BLOG: David Barkholz

UAW risks moral stance with VW election gambit

Posted 4:45 pm U.S. ET, Nov. 5
blogs David Barkholz covers labor for Automotive News.
 
After losing a general union election last year at the Volkswagen assembly plant in Chattanooga, the UAW has returned with a new election petition to represent just 160 skilled-trades workers there. VW, which was accommodating to the UAW in the first election, is vehemently opposing the current maneuver. This is the worst possible time in management’s view to injec ...
     Continue reading "UAW risks moral stance with VW election gambit" » Nov 5, 2015 4:45 pm U.S. ET
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Ending Tier 2 will put UAW-GM deal over the top

Posted 3:00 pm U.S. ET, Nov. 4
After a decade of concessions and a declining standard of living, UAW-represented workers at General Motors generally are not happy with the tentative four-year labor deal that the company has presented them. But I believe they will ratify the contract this week -- probably with a 55 percent margin -- grumbling and all. You see, legacy workers who comprise 80 percent of ...
     Continue reading "Ending Tier 2 will put UAW-GM deal over the top" » Nov 4, 2015 3:00 pm U.S. ET
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GM workers can credit FCA rank and file for UAW's 'transformative' deal

Posted 3:41 pm U.S. ET, Oct. 27
UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada will reveal details Wednesday of a tentative four-year deal with General Motors that she is describing as “transformative.” GM’s 52,600 hourly workers ultimately will be the judge of how well they like the transformation when they vote up or down to ratify it in the coming days. But if by “transformative” Est ...
     Continue reading "GM workers can credit FCA rank and file for UAW's 'transformative' deal" » Oct 27, 2015 3:41 pm U.S. ET
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FCA deal finally gives UAW an organizing carrot

Posted 2:15 pm U.S. ET, Oct. 12
A byproduct of the rich new deal that UAW workers demanded of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles -- and their own leaders -- is that the UAW finally has something worthwhile to sell to employees at nonunion U.S. transplants. Since 2004, the UAW has been retreating on wages and benefits (except health care) at the Detroit 3. This while imploring workers at Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Hy ...
     Continue reading "FCA deal finally gives UAW an organizing carrot" » Oct 12, 2015 2:15 pm U.S. ET
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How Marchionne could forfeit his big win on Tier 2

Posted 12:30 pm U.S. ET, Oct. 7
A UAW strike of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles could force CEO Sergio Marchionne to give back a hard-earned labor trophy he was already polishing for his mantel. For months leading up to UAW negotiations this summer, Marchionne talked about the fundamental unfairness of a two-tier wage system at the Detroit 3 that pays entry-level workers substantially less than traditional wo ...
     Continue reading "How Marchionne could forfeit his big win on Tier 2" » Oct 7, 2015 12:30 pm U.S. ET
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Union speak: UAW's FCA deal sets floor for GM, Ford bargaining

Posted 1:21 pm U.S. ET, Sept. 16
UAW President Dennis Williams was asked last night whether the union’s tentative contract with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles would serve as the pattern for deals with Ford and General Motors. Williams, typically a straight shooter, tortured the answer during the Q&A portion of a joint press briefing with FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne announcing the agreement. But the g ...
     Continue reading "Union speak: UAW's FCA deal sets floor for GM, Ford bargaining" » Sep 16, 2015 1:21 pm U.S. ET
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Marchionne makes habit of line-jumping into UAW talks

Posted 3:22 pm U.S. ET, Sept. 14
That Fiat Chrysler jumped to the head of the line to negotiate first with the UAW is classic Sergio Marchionne. The company was identified as the bargaining target Sunday. The FCA boss wasn’t about to let either of his counterparts at Ford or General Motors negotiate a richer deal that FCA might not be able to afford. Besides, Marchionne and UAW President Dennis Wi ...
     Continue reading "Marchionne makes habit of line-jumping into UAW talks" » Sep 14, 2015 3:22 pm U.S. ET
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UAW talks will turn on Tier 2 resolution

Posted 3:50 pm U.S. ET, Sept. 8
When delegates to the UAW national bargaining convention returned in solidarity to their locals last March, the question on every tongue was whether President Dennis Williams could deliver on his vow to roll back Tier 2 wages in this year’s bargaining with the Detroit 3. Now, less than a week before current contracts expire on Monday night, a little fog has descende ...
     Continue reading "UAW talks will turn on Tier 2 resolution" » Sep 8, 2015 3:50 pm U.S. ET
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Marchionne adds weight to Tuesday's UAW bargaining kickoff

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, July 10
The seriousness of this year’s UAW contract negotiations with Fiat Chrysler just got more so. FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne plans to attend the ceremonial handshake with UAW President Dennis Williams and their entourages when they formally open bargaining Tuesday in Detroit. The current four-year contracts between the Detroit 3 and UAW expire Sept. 14. FCA has the mos ...
     Continue reading "Marchionne adds weight to Tuesday's UAW bargaining kickoff" » Jul 10, 2015 12:01 am U.S. ET
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UAW chief's credibility, legacy on the line with Tier 2

Posted 12:25 pm U.S. ET, June 19
UAW President Dennis Williams flashed an unmistakable determination to solve the union’s Tier 2 dilemma during this year’s contract negotiations with the Detroit 3. In a final press conference on Thursday before entering radio silence, Williams said his members expect him to close the wage disparity between entry-level and more-senior workers. He said he inten ...
     Continue reading "UAW chief's credibility, legacy on the line with Tier 2" » Jun 19, 2015 12:25 pm U.S. ET
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How the Detroit 3-UAW can solve Tier 2 on the cheap

Posted 4:38 pm U.S. ET, June 16
The UAW’s thorny Tier 2 problem with the Detroit 3 is so daunting I now expect the parties to avoid structural changes to Tier 2 with an extra contract signing bonus that placates entry-level workers. Neither of the two obvious ways to “bridge the gap” between the $16 an hour starting wage for entry-level Tier 2 workers and the $28 an hour earned by long ...
     Continue reading "How the Detroit 3-UAW can solve Tier 2 on the cheap" » Jun 16, 2015 4:38 pm U.S. ET
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A prescient meeting with Al Iacobelli

Posted 4:17 pm U.S. ET, June 9
In 10 years of covering UAW negotiations for Automotive News, a face-to-face conversation I had with Al Iacobelli in 2011 stands above the rest. Iacobelli, who retired suddenly today as Fiat Chrysler Automobile’s head of North American employee relations, had taken me through all the facts and figures on why a still-mending FCA couldn’t afford to give its UAW- ...
     Continue reading "A prescient meeting with Al Iacobelli" » Jun 9, 2015 4:17 pm U.S. ET
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How auto dealerships can 'starve' a union drive

Posted 4:12 pm U.S. ET, May 20
While researching a recent story on how Ernie Boch Jr. beat a union drive at his Boch Honda store, I learned that organizing a dealership is at least as difficult as organizing an auto plant in the South. The odds are stacked astronomically against a successful campaign. Let me state upfront that my father was a UAW-represented electrician at a General Motors plant in De ...
     Continue reading "How auto dealerships can 'starve' a union drive" » May 20, 2015 4:12 pm U.S. ET
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GM sends another contract-year message to UAW

Posted 4:00 pm U.S. ET, May 5
How do you know UAW negotiations with the Detroit 3 have started in earnest? If you’d asked me a week ago, I’d have said when the UAW completes its special bargaining convention held every four years so the rank and file can talk tactics and make desires known for the upcoming negotiations. General Motors, though, has prompted me to add a corollary. Now I&rs ...
     Continue reading "GM sends another contract-year message to UAW" » May 5, 2015 4:00 pm U.S. ET
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Why this Tampa dealer reset Latino marketing efforts

Posted 9:53 pm U.S. ET, April 20
TAMPA -- Latinos account for about one third of the car buyers at Kuhn Honda in Tampa. But Internet sales director Joshua Smith still feels as though the store should be doing better. Sporadic efforts to reach Latinos on Spanish-language television and radio in Tampa have yielded almost no sales, he said. So as the Kuhn Honda launches a new media campaign to promote the ...
     Continue reading "Why this Tampa dealer reset Latino marketing efforts" » Apr 20, 2015 9:53 pm U.S. ET
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