A Strike “Template”

That’s what the UAW hopes to use its bludgeon of GM as when the union turns to Ford and Fiat Chrysler.

The United Auto Workers will use the agreement at GM as a template that is expected to reach similar terms on wages and benefits in separate contract talks with Ford Motor Co and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles….

However, there’s no reason for Ford or Fiat Chrysler to succumb to this.¬† These are three separate companies, with separate goals, revenue streams, and cost structures; there should be three separate contracts with the UAW.

There’s also no reason for Ford or Fiat Chrysler to succumb to UAW’s move just because the union wants a common contract. What’s good for GM is not what’s good for Ford or Fiat Chrysler, especially since GM gave away so much of their farm, not just to end a strike, but to agree to higher costs solely to try to inflict those increased costs on their rivals. GM is well aware of the UAW’s auto industry “negotiating” pattern.

There’s also no reason for Ford or Fiat Chrysler to succumb to UAW’s move because the union’s anti-GM strike has drastically drawn down its strike fund and reduced its ability to pay its striking union members. UAW can’t hack, or can’t so easily hack, a prolonged strike against either company, much less both of them. The UAW also needs to consider the effects of its strike(s) on surrounding businesses: suppliers, suppliers of the suppliers, other businesses that serve the workers of those suppliers with recreation, restaurants, theaters, and the like.

Update: Since I wrote this, Ford has acceded to UAW demands, and they did so quickly.

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