UAW President Unhappy with Ford CEO Pay, Not Ready to Settle Contracts Early

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Come September, the United Auto Workers’ contracts with Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors will expire. Although each of the automakers hopes they can avoid intensive negotiations, recent comments from UAW president Bob King suggest the talks with Ford may be a little trickier than originally thought.

King specifically hopes CEO Alan Mulally, who recently raked in $26.5 million in compensation and a $56.5 million stock reward last year, will see the reported disadvantage he has put himself and his company in. If the automaker can provide its top brass with such a reward, King reasons, why can’t it do the same for its rank-and-file workers, as well?

“Alan Mulally is a good CEO,” King told Automotive News. “He’s done a lot of good. But he has a blind spot. He does not see the harm he’s doing to his own cachet within both the hourly and salaried at Ford. What he’s doing is making it more difficult for us for the upcoming negotiations.”

It should be noted that Ford did, in fact, did issue profit sharing checks for its hourly employee base at the end of 2010. According to the automaker, those checks averaged close to $5000 an employee.

Other than pushing for a seat on Ford’s board (along with similar positions at the other two Detroit automakers), King shied away from disclosing what his organization is seeking from the automaker at this point. He does note that under the current contract, Ford’s 42,000 UAW members have the option to strike if the union’s demands aren’t met, something their colleagues at General Motors and Chrysler cannot do.

There have been various reports that even though King’s feelings toward Mulally may be slightly sour, talks with Ford have been moving along and negotiations could end early. AN, however, notes while King hopes he can avoid “intense negotiation” with only a single automaker (instead crafting agreements that generally work for all three), he doesn’t see a point of prematurely coming to an agreement.

“Relationships are really good, and we’re going to try to problem solve,” he said. “But there are a lot of problems and a lot of issues to work through, so I don’t know if it would be realistic to think that anything would get done early.”

Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)

Claude
If you think Mulally is responsible for the profits Ford managed you had best pull your head out before you sit down. If not for the workers in this country none of these millionaires and billionaires would have a dang dime. When will the ignorant people of this country open their eyes and see, the only reason for the good wages paid in this country are "the Unions". If the unions leave, the foreign transplants will lower wages with every new hire, and so will every other industry that hasn't already moved to China. If you think for one moment Toyota, Nissan, BMW and Mercedes want to pay top wages think again, they could give a rats butt about their workers, they want the cheapest workers they can find.
Jarett
Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if Labor had not first existed. Labor is superior to capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.—Abraham Lincoln
Kevin
If not for the hard work, blood, sweat and sacrifice from myself and all my UAW/FORD Brothers and Sisters, Ford shareholders would be counting far less money than they are today.
Kevin
If not for the hard work, blood, sweat and sacrifice from myself and all my UAW/FORD Brothers and Sisters, Ford shareholders would be counting far less money than they are today.
Jim
This is the most tired old saw. Ford isn't the UAW's personal property. Ford is the Ford shareholders' property. What the Ford shareholders do with their property, and their money, is their own business and not the UAW's. The subtext here is, Mr. Mulally made $50 million plus, so that means the UAW should get 100 times that much ($5 billion) just as a thank-you kiss, even though it's not their money and not their company.

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