Transit Connect are two different vans. I'm pretty sure the Transit Connect will remain Turkish but the Transit will become the replacement for the venerable E-series (Econoline)

sheth

A:

You missed a lot. Trust me. Labor costs are way down and many higher paid workers took buyouts. They can afford to add workers thanks to lower operating and labor costs. Even with these hires total employment will be well under levels of last decade. I see you don't follow the auto industry at all.

Tony

I can imagine how much we could save if we didn't have UAW.
And if manufacturers would move production to Mexico just don't buy and tell them why you didn't buy it.

Dan

Wow, kind of sounds like there were finally some adults in the room. So rare nowadays.

sheth

tony:

UAW wages are the same or lower than wages at the transplant factories. But Im sure you knew that. Costs overall for the Big 3 are about the same as for Toyota in the US.

Bowrider

Tony is right. Realistically, low-skilled jobs like that of line worker need a union to receive relatively better benefits and higher wages. What's ridiculous is the demands of the UAW that were once met by the manufacturers. I am no insider but I certainly hope some of the ridiculous quirks have been eliminated.

WTF

Different time, different place. A manufacturing job used to provide a middle-class level standard of living and was very sustainable in that era of American history. Now, not so much for many reasons. Globalization = equalization and when you look up close to what it's done to our country it's not pretty.

Sam

As a layed off UAW worker from a California assy plant(NUMMI) Is there any info on how i might apply for some of these new jobs being talked about here,tired of working for min. wage,?

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