Its public persona is one of ‘solidarity,’ but there appears to be a schism building between the top brass at the UAW and its local unions at Ford Motor Co. It is a schism that has the UAW’s top boss Ron Gettlefinger crying foul against his own union’s local leaders, accusing them of misinforming their members on the unions deal with Ford.
Ten days ago, the United Auto Workers reached another give-back agreement with Ford to bring Ford to a par with the UAW-owned Chrysler and government-owned General Motors.
However, according to the Associated Press, there is rank-and-file opposition to the agreement.
Many of the opponents, including some elected leaders at Ford’s pickup truck plant in Dearborn, Mich., have urged workers to vote against the agreement, saying it would require too many concessions and would limit the workers’ right to strike. Opponents say Ford is profitable yet is asking for more concessions, and that it is time to take a stand against the company.
Gettelfinger said Saturday that opponents are telling workers that the UAW is giving up its right to strike in the next round of contract talks in 2011 — a charge Gettelfinger says is untrue.
“The Ford members retain the right to strike on every issue except improvements in wages and benefits,” he said. “Those in opposition to this agreement are using that as an issue.”
Those in opposition? Do you mean your own union members, Mr. Gettlefinger?