As details continue to emerge from the tentative agreement between the United Auto Works and General Motors, some sources at Chrysler and Ford are already predicting that a similar contract would be summarily rejected at their companies. Among the many questionable items on the GM-UAW agreement are a $5000 signing bonus and a $2-3 an hour increase for entry-level employees.
Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne today said "GM and us are in two completely different positions. We were born in 2009, into very different situations. I had an 8-billion euro debt, they had a 50-billion dollar capital. Two very different situations."
Chrysler is also less profitable than GM and is still in recovery mode following its repayment of government loans earlier this year. Marchionne is due to resume talks today and will likely ask for a smaller signing bonus. Chrysler officials are also unwilling to budge from the $49 an hour average currently earned by its hourly employees.
GM’s average including hourly pay and benefits is $56; Ford’s is $58 an hour.
Negotiations between Ford and the UAW are expected to be the opposite from Chrysler, with Blue Oval employees demanding more than the GM deal. "I don't think it would fly here," said Gary Walkowicz, who is a UAW committee man at the Dearborn Truck plant in Michigan, where Ford F-150 pickups are assembled.
Walkowicz said the GM deal won’t meet the $7,000 to $30,000 in concessions made since 2007. "That $5,000 is a drop in the bucket to what we've lost," Walkowicz said. According to an Automotive News report, “Ford hourly worker will earn about $75,000 in 2011 when overtime is factored in, along with a $5,000 profit-sharing bonus and a potential $5,000 signing bonus.”
Ford execs have repeatedly compared the company’s wages to those of foreign competitors who pay less to its employees at plants located in the United States. For example, Toyota, Honda, and Hyundai pay its hourly employees $55, $50, and $44 an hour, respectively.
It’s also unclear if Ford and Chrysler will follow an enhanced profit-sharing plan that the UAW and GM reached in the tentative agreement.
Source: Automotive News