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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 06:40 PM
Original message
UAW seeks GM board seat
The UAW is seeking a stake in General Motors and a board seat as the union offers concessions intended to allow the automaker to slash costs and clinch federal aid, a union official said.

Marc McQuillen, president of UAW Local 2404 in Charlotte, N.C., told members in a letter posted on the local's Web site that the union is willing to reopen a health care agreement and give up the controversial Jobs Bank if it will help GM.

The posting contradicts statements from UAW President Ron Gettelfinger, who said last week that the union was making those changes without strings attached.

Gettelfinger declined comment when asked if the union was open to exchanging equity for additional wage and benefit concessions. He said that any such changes would have to be addressed by the union's national councils.

One local union leader who didn't want to be identified after the Dec. 3 meeting in Detroit said there was no discussion of a quid pro quo in exchange for the payments to the retiree health-care trust and changes to the Jobs Bank.

McQuillen was one of the UAW officials who attended the emergency session, called by the union's senior leadership. His report was a summary of those closed-door meetings for members of his local.

A UAW spokesman couldn't be reached for comment.

The UAW will also offer another round of buyouts in 2009 if government bailout funds are provided to GM and allowed to be used for that purpose, McQuillen said.

"In return for these actions, the UAW seeks an equity stake in the company most likely in the form of a board seat," McQuillen said.

GM, Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC have cut some 150,000 UAW-represented jobs over the past three years, but another round of buyouts in 2009 could allow them to cut labor costs by hiring in new workers at sharply lower wage rates.

At the meeting, the union said it would allow GM and its Detroit rivals to postpone contributions to a trust fund scheduled to take over $85 billion in liabilities for retiree health care from 2010.

The union also said it would scrap a controversial provision of its contract that puts idled GM workers into the Jobs Bank, where they collect almost full wages and benefits.

UAW local officials were briefed in Detroit by Steve Girsky, McQuillen said.

Girsky, a banker with private equity firm Centerbridge Partners briefly worked for GM as an adviser and sits on the board of auto-parts supplier Dana Holding Corp.

UAW Local 2404 represents GM workers who ship parts to auto dealers in the southeast United States.

Union representatives are on some automaker boards in Europe, especially in Germany where labor gets 10 of 20 seats on supervisory boards, by law. Former UAW President Douglas Fraser gained a seat on Chrysler's board from 1980 to 1984 after the UAW made substantial wage concessions during the automaker's 1979 brush with bankruptcy.

http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/2008... (subscription only, posted in full)

It's about fucking time.
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OhioChick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 06:41 PM
Response to Original message
1. Good.
K&R
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 07:11 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. I don't know why we never had a seat at the table
But I will tell you, I am NOT happy with Ron 'Pull my finger' Gettlingerfinger head of the UAW.
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amborin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 09:10 PM
Response to Reply #3
16. what
is your complaint about him?
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 09:23 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. He is like Harry Reid, too easy to give instead of holding the line
We're HALF the size we were since he took over. And now look where we are. We SHOULD have been at the table FIVE years ago, but now he asks for the seat?


I'm tired. It's been a long day. I'll continue this at another time.
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amborin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 10:32 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. i get your point
he's too much of a pushover to the ceos

so was yokich, alas

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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 10:46 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. I am tired of Dems without spines.
I wish I could be in his shoes for ONE day. Heads would roll. Where's Jimmy Hoffa when you need him?
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navarth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 06:57 PM
Response to Original message
2. now yer talkin.
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 07:14 PM
Response to Original message
4. And that board member should sit on the Compensation Committee and Audit Committee, too
The UAW would then have some clout.
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hendo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 07:23 PM
Response to Original message
5. Ah, the path to corruption
He will be paid a huge salary and screw over the union.
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ColbertWatcher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 07:25 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. No, it's the path to information. n/t
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hendo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 07:36 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. Once again, you have more faith in the establishment
than I do.
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ColbertWatcher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 08:12 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. And you are too cynical to be productive. n/t
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 07:33 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. Bite me
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hendo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 07:37 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. but not too hard, right?
I wouldn't want to draw blood or anything like that.
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 07:45 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. "Click"
Cya
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hendo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 07:54 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. too bad, I will so miss conversations with you. NT
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ColbertWatcher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 07:26 PM
Response to Original message
7. Proud to kick and rec! n/t
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Bozita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 09:08 PM
Response to Original message
14. A jobs bank give-back is worth at least one seat.
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amborin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 09:09 PM
Response to Original message
15. in Germany, most unions do have board seats, called co-determination
or 'mit bestimmung'

like the powerful IG Metall

it's written into the gov't, they have a corporatist system

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Ichingcarpenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 09:25 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. German Unions are represented even on white collar companies
Democratic capitalism is what the germans call it
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 10:57 PM
Response to Reply #18
22. I love the way Germans have their economy.
"Ordo-Liberalism" Is the term I've heard for it. German unions are uber-powerful.
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 10:52 PM
Response to Original message
21. I remember learning a little bit about German labor law, and over there, it states that...
in a corporation, labor is supposed to have a seat on the board of directors, to serve as a check on corporate decisions if they become harmful to labor.

Frankly, I'm surprised the UAW didn't have a seat decades ago.
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Ichingcarpenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:00 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. This is a law that should be past in the Obama administration
I worked in Denmark and was surprised of the powers the unions have.

They are the ones that gave the vacations, the national healthcare and free education
that we lack here.
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:14 PM
Response to Reply #23
26. Overturning an industrial relations system can be difficult.
The system we have is pretty adversarial. It's very zero-sum, all-or-nothing when it comes to negotiation. If we had Germany's labor law on the books here, it would also require a cultural rethink in terms of how to negotiate, a move away from an adversarial process to a more cooperative or consensus-based one.

Further, the problem in the US is citizens, by in large, are disadvantaged when it comes to having an army of lobbyists representing them 24/7 on Capitol Hill. Corporations can afford to do that pretty easily. For citizens though, it demands a level of rank-and-file organization that is difficult to achieve without a lot of discipline.

Personally, I think a lot of that could be helped if we moved towards public financing of federal campaigns. If the money has no name attached to it, then politicians will feel less beholden to somebody big on Wall Street or whatever industry that likes to peddle influence.
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amborin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:08 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. yes
germany has 'corporatism', in the true sense (not the DU sense), where corporations, labor, and the state make decisions

the uaw had some totally dork leaders who gave it all away

unfortunately those leaders are thought to have been good, but they were actually terrible
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:11 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. "Not the DU sense"
BEST line of the month! :applause:
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