In today’s complex marketplace, Americans sometimes have difficulty making the connection between purchases they make and other economic outcomes like the jobs, pricing and even politics.
Driving to work in a Toyota while worrying if today may be your last before another layoff is not a good idea! The car you buy today could impact the job you or a family member gets tomorrow!
Last week, in what is being viewed as a landmark deal, the United Auto Workers union announced that, in an agreement with General Motors, jobs would be created for U.S. auto workers and formerly laid-off workers would be rehired, as G.M. increases market share in the U.S.! The union and G.M. preserved health care and pensions and improved profit-sharing for roughly 48,000 members who work at G.M. This is fantastic news for workers in the auto industry, car buyers and every American!
In addition, the U.A.W. union won $5,000 signing bonuses for workers and a promise from G.M. to reopen an assembly plant in Tennessee as part of the tentative new contract, according to briefings on the negotiations. People briefed on the negotiations said that entry-level workers, who are paid about $14 an hour, are expected to receive an increase of $2 to $3 an hour. U.A.W. president, Bob King, says union members will also receive a larger share of the profits from G.M.’s federal bailout and bankruptcy in 2009.
“When G.M. was struggling, our members shared in the sacrifice,” Mr. King said. “Now that the company is posting profits again, our members want to share in the success.” This is the American way.
G.M.’s lead negotiator, Cathy Clegg, says G.M. plans to continue adding jobs as it increases market share in the United States. “We worked hard on a contract that recognizes the realities of today’s marketplace, enabling G.M. to continue to invest in U.S. manufacturing,” she said.
Increasing jobs in the United States was a critical goal for G.M. and U.A.W. leaders to show that the government’s bailout is producing positive economic benefits. G.M. did rose to the challenge and has begun providing income, jobs and great products for Americans.
“They are bringing back work from other countries,” said Harley Shaiken, a labor professor at the University of California, Berkeley. “In this environment, to be creating jobs is not an insignificant achievement.”
G.M. is the first of Detroit’s Big Three to reach a deal with the union. Details of the agreement were being withheld until the union can inform members, who will vote on ratification over the next two weeks. Industry analysts said the union achieved its goals of balancing economic gains in the agreement with solidifying G.M.’s cost structure for future growth.