Formal contract negotiations between the United Auto Workers union and major American automakers are still almost four months away, but one point of contention has already emerged. In a gathering Wednesday of UAW local chapter leaders in Detroit, union president Dennis Williams rejected a plan by Ford and General Motors to propose a pay tier below the two currently in place, saying, “I think they’ve got too many damn tiers now.”
UAW leaders say they want to return to one pay tier for all of the union’s workers, something they haven’t had since 2007. Currently, tier 1 for senior members pays $28 per hour while tier 2 pays between $16 and $19.28. “Everyone wants to do away with Tier 2,” Jeff Wright, president of UAW Local 249, which oversees 7,000 workers in Ford’s Claycomo plant, told Bloomberg. “Nobody likes it.”
In all, Ford’s Claycomo plant and GM’s Wentzville assembly facility employ more than 10,000 union workers who stand to be affected by the upcoming negotiations.