‘Every last ounce of our leverage’: UAW promises to fight for workers in negotiations

Local News

The United Autoworkers union has been meeting this week in Detroit as members help shape negotiations later this year.

The union is increasing strike fund benefits to $250 per week in case there is a work stoppage. It also plans to address pay and provide workers a shorter path to full pay.

The Lordstown non-allocated status will be a major point of discussion.

GM is talking about new technologies and the UAW wants to know where the jobs that replace the traditional combustible engine will be.

“Will those suppliers, will those jobs and will those batteries be made in the U.S.A.? Those will be replacing some of the jobs that some of our folks do and that’s a major discussion we’ll have in bargaining,” said Brian Rothenberg, with the UAW.

Negotiations will begin this summer before the UAW contract expires in mid-September.

UAW President Gary Jones submitted the following statement on Wednesday:

The Special Collective Bargaining Convention gives members direct involvement in shaping the 2019 negotiations.

This is vital work. Ensuring that local unions and their elected delegates get a strong voice at the bargaining table is what makes the UAW uniquely inclusive and strong.

We are better together.

The stakes are especially high this year and we will go into this bargaining session using every tool we have to protect the rights and wages of our members.

We will do what we need to do.

We will use every last ounce of our leverage.

Every. Last. Ounce.

That is why we announced today an increase in our strike fund benefits. This year, every member will get a record $250 per week to weather a strike – should the auto companies force us to that extreme.

Of course, we will bargain hard on bread-and-butter issues involving hourly pay, a shorter path to full pay, fixing the temporary part-time system, healthcare benefits, pension benefits and profit sharing.

As the auto companies change the way they do business, so will we. The UAW is focused on issues like cutting-edge training and new technologies. We are here to protect our workers, our workforce and our way of life.

And to do that…

We will use every last ounce of our leverage.

That is why it hurts me to see the good name of this union marred by past wrongdoings of a few. I am deeply saddened and irritated that some members of this union and some leaders in the auto companies exploited their positions to benefit themselves. It frustrates me – and I know it frustrates you.

To my brothers and sisters sickened by the scandals, let me make one thing clear: It is my responsibility from this day forward to strengthen your trust in your union. We do not take your trust for granted.

That is why our union has been and continues to be engaged in comprehensive reforms to make sure this behavior never happens again. Brian is going to recap that work. Before I leave for a meeting with our top negotiators, let me say that this work has just begun. We’ll have more news on the reform front.

We will continue to work with the authorities. We will continue to change the way this union works so it always works for you.

We start that work today by building a ground-up bargaining team and bargaining strategy that puts the auto companies on the defensive.

We will stand together, stronger than ever. We will take the fight to them. We will use every last ounce of our leverage.

Every.

Last.

Ounce.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

Trending on WYTV.com