Archive for the ‘Union’ Category

UAW Secures Third Vote at VW’s Chattanooga Plant

Local 42 filed petition with National Labor Relations Board.

by on Apr.11, 2019

The UAW has secured its third election in five years at VW's Chattanooga plant to unionize the plant.

It what seems to be almost a yearly occurrence, workers as Volkswagen AG’s plant in in Chattanooga, Tennessee, have filed a petition for a union vote at the plant.

A call for a vote has happened three times in five years at the facility and the UAW does represent some skilled trades at the plant. UAW Local 42 President Steven Cochran told the Chattanooga Times Free Pressthe election petition was filed Tuesday with the National Labor Relations Board due to “pressure from the workers.”

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The petition revealed at least 30% of 1,709 employees that make up the proposed election unit have turned in cards for representation. It asks for an election on April 29 and 30. Volkswagen plant officials say they “remain neutral on this topic,” and that the petition is being reviewed. (more…)

Auto Industry Frets as Trump Threatens Again to Close Border

President reiterates warning about shutting down U.S.-Mexico border.

by on Apr.03, 2019

President Donald Trump reiterates that he will close the border, despite the economic impact, if he feels it's necessary.

President Donald Trump is sticking to his guns when it comes to closing the border with Mexico, despite the devastating impact it may have on significant parts of the U.S. economy, particularly the auto industry.

“Sure, it’s going to have a negative impact on the economy. It’s one of the biggest trade deals in the world we’ve just done with the USMCA,” Trump told reporters after a meeting Tuesday.

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“It’s a very big trading partner, but to me, trading is very important, the borders are very important, but security is what is most important to me. I have to have security.” (more…)

Former Union VP Jewell Pleads Guilty in FCA-UAW Scam

Latest guilty plea is sixth person tagged in investigation.

by on Apr.03, 2019

Former UAW Vice President Norwood Jewell pleaded guilty in federal court to charges stemming from the ongoing investigation into bribery of UAW officials.

A former top officer of the United Auto Workers pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges of conspiring to violate U.S. labor laws by taking money from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. while representing union members employed by FCA.

Norwood Jewell, 61, a former UAW vice president and head of the union’s FCA Department, pleaded guilty to one count of violating U.S. Labor-Management Standards Act. He could face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. However, the plea agreement limits the prison sentence to a maximum of 18 months and the size of the fine hasn’t been determined yet.

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Jewell was released on $10,000 personal bond and must surrender his passport and firearms, pending a sentencing hearing, which is scheduled for early August.  (more…)

Fiat Chrysler Cutting Shift at Canadian Minivan Plant

Sales of the Pacifica have fallen 25% this year.

by on Apr.01, 2019

Fiat Chrysler is cutting a shift at its Windsor, Ontario plant. The move eliminates 1,500 jobs.

Facing a sharp drop in the sales of minivans, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV confirmed it will trim one shift at the automaker’s assembly plant in Windsor, Ontario, across the river from Detroit.

The cutbacks will result in the loss of 1,500 jobs at the plant and in untold number of job cuts at stamping plants on the other side of the Detroit River at factories in the U.S. that major components to the facility.

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Up until now FCA managed to avoid major cuts in production similar to those that led to plant closings and shift reductions at plants operated by key rivals such as General Motors and Ford. Last year, Fiat Chrysler sold 270,000 Chrysler Pacifica and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans in the United States.  (more…)

Former UAW VP Jewell Expected to Plead Guilty

Six others have already been found guilty.

by on Mar.22, 2019

Former UAW Vice President Norwood Jewell is expected to plead guilty in federal court next month.

Former UAW Vice President Norwood Jewell is expected to U.S. District Court early next month to plead guilty on charges of violating federal labor law and could be sentenced to up to five years in prison.

Jewell, who abruptly quit his UAW post in December 2017, months before he was scheduled to leave office, is the second top union official implicated in the ongoing investigation. He accepted more than $40,000 in travel and gifts.

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Federal prosecutors are investigating a scam in which the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles executive responsible for relations with the UAW used money designated for training UAW workers for lavish parties and gifts.  (more…)

Ford Increasing Large Sport-Utility Production

Automaker adding 550 jobs to handle increased output.

by on Mar.20, 2019

Ford is increasing the production output at its two sport-utility plants in Kentucky to meet demand for the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator.

Ford Motor Co. is planning to increase production of the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator as both vehicles continue see sales rise in the large SUV segment.

Boosting the production of the Expedition and Navigator after the annual summer shutdown in July will raise the output at Ford’s Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville, Kentucky. as much as 20% as it puts more pressure on archrival General Motors, which has dominated the full-size SUV segment for nearly 15 years.

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Raising production requires more people to build the two popular vehicles so Ford is adding 550 jobs at the Kentucky Truck Plant and moving approximately that same number of employees from the Louisville Assembly Plant, Ford’s other assembly plant in the state of Kentucky where it builds the new Ford Escape and Lincoln Aviator. (more…)

GM Declined Offer to Keep Lordstown Plant Open

Cleveland car dealer wanted Cruzes for ride-hailing business.

by on Mar.19, 2019

GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra reportedly turned down a deal that would have kept the Lordstown plant open.

General Motors Co. could have avoided the latest round of flogging via Twitter from President Donald Trump about its Lordstown, Ohio plant if it had accepted an offer from one of its dealers.

Cleveland-based dealer Bernie Moreno reportedly met with GM officials last fall with an offer to buy as many as 180,000 Chevy Cruzes annually as part of a nationwide ride-hailing fleet to rival Uber and Lyft. The deal could have run as long as five years, according to a Detroit Free Press story.

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Moreno owns a dozen car dealerships across the country selling brands ranging from Lotus and Rolls Royce to Mercedes-Benz to Buick and GMC. However, GM officials studied the deal and then declined the offer apparently viewing it as not viable. The plant was idled last month as the last U.S.-built Cruze rolled off the line. (more…)

Former UAW VP Jewell Charged by Feds in FCA-UAW Scandal

He's the highest ranking UAW official charged.

by on Mar.18, 2019

Norwood Jewell, left, is the highest ranking UAW official to be charged in the ongoing investigation into the theft of UAW-FCA training funds.

Just days after rallying the troops in Detroit for the upcoming contract negotiations, the UAW received another black eye as former UAW Vice President Norwood Jewell was charged Monday by federal prosecutors for violating the Labor Management Relations Act.

Jewell, according to court documents, allegedly received more than $40,000 in travel, lodging and meals between 2014 and 2016 from people working for Fiat Chrysler.

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He is the latest in a string of FCA and UAW executives and family members who have been indicted or convicted in the FBI investigation. Representatives from the FBI and the UAW have been available for comment. (more…)

VW Drafts Plan to Cut 7,000 Workers in Europe

Automaker looking to offset rising EV development costs.

by on Mar.14, 2019

Volkswagen AG COO Ralf Brandstaetter said the company will be cutting thousands of jobs in Europe.

Following in the footsteps of some American automakers, Volkswagen AG is preparing to trim costs by eliminating thousands of jobs in face of a slowing European economy, and profits across the industry begin to slip while the high cost of shifting to electric vehicles and self-driving cars adds up.

The German carmaker said Wednesday it will eliminate as many as 7,000 positions – with measures including early retirement and not filling vacant positions – to achieve an annual profit gain of 5.9 billion euros $6.7 billion starting in 2023.

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GM recently cut 4,000 white-collar job and plans to close five plants while Ford is in the midst of an $11 billion restructuring plan that will include cutting a slew of salaried personnel, the announced closure of its plant in Brazil, resulting 2,700 losing their jobs. (more…)

Rise of Electric Vehicles is a Threat to Jobs, UAW Says

Union calls for new investment.

by on Mar.13, 2019

UAW President Gary Jones told members that new investment was needed by automakers to offset the 35,000 union jobs that could be lost to EVs.

The move to electrification could wipe out as many 35,000 jobs in engine and transmission plants operated by the Detroit’s three automakers and their suppliers during the next several years, the UAW suggests.

Jennifer Kelly, the union’s research director, offered up the observations Wednesday during a sobering presentation to the final day of the UAW’s Special Convention on Collective Bargaining.

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She noted during presentation the auto industry is rapidly changing and electric vehicles are the wave of the future. Automakers, especially General Motors, are charging hard to advance electric vehicle technology. (more…)

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