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UAW bargaining goals.

argaining goals

Some 2,000 United Automobile Workers (UAW) delegates met in Kansas City, mo, at a special convention to hammer out bargaining goals for the upcoming negotiations at the "Big Three" automobile manufacturers (Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors). Contracts covering about 5,000 workers expired September 14. The union was expected to target one of the "Big Three" for negotiations. If a contract is signed with that automaker, the union will attempt to settle with the remaining two companies on similar terms.

Job and income security, particularly retaining and expanding job opportunities, was cited as the top bargaining priority. Other major priorities adopted were real wage increases, full cost-of-living protection (without reducing current benefits), and enhanced pensions and cost-of-living protection for retirees.

Regarding job security, the union will seek guaranteed employment for all its members, including protection against layoffs due to weak sales. It also wants to expand job security by negotiating improved early retirement programs, obtaining commitments from the auto companies to modernize UAW represented plants (to keep the plants competitive) to assure workers of jobs in the future, and improving preferential hiring and transfer rights.

As part of its agenda to enhance long-term income security, the union will seek to establish "unreduced supplemental unemployment benefits (SUB) guarantees" for a specific period regardless of employees credit units or the level of the SUB fund. It also will ask for the continuation of health, life, and disability insurance during layoffs.

Other proposals that the union may bring to the bargaining table include: * Reducing "outsourcing" or contracting out of work that at one time was performed by UAW members or could be performed by UAW members. * Reducing worktime by decreasing the standard work year (such as reducing the number of hours in the normal work week and negotiating more paid holidays and other paid time oft) and curbing overtime without reducing regular weekly pay. * Extending moratoria on plant closings and relocations and providing income and other protection to workers facing permanent layoffs. * Implementing new technology in such a way as to create jobs and improve the working conditions of UAW members. * Improving moving and relocation allowances, transfer rights, and preferential hiring arrangements. * Requiring that job openings in affiliated or related businesses, owned or controlled by a UAW employer, its suppliers or customers, be made available to laid-off members on a preferential basis, regardless of whether the workplace is organized." * Restoring the "traditional" wage increase formula (3 percent general wage increase and full cost-of-living adjustment without diversion) and addressing perceived wage inequities, such as the wage compression between skilled trades and other trades. * Tying profit-sharing payments for hourly workers directly to increases in the compensation of corporate executives. * Enhancing pension benefits, including normal and early retirement provisions, increasing basic benefits and supplements, and protecting the purchasing power of retirees. * Improving the quality of health care, including provision of long-term care services, without other benefit reductions, restricted usage, or the shifting of costs to workers. Establishing group insurance benefits at levels that allow workers to "maintain an acceptable standard of living" for the duration of an illness or disability. * Improving (including liberalizing eligibility requirements) and strengthening income protection programs such as supplemental unemployment benefits and guaranteed income stream benefits. * Making available "high-quality assistance programs to meet the challenging needs of family life and work responsibilities," including family leave and child and elder care provisions.

"Developments in Industrial Relations" is prepared by Michael H. Cimini of the Division of Developments in Labor-Management Relations, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and is largely based on information from secondary sources.
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Title Annotation:Developments in industrial relations; United Automobile Workers
Author:Cimini, Michael H.
Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Date:Sep 1, 1990
Previous Article:Pulp and paper pact.
Next Article:From One Job to the Next: Worker Adjustment in a Changing Labor Market.

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