The summer of 2015 should be very interesting for the Big 3 and suppliers alike. The collective bargaining agreements for the Big 3 will expire on September 14, 2015. Initial negotiations with the UAW are scheduled to commence this month. Ford has already indicated that it would like to take the lead in the negotiations with the UAW and Ford’s recent announcement of the end of certain production at the Michigan Assembly Plant is likely one of many moves to come to gain an advantage in the negotiations.
For the first time since 2007, workers at GM and Chrysler have the right to strike. With the recent increase in union dues, the UAW will have a larger strike fund to draw from if a strike becomes necessary. However, UAW President Dennis Williams has already stated that striking is a failure on both parties’ part and the UAW does not plan on failing.
During the negotiations, the UAW will likely push back on the two-tier wage system or at least seek to decrease the wage gap between the two tiers. Reducing the use of temporary workers will also likely be a hot topic for the UAW. Additionally, the impact of Michigan’s Right to Work law on the negotiations will be worth watching.