Here's what autoworkers must contend with

A sample of how the UAW sells concessions and job loss to the members. The authors of this are the "representatives" of about 900 UAW workers whose wages have been cut to $14 hr and managers and engineers, whose plant will soon be closed.

I'd appreciate hearing from anyone who has any advice on how to respond to these things at the factory level, with the suggestion of the employee-ownership option:


MARCH 2, 2009

On Monday we were called to attend a special UAW meeting to hear about the modifications to the UAW/Ford 2007 National Agreement. We were expecting to hear the worse, but the UAW International had already chosen Ford as the lead company for negotiations and that was a good thing. Could you imagine what GM or Chrysler would give up to satisfy the government? We would be taking Wage cuts, more cost for medical insurance, plant closures and pension cuts.

The Auto industry is in a severe crisis. Ford is spending more than a billion dollars a month just to stay in business. Ford cannot survive these costs unless they restructure their debt or go to the government and ask for money under 'THEIR TERMS'. Sacrifices must be made by all stakeholders including senior management, general salary, bondholders and creditors, dealers, suppliers, and our UAW/Ford membership.

Here are the positives for the UAW Membership;

Ford is in the best position for recovery because that didn't take government monies.
Ford sets the pattern for negotiations for GM and Chrysler
Our base hourly wages were not cut
No reduction in our health care
No reduction in our pension
Cost of living adjustments are only suspended for 2009 and 2010
Christmas and performance Bonuses are only suspended for 2009 and 2010
Ford's commitments in keeping our plant open through 2011
Ford has great products coming this year and next year

This will not be like the concessions in the 1980's that were never recovered in future contracts. The commitment from the International is to regain these suspended concessions in the next contract, provided Ford makes the turn around.

What would the consequences be provided we voted NO? Do you really want GM or Chrysler to set your destiny? This would be a permanent loss.

What would the consequences be provided we voted YES? You would have a job with a decent wage and benefits AND a chance to regain what was temporarily lost.

It was best said by our President of the UAW International Union that day and I quote, " I would rather be called different names that I have experienced over these concessions, than to have someone cuss me out because they did not have a job to go to the following day." Ron Gettlefinger, President

Difficult times require the moral courage to make difficult decisions. At the Union meeting on the 4th of March 2009 we will have an International Representative to present the modifications to our National Contract and answer questions. We will be voting on Thursday, March 5th, 2009, from 5 am until 5 pm at the Union hall. The future of you and your families are in your hands.

Please attend your Union meeting and remember to vote YES!

In Solidarity,

Jim Eagle Roger Terveen
Plant Chairman President
UAW Local 879 UAW Local 879


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