September 12, 2011

by Gary Walkowicz

2nd-tier needs more than a small raise.

They’re talking about a raise of a couple dollars an hour for 2nd-tier workers. That would still leave 2nd-tier workers near the poverty level for a family of four. The only way to fix 2-tier is to bring everybody up to the first tier. Equal pay for equal work!

How much would we lose by not getting raises in the new contract?

If first tier workers got a 3% raise each year of the contract like we used to get, we would make an additional $18,000 over the life of the contract. That doesn’t even count working any overtime or possible COLA, which would put the amount at well over $20,000. It would be even more for skilled trades. Getting 3% yearly raises would also mean that we would start the next contract making about $3.50 an hour more than we do right now. If we don’t get raises, we will be making the same thing in 2015 as we are right now, while prices would have gone up for 4 years.

So if they want us to go for bonuses instead of raises they better hope that we can’t add, or else they better come up with at least $25,000 up front.

Who says they can’t afford to give us raises?

While the companies are crying that they can’t afford to give us raises, how much money would it actually cost them? A writer for Automotive News wrote an article saying that if Ford gave their 41,000 workers a 4% raise right now it could cost the company $95.5 Million. And that is LESS money than the $98 Million dollars in stock options that Ford gave Alan Mulally and Bill Ford Jr. this year alone. They can’t afford to give us raises??? Take that B.S. someplace else.

WARNING – Watch for hidden takeaways to our health care.

The auto companies are talking about making autoworkers pay more for our health care coverage. Even Bob King has said he wants to look at “creative ways to cut health care costs”. In other words, watch out for hidden concessions.

Before we go to vote on a contract, we better look closely at any changes to our health care. A lot of the takeaways in health care may be hidden. In the past, many of these changes were not in the “Highlights”. They were only in the actual contract. If you ask, your Local Union has to show you the whole contract before you vote. Demand to see it.

Gary Walkowicz
Bargaining Committeeman, Dearborn Truck Plant, Local 600

(313) 737-3166

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