Detroit Free Press: Marick Masters on Ford, UAW contract

General Motors hourly workers Mike Yakim and Sean Crawford are lucky. They each work at a GM factory pretty much guaranteed to keep building vehicles over the next four years. That's considered by union members to be job security. Still, both men said they now think that the six-week strike against GM was not worth it in the end. A spokesman for GM declined to comment on the lack of detailed plant investments, saying it was a UAW decision. A UAW spokesman said the union outlined in its highlights GM's total investment in U.S. manufacturing and the closures of three plants. Listing detailed product investment and plant allocation was tricky for the UAW's GM Department, labor experts said. Labor experts said the UAW Ford Department listed detailed investment plans also because they coincide with the company's ongoing business model, regardless of what changes might occur in the near-term auto environment, said Marick Masters, director of labor at Wayne State University. "It’s also not clear from Ford’s presentation in the package how many of these are new commitments versus what Ford was already planning to do," said Masters. “GM doesn’t want to lock itself into commitments it has to break down the road because of the changing nature of the environment."

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