Over the years, the union has maintained a running critique of NAFTA as automakers and suppliers have moved work to Mexico to capitalize on lower wages and looser regulations than are in place in the U.S.
Violent crime has prompted the U.S. State Department to issue warnings to Americans traveling in Mexico. Detroit automakers have told employees to take even greater precautions on business trips to plants in places such as Saltillo and San Luis Potosi.
Microsoft’s Chris Pendleton says data stored in the cloud creates opportunities for the software giant’s partners and OEMs to deliver services that will help car owners and other customers operate more efficiently.
Auto sales in China topped 24.5 million units in 2015 and will continue growing at a modest but steady clip in coming years, reaching more than 30 million annually in the next decade, panelists at the University of Michigan discussion say.
“NAFTA is a huge problem. I think his position on trade is right on,” Dennis Williams says of Republican Trump. “When I look at the amount of money that General Motors, Ford, Toyota and Nissan are putting in Mexico…taking jobs away from our country and our communities…I think there should be consequences.”
The Unifor union won commitments from Ford to invest C$700 million in its Canadian facilities, but the automaker didn’t budge from the 2-tier wage system also opposed by Unifor’s United Auto Workers counterparts in the U.S.
The new plant will concentrate on producing aluminum calipers for vehicles built in Mexico by U.S. and European automakers. Brembo is negotiating to supply Asian automakers as well, plant manager Jose Miguel Leon Graffin says.
There are signs union members at Ford – where more than 40% of the workers are new hires paid lower, second-tier wages – will make an issue of the 10-year grow-in period contained in the pattern agreement Unifor has signed with GM and FCA.
Under the terms of the settlement, the automaker’s assembly plant in Oshawa, an engine and transmission plant in St. Catharines and a parts depot in Ontario all will receive significant new investment.
Kevin Moore, director of the Teamsters’ Carhaul Div. who also is president of Teamsters Local 299 in Detroit, says the union will evaluate all its options, including a strike, slowdown or other “job action” when leaders reconvene next week.
The Magna vote is the UAW’s second successful organizing drive in the Southern U.S., where a half-dozen other non-union plants have held the UAW at bay with tactics ranging from comparable pay to threats to move work to Mexico or Thailand.
Christian Hutin, a member of the French National Assembly, is asking the French government to use its 20% stake in Renault – making it Nissan’s largest shareholder – “to help improve the situation in Canton,” the UAW says in a news release.
The talks, tentatively scheduled to begin in mid-August, a little over a month before the current contract’s mid-September expiration, will mark the first time Unifor representatives will sit across the table from Detroit’s car makers.