Soldiers of Solidarity - Chrysler 2007 Contract Info
Vote No Until You Know the Whole Truth

"Two tier is the concession that keeps on giving."
"It's time to make that line in the sand a trench."--Jerry Tucker

Minority Report of the UAW Chrysler Council.pdf
From Bill Parker, Chair of the 2007 UAW Chrysler National Negotiating Committee

The Chrysler Contract .pdf ( Pages from the actual Chrysler Agreement)

UAW Chrysler Hourly Workers Highlights.pdf

UAW-Chrysler 2007 Lowlights
Welding Sheild Required for this Read
A Letter from Skilled Trades Committeeman of UAW Local 1166

A Letter from YOUR Skilled Trades Committeeman:

Fellow Union Members,

As you know, your leadership went to Detroit on Monday, 10/15/07, to look at and vote on the tentative agreement between Chrysler and the UAW. This letter is my effort to keep you informed due to the FACT that if this agreement is ratified, we will have to live with the repercussions for years to come. The first thing I want each of you to understand is that your UAW National Negotiating Committee was not unanimous in endorsing this agreement. Bill Parker, the Chairman of the Negotiating Committee, has voted against this agreement. Prior to the announcement of the tentative agreement, the National Committee was, at first, unanimously opposed to the agreement. After a little pressure was put on, a second vote came out 6 against and 3 for the agreement, after a little more pressure was put on, the vote was 5 against and 4 in favor, and finally after more pressure from the International the final tally was 8 members of the National Negotiating team in favor and 1 opposed. Due to the fact that Chairman Parker was the only negotiator to STAND BY HIS CONVICTIONS, he then wrote a minority report, for those of us in the Chrysler Council, so that we could read and understand his reasons for voting NO on this agreement. I have attached copies of this report for you to read.

The second thing I want each of you to understand is that the vote among the Chrysler Council (the Presidents and Committeepersons from each local union) WAS NOT UNANIMOUS OR EVEN CLOSE TO OVERWHELMING IN FAVOR OF THIS AGREEMENT. The SAD truth is, we will never know the vote total, because a roll call vote was not conducted. Due to the fact that this agreement has far reaching implications for all of our members, I made a motion for a roll call vote so that we could have an EXACT count to report to our respective local memberships. According to Jim Coakley, who chaired the council meeting, my motion was defeated. Again, this vote was a total sham, due to the fact that there was no way to get an accurate count of those voting in favor or opposed and the fact that there are numerous people in the council meeting who have no voice yet they yell out their vote anyway. It is a sad shame that in matters of this importance, that a roll call vote is not mandatory. The beauty of a roll call vote is that each member has to go on record as to how he/she is voting. As dues paying members of the UAW, each of you should expect and deserve to know how your representatives voted.

The following is a speech I gave when the floor was opened for questions and discussion, at one point during my speech I was interrupted and shut down by Chair Jim Coakley because I was making a statement rather than asking a question. (I will highlight that part in red) The following is my speech:

The theme today seems to be that “Times have changed”, maybe time has changed but the agenda of corporate America hasn’t. Over the past 70 years, since the inception of the UAW, the corporation’s goal has always been PROFIT at the expense of the workers.

Earlier, General Holiefield stated that this agreement will, “allow opportunities for the company to grow!” General is right, the company will grow, by LOWERING THE STANDARD OF LIVING FOR WORKING FAMILIES. Cutting hourly wages in half is repulsive and completely unacceptable. THIS UNION WAS FOUNDED ON THE PRINCIPLES OF EQUALITY AMONG THE WORKERS! Wages are a small percentage of the cost of building vehicles. General also stated that, “Chrysler inherited these problems from Daimler.” Again he is right. But my contention is that CHRYSLER NEEDS TO FIX THE REAL PROBLEMS! Mismanagement has and is costing this company billions of dollars. I, along with all of you leaders, witness on a daily basis the company buying equipment of paying vendors exorbitant prices for whatever they’re peddling.
    (At this point in my speech I was interrupted by Jim Coakley, administrative assistant to General Holiefield, and told that if I did not have a question to sit down and that this was not the time for discussion. So I was effectively shut down. After listening to 4 or 5 other people take the microphone and offer their praises to the International but not ask any questions, I again took the microphone and made the statement that, “at the beginning of each Chrysler Council meeting, General Holiefield, always states, “I come from a hell raising local” and that we will not be treated disrespectfully and that if we disagree with an issue and don’t speak up, then shame on us. A few minutes ago, you interrupted me and cut me off, yet you let 4 or 5 people give statements with no questions since they were saying what the International wanted to hear. This is one of the most critical times in the history of this union and it is imperative that every member be heard, whether you agree or not, so I ask you, is this a democratic union and are you going to allow me to finish my speech from earlier?” At that point Mr. Coakley looked at General and then said, “Go ahead.”)
The following is the rest of my speech. As I stated before I was interrupted, mismanagement is costing this company billions of dollars, one example of this is the fact that just recently at my plant the company paid $20,000 more for a CNC machine because corporate required the plant to buy the machinery through an approved vendor instead of buying directly from the manufacturer. Another example in which all of you can relate is AT Kearney. These are the issues the company must address and we should address through negotiations. As long as they continue to run the business this way, whether you work for $28 or $14 will not matter because this corporate system is designed for failure.

As many of you know I am an officer on the Executive Committee of the Area Wide. At these monthly meetings we always discuss having an impact for our union and members, well, TODAY IS YOUR DAY! As General has stated, “IT’S UNION TIME!” It’s time for us to send a message that WE WILL NOT SIT BACK AND CONTINUE TO LOWER OUR STANDARD OF LIVING DUE TO MISMANGEMENT! Today as Committeemen and Presidents you’re here to speak on behalf of your men and women back home on the frontlines. It’s no secret many of them think the union is dead. THEY’RE COUNTING ON YOU! TODAY IS YOUR TIME TO SEND THE MESSAGE BACK HOME, THAT THE UAW CHRYSLER DEPARTMENT IS ALIVE AND KICKING! TODAY IS YOUR TIME TO STAND UP AND BE COUNTED! If you don’t, then shame on you, and don’t ever complain at an area wide again.

Today I ask two things of you. #1 VOTE NO ON THIS AGREEMENT, A BLOW TO ONE, IS A BLOW TO ALL! Two tier wages have no place in this union. Earlier General made the statement about some people needing to be taken out back and shot, in my opinion, if you vote for this agreement, you might as well get a gun and shoot yourself in the head because that’s what you’re doing.

The second thing I ask is that, due to the fact that this is one of the most critical times in the history of this union, we need to make sure we have an exact count so that there is no doubt whatsoever on the results that we take back to our respective memberships. Therefore I make a motion for a roll call weighted vote!

Later after my speech there was a heated exchange between General Holiefield and Tom Littlejohn (President of Belvidere Local) pertaining to the fact that Belvidere currently has 750 temporary workers and Mr. Littlejohn wanted them converted to full time as was done at GM.

As you can see, the atmosphere at the Chrysler Council meeting was very electric. When you look at the agreement in its entirety there remains a lot of unanswered questions. The BEL language, which pertains to the Base Employment Levels at each plant, has been eliminated. Read the Chairman of the negotiating Committee’s report to better familiarize yourself with these issues. I will try to communicate as much as I can, by all means, PLEASE ATTEND THE RATIFICATION MEETINGS, ASK QUESTIONS AND MAKE AN INFORMED VOTE!

In Solidarity,

Shawn Fain
Skilled Trades Committeeman
Local 1166

UAW Leader Blasts Contract.pdf

Please hear what we say about this contract.

We, Sam Johnson and Larry Christensen, are former chief stewards at Chrysler.
Sam was steward at old Dodge Main, Local 3, and was a convention delegate at McGraw Glass, Local 227. He retired in 1999.
Larry was steward at Warren Truck, Local 140, Dept. 9170. He retired in 2002.

This contract slams the door in the face of our children and our grandchildren. They will never have what we had. All but a very few will be sentenced for life to $14 jobs, without real pensions, without health care in old age. All over the country this will happen. Since l950, auto workers set the standard for the country. This contract breaks down the standard. This contract sentences workers’ children to working poor for life.

Don’t close the door on our children!

This contract closes the door on active workers’ opportunities.  The good jobs will be re-classified as “non-core.” It says all future “non-core” openings will be filled by “entry-level” new hires paid $14. If so, then transfers from the line to these openings must be cancelled. What jobs will be “non-core?” The list includes sub-assembly, inspection, material, driving, any job where you do not put parts on the truck itself. At WTAP “sub-assembly” could mean the whole motor station, the axle line, the door line, fixture loaders for robot welders, in fact most of the metal shop. Will you know which jobs exactly? No. They want you to vote first. Then “within 120 days” someone from the International Union will come and tell the Local which jobs they have made “non-core.” They have already made the whole new Marysville axle plant “non-core.”  $14.00.
Plus this contract “exits” housekeeping, which means, outsourcing all janitor work. And it further collapses skilled trades classifications.

Don’t close the door on your own chance to get off the line.

This contract closes the door on promises made to us retirees and to you, future retirees.  This contract breaks the promise of fully paid health care insurance for life in retirement. It raises our charges on office calls, drugs, and yearly deductibles we have to pay – and future retirees will have to pay. It begins charging us retirees small monthly insurance premiums now, just to get their foot in the door for later. It starts up a VEBA health-care substitute plan which is much too underfunded, and loaded with company promises to pay in the future – which will be worthless any time Cerberus decides to flip Chrysler. They talk about 80 years. Ha! After January 1, 2012, the trustees of the VEBA are free to bill retirees and active workers extra monthly payments in any amount they say. The trustees are also free to cancel more services, and to raise charges for covered services. After January 1, 2012, we can be blindsided with large amounts of extra expense we never expected. For our whole working lives we were promised fully paid medical coverage if we – and you – earned our 30 years.

Don’t close the door on retirees.  Don’t close the door on the retirements we and you have earned for ourselves. Don’t approve this contract!

Sam JohnsonLarry Christensen
UAW Local 227, retired     UAW Local 140, retired

Union labor: ours!

Please Hear What We Say.doc

Dont Close the Door.pdf

UAW-Chrysler 2007 Lowlights

Rather than compare what we got to what we had, the UAW-Chrysler “NEWSGRAM” makes bread crumbs look like meat and potatoes by comparing what bargainers gave away to what the company wished to take away.    
         “Chrysler had an agenda that was nothing but cutbacks.”
         “Your bargaining team successfully resisted the company’s                       demand to cut your pay.”

Ignore the sales pitch and study the numbers. Not only will .10 cents per quarter be deducted from COLA raises but an additional $1.01 will also be deducted. As a result “your bargaining team successfully” cut $2.51 per hour over the life of the agreement. That is $100 per 40 hour week.

Lump sum payments are here today, gone tomorrow. Raises and cost of living adjustments are here today, and grow tomorrow. COLA and annual raises compound quarterly and pay dividends, week after week after week. COLA diversions compound deductions, month after month after month.

On top of that, new hires will start at $14 per hour, a standard well below the nonunion manufacturing average of $19.62 as cited by the UAW Research Department []. Wages will be frozen for the next four years, but in 2011 everyone will be degraded.

Are you “core” or “non-core”? First class or second class? And what is the value of seniority if you can never transfer to a better job? The parties agreed “to consolidate classifications” [pg 121].

There will be two classifications among “core” workers: Team Member or Team Leader. “Every employee is a Team Member; there are no specialty job classifications.” [pgs 227-228]
Core workers will not be allowed to transfer to the better “non-core” jobs. If a worker is currently in a non-core job, they will be “red circled”. Management will have a powerful motivation to  remove you and replace you with someone who will earn half as much.

“The parties have identified Non-Core product and process work totaling 8,000 jobs represented by the UAW that will be retained through a moratorium on outsourcing” [pg 159]. BUT  in an “UNPUBLISHED LETTER” the parties agree “to meet and establish initial guidelines and parameters within 120 days of ratification that will be used to determine the application of the MOU” [pg 308]

In other words, we haven’t heard the last word. There’s more to come, including, “The parties will also determine appropriate application of core/non-core provisions to future Temporary Part Time (TPT) employees” [pg 308]. The future is increasingly temporary [see pg143].

Three facilities— Toledo Machining, Detroit Axle, and Marysville Axle — will be designated entirely non-core [pgs 154-155]. Nineteen Parts depots will be designated entirely non-core [pg 168]. All transport workers will be designated non-core [pg 151].

Despite the job security brouhaha in the “Newsgram”, all insourcing is “dependent upon a favorable business case” [pgs 159-160]. And despite the so called moratorium on outsourcing,  the parties have “agreed to exit” janitorial, cardboard disposal, trash handling, ground, lawn care, snow removal, line sweepers, booth cleaning, machine cleaning, and chip handlers [pg 302]. But that’s just the beginning.     
Skilled trades will be systematically reduced [pgs. 274-280]. “...any given classification may perform work normally belonging to another classification” [pg 275]

Forty-eight skilled classifications “will be incorporated into the Work Group Model based upon plant needs” [pgs 276-277].

“Implementation of the basic trade classifications into the Natural Work Groups is expected to occur no later than the end of the 2nd quarter, 2008” [pg 279].

Retirees were not spared. The VEBA is less than 50% funded. “In reality, the $11 billion you paid to get the health-benefit liabilities off your books will soon look outrageously cheap” []. But in reality, it’s $7.1 billion cash for $19 billion in liability. What’s a “debenture” to a private equity company? They can print stock at Kinkos. A seventeen year old prom queen wouldn’t buy that line from a quarterback in a tux.

According to Newsgram: “The company will pay an additional $1.5 billion to pay for retiree benefits from now until 2010 when the VEBA becomes operational.”

The company was already legally obligated to pay for retiree health care as a result of previous contracts. There was nothing “additional” about it.

If $1.5 billion is needed to cover retiree health care for the next two years, $8.8 billion will not last more than twelve years. Hence, the repeated phrases, “provide benefits at modified levels,” and “trustees will have the authority to make benefit adjustments” predict further rollbacks.

Stand your ground. There’s nowhere to run.

Labor Donated by Soldiers of Solidarity     [ ]

UAW - Chrysler 2007 Lowlights.pdf

UAW - Chrysler Lowlights.doc

Vote NO until we KNOW the WHOLE truth
And until we beat concessions!

With the GM contract as the pattern we’re in big trouble. The Chrysler contract isn’t identical. But we’ve got only two days between the strike’s end and our plant shutdown that may last until the contract vote. We need to know what to look for in a hurry. This analysis of the GM contract is from UAW Soldiers of Solidarity supporters.  Please e-mail me your opinion.
--Brett Ward, member of UAW Local 1700,

GM Contract Analysis (You can download actual contract pages at

Base wage -- Current COLA rolled into base wage, but no raises. Base wage frozen for 4 years.
COLA – Most COLA raises taken away. 10 cents “diverted” from each new COLA raise. The “Highlights” estimate total 4-year COLA at 73 cents. By contrast, COLA from last contract is $2.13, even after diversion.

Bonuses – $3,000 signing bonus.  Performance Bonus of 3% in 2008, 4% in 2009, 3% in 2010. “Highlights” say bonuses and COLA will add up to $13,056 over 4 years.

But what if we got raises and full COLA instead of bonuses?  The contract standard used to be 3% raise per year, plus full COLA. If workers got 3% raises and full COLA instead of bonuses, after 4 years it would add up to $31,220.  The “Highlights” estimate GM base wage and COLA at $28.85 in 2011. If workers got raises and full COLA instead of bonuses, 2011 base wage plus COLA would be $33.88…a $5 an hour difference.

♦ All clean-up jobs to be outsourced.  Current clean-up workers will go to production or take buy-outs.

♦ Many jobs will become low wages jobs.
Pay rates:              Group A     Group B      Group C     
Starting Wage        $14.61        $14.00         $14.00    Reduced                                                                                            medical                                                                                              benefits.
Full Wage              $16.23        $15.30         $14.50     No regular                                                                                          pension.

Low wage jobs include Material Handling, Inspection, Sub-assembly, Machining, Truck Driving and “Others”.Others” is not explained. The contract also does not say clearly what happens to workers already on those jobs. Most workers will be stuck on the line 30 years, as almost all off-line jobs will be either low wage or outsourced. Company can hire more temporary workers in other jobs up to a year, paid at 70% of full pay with few benefits.

♦ For decades, auto companies guaranteed retiree health care.  Now the only guarantee is that these benefits stay the same until January 1, 2012.  The Committee that runs the VEBA fund “shall have the sole discretion to determine benefits and contribution made by retirees.” So then they can reduce retiree benefits and increase what retirees pay.

♦ Much of the money put into the VEBA is not new money out of GM’s pockets. It’s money from the 2006 wage increase taken from GM workers, from COLA diversions, and from a fund that GM already set up after past contracts. Some money from the pension fund goes to VEBA.  Part of GM’s contribution ($4.37 billion) is a convertible note, not guaranteed if GM declares bankruptcy.

♦ Once GM puts their money in VEBA, the UAW can never again ask GM to “provide additional contributions”, “make any other payments” or “provide Retiree Medical Benefits.”  But the UAW can ask the Company to divert more of active workers’ “profit-sharing, COLA, wages and/or signing bonuses” to fund the VEBA.

UAW president Ron Gettelfinger said the VEBA will last 80 years.  Then why do they reduce retirees’ benefits and divert more active workers’ wages?  Workers at Detroit Diesel and Caterpillar were given promises, but VEBA at Detroit Diesel ran out in 12 years--at Caterpillar, in 6 years.

♦ Language is filled with loopholes. Products promised for many plants, but only “dependent on market demand”.

♦ GM promises not to close plants, except for 11 plants that will close or be sold.

♦ Promises are made to stop outsourcing, but with old language that permitted lots of outsourcing.

♦ A GM contract letter on “Sourcing” says there will be “in excess” of 16,766 “non-core” jobs at the end of the contract, plus another 3,000 to be brought in at low pay. Other production jobs can be filled by “long-term temporary” workers, paid $17. One part of the contract says temps get full vision benefits after 5 years of work.
All janitorial and other clean-up jobs are to be “exited”: that means outsourced.

By the end of this contract, more than half the production jobs could be paying $17 an hour, or $14.50, or even less.  Why would these workers vote to protect us older workers in the future? The two-tier scheme at Delphi soon cut the wages on the rest of the other jobs in half – first for new hires, then for the seniority workers who were left.

Losing Doctors, Hospitals, Dentists and other Health Care Providers.
Everyone will have to go into one Dental Plan, which will exclude some dentists people now use. Everyone will have to go into the basic TCN Network, or one of three HMO’s, cutting off some doctors, dentists and hospitals that people now use.

Many Small Health Care Take-Aways, Including:
Premiums (so-called monthly contributions), co-pays, co-insurance, annual deductibles and annual out of pocket maximums can be raised 3% a year. Prescription co-pays on mail order go up to $10, generic, and $15, brand name.  Each year after this, prescription co-pays will go up by 3% a year or “industry trends.”

Here Are Some of the concessions for Skilled Trades:
Alternative Work Schedules: Skilled tradespersons can be scheduled to regularly work Saturday and Sunday as part of a 40-hour-a-week schedule -- at straight time pay.

Skilled Trades Jobs to Be “Exited” The new contract states that many “work elements” and others can be eliminated as skilled trades work. Will you see this list before you vote?  And “As the workload requirements exceed the remaining resources, the work will be exited and not subject to the subcontracting provisions of the UAW-GM National Agreement”.

Skilled Trades Work Pushed onto Production Workers:
The new GM contract says: “Production Operators/Team Members/Leaders are first point-of-response to deal with out-of-standard conditions with machinery and equipment including quality, material, or maintenance.” 

A Kokomo Delphi worker warns:
“Our brothers and sisters at the Big Three must understand that what happened at Delphi is coming their way if they do not hold the line now in their 2007 national negotiations. Delphi only lasted one contract with a two-tier supplemental agreement and now we are all two-tier employees.   We went from a career to “just another job” with a single vote.  Don’t let it happen to General Motors and the rest of the auto industry. Your struggle is our struggle. Hold the line”

Don’t cut the next generation’s pay. We’ll ask them to defend our pensions. Young workers will reply, “Where were you when they cut our pay?”

VEBA Las Vegas
VEBA will gamble health care on stocks and bonds. The risk is transferred to us.  We’ll make up shortfalls. Health care premiums will gobble up our pensions. That’s why UAW past Regional Directors, Jerry Tucker, Warren Davis and Paul Schrade, and past Local 751 Caterpillar president Larry Solomon say “Vote NO.       

UAW Local 600 members Gary Walkowicz and Ron Lare and other SOS supporters contributed to this leaflet.

Labor donated October 2007

Click here to copy and distribute this flyer with graphics

For a real Future at Chrysler

October 21, 2007

To all UAW Brothers and Sisters at Chrysler:

I would like to add my voice to those who are calling for a rejection of the recently-negotiated tentative contract with Chrysler corporation. Please vote "NO" against the VEBA system and the two-tier system of employment contained in the tentative contract. VEBA is a proven failure at Caterpillar and the two-tier system undermines union solidarity regarding same pay for same work. Vote "NO". Sink this contract.

I work at the Jeep factory in Toledo, Ohio, and it is true that Jeep workers are UAW Local 12 members, but we are not included in the national Chrysler agreement. We have never been admitted to the UAW Chrysler Council and we were last rejected for admission in January 2003. At Jeep, we had an eight-year (8-year) contract shoved down our throats in December 2003 with the economic provisions of this contract spelled out only through 2007.Beyond that point, from 2008 to 2011, the economic part of our 8-year contract will be determined by the national Chrysler agreement that you are voting on now.So, while we UAW Jeep workers cannot vote on the Chrysler contract, it will affect us.All the economic provisions of the Chrysler contract will serve as "pass-throughs" and automatically become part of our 8-year contract at Jeep.It simply is not fair that we do not get to vote on an economic package that will apply to our members, our pensions, our health care and the work rules for new-hires at Jeep. Even so, I have a right, since your vote will affect my future, to persuade you to sink this tentative contract.

Cerberus investment group, which purchased Chrysler from Daimler, has no real interest in the long-term health of the Chrysler corporation.Cerberus plans to close plants, cut product lines and chop Chrysler up, piece by piece, and sell off parts of Chrysler in order to recover its investment and make a quick profit. The sale of Chrysler, by Daimler, to Cerberus, was a rigged deal, not the outcome of a fair bidding process.

Daimler has no reason to want a healthy Chrysler corporation that may, one day, compete in markets that Daimler operates in.So, the sale of Chrysler to Cerberus was rigged. I know this to be so, because I was on the Chrysler Employee-Ownership Buy-Out Committee.Yes, a small group of Jeep union workers, acting rapidly as representatives of all Chrysler workers, tried to purchase Chrysler from Daimler, (we presented our proposal to the DaimlerChrysler stockholders meeting in Berlin in April 2007) to make Chrysler an Employee-Owned operation. Neither our bid, (based on $20 billion in credit from 5 US banks), nor the bid of Mr. Kirk Kerkorian was honored as in a fair bidding system where the highest bidder wins the sale.Our rights, as interested parties to the sale, were not respected and key financial information at J.P. Morgan regarding Chrysler's financial health, was never made available to us or our financial backers.Only Cerberus was given access to Chrysler's accounting books, no other bidder nor interested party, not even the UAW, could view these books.

Vote "No" on this tentative contract at Chrysler.Let Cerberus know that we will not swallow concessions just so they can quickly recover their investments and make a handsome profit.Let Cerberus know that we know what they plan to do to Chrysler, to our jobs, to our new-hires, to our products and to our pensions and health care. Chrysler is not the "sick man" of the US auto industry so Cerberus does not NEED any concessions from us. Neither do they deserve concessions from Chrysler workers just so they can chop Chrysler into pieces and feed the pieces to vultures.

If you want a real future at Chrysler, in a healthy company, then YOU must make it happen.Take the first step and sink this contract.Vote "No" and demand the future you want and deserve.

In Solidarity

George Windau

Chrysler-Jeep, Skilled Trades worker, member of UAW Local 12, Toledo, Ohio

For A Real Future At Chrysler.pdf
Independent Analysts View the Chrysler Contract

October 23, 2007

To Robert Nardelli, Chief Executive of Chrysler from Jack Flash: Rescue Memo.
"They pretended to strike, and you pretended to cave. In reality, the $11 billion you paid to get the health-benefit liabilities off your books will soon look outrageously cheap, and limiting job guarantees to the lifetime of the individual products will give you far more maneuverability than anyone is reporting. You were right to allow the U.A.W. to claim victory while you quietly suppressed a smirk, knowing you have just secured much greater flexibility for Chrysler."

The Real prospect: Chrysler and Ford move to Mexico on our dime.
"This creates the real prospect that Ford and Chrysler will be much more heavily Mexican companies in five years," Dan Luria, an analyst at the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Institute told Bloomberg News.

The Exit Strategy: Get union members to pay for the closing fees.
"What does it all mean? Cerberus is keeping its Chrysler strategy close to its chest. But the key question when any private equity group buys a business is: What's the exit strategy? Cerberus has bought Chrysler to make money and in as short a timeframe as possible. Which is probably why Robert Nardelli's now running the automaker and not a car guy like Wolfgang Bernhardt."

VEBA is underfunded, underhanded, and unfair to both workers and retirees.
"Thus, the argument that the offloading of GM's long-standing and carefully negotiated healthcare obligations to the Veba creates a truly independent UAW-controlled entity backed by secure funding is misleading. Despite appearances, the unionised workforce, current and future, remains tightly linked to the fortunes of the troubled carmaker."
Stephen Diamond,
Associate Professor of Law,
Santa Clara University School of Law,
Santa Clara, CA 95053, US

Selling a deal as opposed to an informed vote.
"This note will have a face value of $4.3725 billion. The interest rate is currently undisclosed. The maturity date is undisclosed. The conversion rate is undisclosed. This is essentially a non cash transaction......The market cannot rely on union leadership selling a deal to their own membership for disclosure information."

Every plant, whether it's GM, Ford, or Chrysler, that is labeled non-core is up for sale.

Two tier is not job security, it's an open warrant for union busting.

UAW members have been misled about the security of the VEBA.


Labor Donated:

Independent Analysts View the Chrysler Contract.pdf
I Vote No

October 23, 2007

If we sell out our children, who will buy cars? Who will defend pensions?

Two-tier or outsourcing:
Workers making pay won't buy Sebrings or Avengers !

Vote NO until you KNOW the WHOLE truth, and until we beat concessions!

"Union Advantage"
( says average non-union wages in "Goods Producing Industries" are $19.62 per hour, average union wages are $22.91. How does the UAW come up with $14 per hour for new hires at Chrysler $5.62 below the non-union average?

Think you'll sit by the lake, enjoy good health care, and get a pension check for more than what in-plant makes while they don't earn a pension, only a 401k?? No! Either they come up to us or we go down to them. This contract is divisive!


Would you vote for any of these concessions one by one?
Why vote for all of them by voting for this contract?
Take this test: which of these would you vote for?

High seniority workers lose chance for good jobs off-line, as any job not putting parts on the car becomes non-core: 2nd tier or outsourced.

Voting blind, not knowing if your job will be "non-core."

Defined-benefit health care replaced by limited VEBA fund health care. Higher premiums and co-pays. Risk of huge increases after 2011.

New hire pay cut in half and their pensions eliminated. Janitor jobs outsourced.

No enforceable guarantee of job security.

No annual percentage base pay raises (bonuses instead), more losses in cost of living allowance.

If you answered "No" to any of these concessions, it is better to vote No on the whole contract than Yes on all these concessions.

If you said "Yes" to all of these, you qualify for an easier job--as an International Rep. And then you wouldn't have to take the concessions yourself!

Brother Parker stood his ground. Let's show we all stand together!

The strike showed our power we need our leverage back!

-- Brett Ward, member of UAW Local 1700, labor donated, October 2007



by Shawn Fain, UAW Local 1166, Skilled Trade Committeeman

Fellow Union Members,

    We are one day away from the most monumental ratification vote since 1979. Due to the recent letter that was put out by 7 members of the National Negotiating Committee, titled “The Bare Truth”, (BARE is exactly what it is), I thought I would respond with my own letter titled “The Whole Truth”!

    In the third and fourth paragraphs of this [Bare Truth] letter it is stated that, “misinformation was given credibility to one single member of the negotiating committee and that during crucial moments during negotiations he had no strategy or solutions”, it further states that “good local union representatives didn’t truly understand the provisions of the agreement or chose to take the easy way out and protect their own politics by being anti-ratification.” HOW DARE THEY MAKE SUCH SHALLOW STATEMENTS!

    In 1959, Walter Reuther said, “The real test of friendship and solidarity is not where one stands when the weather is fair and the sun is shining, but rather where he stands at a time of storm and stress.” Bill Parker and the “good local union reps.”, as we were called, are NOT TAKING THE EASY WAY OUT! The only people taking the EASY WAY OUT are the members of the national negotiating team who flip flopped like fish when they initially all voted against this agreement.

    As I stated in an earlier letter, Bill Parker was the only man to stand by his convictions all the way through, he is a man of unmatched INTEGRITY! The only way the International seems to respond to anyone who questions or disagrees with them is to lash out and then start labeling them DISSIDENTS or OUTSIDERS. We need leaders not followers. Remember the old saying, “if everyone is thinking the same, then someone isn’t thinking!” John F. Kennedy once stated, “Without debate, without criticism, no administration and no country can succeed—and no republic can survive.”

    What strategy or solution is needed to stand against 2 tier wages, other than the FACT that an agreement of this type will cause division and ultimately lower the standard of living for the current full time employees’? In the BARE TRUTH it is stated that “not a single existing seniority member will ever be placed on entry level rates.” As you know, at Delphi, their seniority members weren’t placed on entry level rates, but they did eventually lose $10- $12 per hour. How do we organize a Toyota or Honda factory when they are paying their workers $25 per hour and they see us paying some workers $28 and others $14?

    What strategy or solution is needed to secure future product for our respective plants? Contract time is the time when all locals can stand together and fight together for a more secure future. Look at our brothers and sisters at KTP. They have won the Harbour Award for being the most productive plant for both front and rear wheel drive transmissions. Now they have been repaid, not by being rewarded new product in their plant (which is becoming a ghost town) but by getting a “joint venture” with Getrag in another county. In recent times every plant that entered into a joint venture eventually led to the plant being completely taken over by the joint partner, examples are: New Castle/Metaldyne, Huntsville/Siemens, Magna/New Venture Gear and the biggest farce of all Daimler/Chrysler.

    I am sick and tired of reading and hearing that we “the workers” are to blame and always pay the price for what ails the company. Change is inevitable, if you are not changing, then you are not living. Unfortunately the only thing the company wants to change is our pay and work practices, refusing to change the way they do business. We all know, no matter what plant we work at, or which corporation you work for, MISMANAGEMENT and bad business practices are costing this corporation billions. As long as the corporation restricts the plants to buying products through “approved” vendors, our wages will not matter.

    It is ridiculous that I, Joe Nobody, can buy supplies cheaper than a multibillion dollar corporation. Meanwhile, we sit back and watch the company pay executives millions in salary and bonuses, their excuse is, they have to pay these salaries and bonuses to attract “top talent”. Well, the same argument applies for why they should pay our workers the wages they do, we are the best at what we do in our respective jobs, if they want top talent, they should pay us top wages. How many managers even have a clue as to what it takes to make our machinery run? The company is claiming it is not efficient to pay non-core workers full pay. It is not efficient to pay $250,000 for a machine that I, Joe Nobody can buy for $230,000. It is not efficient to outsource work to vendors and paying 3 to 5 times the cost of performing the work in-house with our own workers.

    Einstein once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results.” Closing/selling plants and eliminating jobs has not solved the problems for the past 20 years and it will not solve the problems for the future! But this is how this company operates corporate wide every day! Efficiency is the politically correct word for “speedup”. As we have witnessed the past few years, the company has been laying off, buying out or retiring our workers and then not replacing them. The end result is the company piles more work on those who remain, while also expecting and encouraging the remaining workers to cross lines of demarcation. How many fatalities will we have to witness before this practice ceases?

    The hour of desperation is upon us. We are down to 45,000 employees left here at Chrysler, 75,000 at GM, and around 30,000 at Ford, we used to be 1.5 million strong. We have reached the threshold, it’s time to draw the line and fight like hell for what remains or do we continue down this path of picking us off plant by plant, member by member? I encourage each of you to attend the meeting tomorrow, listen to what the leadership at all levels has to say, and then,


Shawn Fain
Skilled Trades Committeeman
UAW Local 1166


The Bare Truth
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
--Martin Luther King
Contact Us
Basic Current Page