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- You know it is a bad contract...
October 19, 2011
by Alex Wassell
When a flyer by the “Local 869 Leadership” includes the punch line but we did not lose anything else. Yes, your membership dues paid union representatives were out in force beating the bushes and trying to sell this dog of a deal to the good folks on the shop floor.
You can always rely on a visit from the “leadership” at election time and contract time. This time they are selling fear and falsehood on their visit.
The first item on their agenda is to fear arbitration. Arbitration is one of the oldest forms of resolution to a dispute. Parties go to a non-biased arbitrator to solve their disagreements peaceably. If Marchionne felt he could get a better deal in arbitration than he got from Union Brother Bob King, he would be there in a nanosecond. No self-respecting arbitrator would give you anything less than what the UAW and Chrysler had already agreed upon.
Number two, they say arbitration is a prolonged process. We may have to wait a bit to get that $1750 before taxes signing bribe, but we just might get a better deal. There is nothing preventing the UAW from going back to the bargaining table to demand more, if we vote this down.
Number three, they say this deal is “good” for the Skilled Trades. Any reading of the Skilled Trades Rationalization language proves otherwise. This contract is designed to eliminate skilled trades workers.
Number four, they say Chrysler-Fiat does not have 27 billion cash on hand. Yes it does. Autoworker Caravan didn’t make this up... The Automotive News Europe reported it on October 12th! The company can afford to pay us a fair wage.
Number five, they say you should beware the radicals. UAW President Walter Reuther was called a “radical” in his day and he was labeled the “most dangerous man in Detroit” by corporate suck ups of his time. Brother Reuther would go on to raise the wages and working conditions of millions of Americans, and the unconventional idea of industrial unionism caught on pretty good.
I have yet to have a supervisor pressure me to vote for a bad agreement. But I’ve seen two International Reps, our current Local President, and a number of local officials try to strong arm this contract.
Now, I don’t think asking for a fair agreement makes us overpaid, under worked, or greedy. We are not getting international rep pay, or routinely logging 7 days a week, 12 hour a day paychecks to make ends meet.
I just think we need a raise in base pay for everyone, real COLA in our hourly rate, and Skilled
Trades workers need protection from Sergio’s plan to cut their numbers. We can’t wait for 2015. Call me “radical”.