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Very interesting. I like what you have to point out and await the information disc.
T. Eby

Easy to navigate and very informational

I wanted to drop you a line to let you know about the terrific job LRI and your consultant did for our employees. He was extremely knowledgeable, easy to work with and has great interpersonal skills that allow him to genuinely connect with employees at all levels. Our facilities mechanics and custodians were so appreciative of his work and the information he shared that he received many hugs, handshakes and thank yous on the last day. He also left management with a lot to think about and a road map of what needs to be done differently. Our employees ultimately voted to overwhelmingly defeat the Teamsters 43-no to 3-yes that allows us to continue to work directly with our employees in their best interest giving the us the opportunity to make things right. You consultant was a great partner to HR as well, collaborating on the strategy and actions needed to make the union campaign a success. Thank you again for the great service. I would welcome the opportunity to be a reference for LRI at anytime.
B. Rosa

Tension In The UAW

You heard us say last month that the UAW’s success pushing through their collective bargaining agreements with the Big Three, eliminating the two-tier wage system, has some people expecting those same companies to move auto production to Mexico. Today, we’d like to dive a little further into what the reasoning is behind that.


Will Ford, Fiat Chrysler, and GM move all auto production to Mexico? No. However, just as all vehicles have a different tag price, so does their cost of labor. Cheaper cars are cheaper to manufacture. More expensive vehicles – trucks and SUVs – are, you guessed it, more expensive to manufacture. Truck and SUV manufacturing may be able to support these higher wages; however, production costs associated with, say, the Ford Focus can’t.

Charles Lane, writer for the Washington Post, speculates that we won’t see the actual effects of this decision until gas prices come back up. Increased fuel prices mean less interest in gas-guzzling vehicles (trucks, SUVs) and more interest in fuel-efficient cars (those that U.S. auto manufacturing companies will be forced to move south of the Rio Grande). The fact is, roughly 70 percent of the Big Three’s sales this year came from pickups and SUVs. What’s going to happen when gas prices catch back up and the Big Three’s most lucrative products hit a wall?

Lane suggests:

In a different world, one in which the Big Three were not legally bound to deal with the UAW at all U.S. plants, and thus did not face a binary choice between paying UAW wages or moving abroad, the carmakers would at least have had the option of hiring Americans to build smaller cars at some wage between union scale and Mexican rates: bad for the union, but not necessarily bad for American workers.

Elsewhere in Michigan, UAW members are not as happy with their union’s dealings. Nexteer workers are concerned UAW leaders are more interested in keeping face with the company than representing its employees. After 98 percent of Nexteer workers voted down the most recent deal brought to them by UAW, the union issued a strike and then called it off shortly thereafter, claiming a new tentative deal was on the table. Members haven’t seen any sign of a new deal.

In Wisconsin, Kohler employees have been involved in a nasty strike for the past five weeks. In week two, the UAW actually distributed a list of all Local 833 members who had crossed the picket line. The document said things like: “No longer our union brothers or sisters,” “A scab is a scab,” and “Don’t be afraid to point them out.” A tentative deal was announced on Tuesday.

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