GM-UAW wage agreement sparks protest
By Jim Hagerty
In an attempt to cut expenses on production of the Chevrolet Cruze, General Motors announced it wants to play workers approximately half of what some union workers earn on similar production jobs.
According to UAW information, 40 percent of union workers at the Orion Township, Mich. plant will make half of the $28-per-hour wage. While GM and United Autoworkers reps have agreed to the cut, about 100 protesters marched outside union headquarters in Detroit Oct. 16.
Citing an effort to transfer certain tiered workers at top of the pay scale out of the Orion Township plant, union and GM reps said the plant will be reserved for workers on the lower end of the wage spectrum.
“We have become ‘red circle,’ ” Mike Dunn, an Orion Township UAW said. “No other tier ones will be able to transfer into Orion.”
General Motors executives announced the reduction in wages is necessary to slash production costs until the company’s small and compact car sales become profitable again in U.S. market. Insiders continue to champion the industry’s attempt to keep small car production in the U.S. without operating at a loss. Ford, Chrysler and GM have found it more profitable on some modes to build small cars in low-wage markets such as Mexico and South Korea.
The compact Buick Verano is also a built at the Orion Township plant.
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