UAW eliminates two-tier wages in auto plant

Move will improve wages and working conditions in Canada: Unifor
|labour-reporter.com|Last Updated: 09/18/2014

Unifor applauded a recent push by the United Auto Workers (UAW) to end two-tier wages in American auto plants.

Jerry Dias, Unifor’s national president, said the move should help improve wages and working conditions in the Canadian auto industry.

“This is a positive step by the UAW to eliminate inequities on the shop floor,” Dias said. “It is time for auto workers on both sides of the border to share in the recovery of the industry, and I congratulate UAW on taking this step.”

The two-tier wage system at a Lear Corp. plant in Indiana — in which new hires are paid less than existing employees on a permanent basis — was previously accepted by the UAW when the auto industry faced tough times over contract talks.

The union’s recent one-day strike resulted in the company agreeing to end two-tier wages. The deal is set for ratification.

According to Dias, this progress is a sign the UAW is prepared to tackle two-tier wages in its upcoming contract talks with the Big Three auto makers in 2015.

“It sends the signal,” he said. “The UAW is being very proactive and progressive.”

Because American contracts affect negotiations in Canada, Dias said the UAW’s move will take pressure off Unifor to bring two-tier wages to auto plants when contract talks open in Canada in 2016.

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