General Motors/UAW

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GM/UAW What Can We Expect?
In the past, General Motors (GM) has been the top seller of the three major automakers and had one of the strongest unions in the United States. Today, GM is decreasing in rank due to other automakers. The moral among the members of the United Auto Workers (UAW) is diminishing. If things continue on this current path, GM may be of the pass. Even with all the discounts GM is advertising, this may not be enough to pull them out of their financial burden. Could the answers to GM worries be the UAW?
The UAW was organized in the late 1930’s. The purpose of the organization was to protect the workers rights. GM was not in agreement with the workers forming a union. After much debate, the workers staged a sit down strike that lasted about six weeks. This tremendously affected GMs’ profits and they decided to give recognition to the UAW as having the right to represent workers who are union members.
The UAW and GM are both strong organizations in their own rights. They must put aside their past disagreements and come together to help GM out of this financial situation. GM has threatened to make cuts on their own, causing breakdown in the relationship with the union. UAW is willing to make concessions, but not to the extent of what GM is demanding. UAW needs to open a contract talk before 2007, in order for GM to survive. Without a GM there will be no UAW, and UAW needs to remember that.
GM and UAW seem to be playing a dangerous game that can destroy many people’s lively hood. GM is hurting financially and instead of asking for help from the UAW, GM prefer to threaten them about health care costs. GM chairman, G. Richard Wagoner Jr., said recently that he prefers to collaborate with the UAW on health care issues rather than a fight. Mr. Wagoner stated that he would press the issues for health care cost cuts with or without the union’s approval. It is crystal clear that we need to achieve a significant reduction in the health care cost disadvantage and it needs to be done now (Welch, 2005).
GM is seeking to slash health care cost and the stakes are massive. Billion in potential savings for GM if their demands are met, but if not GM will have lost billions if the UAW strikes.

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