UAW Prepares For New Contract Talks

The United Auto Workers union is preparing to open contract negotiations with U-S automakers. This month the UAW will begin bargaining for new contracts with Detroit automakers for the first time since 2009. The car companies are far healthier financially now than they were two years ago – in part because of wage and benefit concessions agreed to by the UAW. Labor analyst Harley Shaiken says Ford faces a slightly different situation than General Motors and Chrysler because the Dearborn-based automaker did not accept a federal financial bailout. Shaiken says G-M and Chrysler workers will enter contract talks without one of the UAW’s traditional weapons. Shaiken said, “There is a no-strike clause in their contracts this time around. Although a strike is unlikely anywhere given the uncertainty of the economy and the volatility of the auto industry.” Workers at Ford rejected a similar no-strike clause two years ago. But union officials say --- strike or no strike – the UAW still expects to share in the renewed profitability shown by U-S automakers.