UAW reaches tentative sellout agreement with Ford
This deal will only expand the number of poverty level second tier workers while freezing wages for senior workers while ensuring billions in profits for Ford.It does nothing to restore the $30,000 per worker in wages and benefits surrendered by the UAW since2007. Both the UAW executives and Ford officials have praised the agreement for ensuring the continued profitability of the company, which posted a near-record $6.6 billion profit in 2010. But what about theworkers?The contract is so transparently detrimental to the interests of auto workers that most labor analysts havevoiced concern that the UAW does not have it's members best interest in mind. They predict it will bedefeated in the upcoming rank-and-file ratification vote. Ford workers have shown in the past they will notsurrender to a sellout by the UAW Leadership.Workers will get a $6,000 (bribe) uh, signing bonus, as well as annual lump sum payments of $1,500instead of long needed cost-of-living increases. (more bribes) The elimination of cost-of-living raises andincreases in base pay for senior workers will save the company billions of dollars, since pensions andother benefits are calculated on the basis of hourly wages.Instead of fighting for a wage increase, the UAW has substituted profit-sharing. This means that the wagesof Ford workers are directly tied to the future profitability of the company. In addition, 10 percent of the profit sharing bonuses will be diverted to the UAW-controlled retiree health benefit fund. (Ford hasreneged on it's commitment to fully fund VEBA and now the workers pay is being gutted by 10% to cover the company lie)Ford is offering $100,000 buyouts to skilled trades workers and $50,000 to production workers. Thecompany is pushing to get these better-paid workers out the door as a step toward creating a workforceconsisting entirely of lower paid workers. (Traditional skilled work will be supplemented by 2nd-Tier production workers)In a failing attempt to sell the contract to UAW members, union executives are praising Ford’s promise toadd 5,750 new jobs. However,
of the new jobs will pay the lower, second tier wage, currently $15.50an hour. This is little more than half the $28 pay of regular hourly workers. Ford is boasting that as a resultof the agreement, it will be able to begin “in-sourcing”.In a press release announcing the new agreement, UAW Vice President Jimmy Settles said it would allowworkers to “share in Ford’s prosperity.”
This is a lie
. Not only will second tier workers continue to earnlower hourly wages, they will still be burdened with inferior health plans and almost no pension plans.The net result will be no increase in labor costs for the company. (But more profit for the company andmore UAW leadership jobs at Solidarity House!)As every Ford worker knows, company CEO Alan Mulally took in $82.5 million in compensation this past year. The compensation of Ford’s top executives alone would be enough to provide a substantial payraise to every Ford worker.The introduction of the two-tier wages system combined with the UAW’s eagerness to keep new workersat poverty level wages means a lose-win for the UAW and the auto makers. The UAW is creating anonsensical caste system in its ranks while GM and Ford benefit with cheaper labor that allows them to bemore strategic in how they use their US plants.