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Like any good bout, GM-Union talks start with a handshake

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Barra union handshake.jpg

John Goreham
Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com

It's all smiles and handshakes at the start of General Motors' and its workers' union negotiations. Things generally are not as friendly after that for a bit. Cathy Clegg, GM North America vice president of Manufacturing and Labor Relations will be the head of negotiations for GM. She commented at the opening ceremonies, saying “Formal talks begin today, but in recent years we’ve demonstrated our ability to develop creative solutions together. As a team we must continue to solve problems, build in quality and enhance competitiveness.”


UAW President Dennis Williams' focus is on newer UAW members. In prior negotiations the union agreed to let GM cap newer workers' pay well below the top earnings of older, longer serving union members. Williams commented on those workers, saying, "Some of them are not part of the middle class like they should be."


In its reporting on the talks, US News & World Report said that GM and Ford want to reduce labor costs, which are about $9.00 higher per hour of labor than Toyota and Honda pay to non-union workers in nearby states. By contrast, the UAW wants to increase pay, which has essentially been unchanged since 2005, following agreements made around the time that General Motors went through bankruptcy.

Barra union handshake.jpg

Barra union handshake.jpg

Barra union handshake.jpg

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