Detroit Free Press: Marick Masters on ramifications of lack of confidence in UAW leaders

Roughly 46,000 UAW-represented autoworkers went on strike against General Motors on Sept. 16. It is the first UAW strike since 2007 and affects 55 GM sites. Broadly, workers argue that they made concessions a decade ago to help the companies through the recession — and GM to recover from bankruptcy — but they aren't adequately sharing in the billions in profits that have rolled in during recent years. Many observers believe ratification is not a given, in part because of a federal corruption probe that has touched the highest levels of the union. Charges against regional director Vance Pearson implicated UAW President Gary Jones and immediate past President Dennis Williams in the misuse of union money. “The tentative agreement they negotiate will have to be good enough to sell itself," said Marick Masters, director of labor at Wayne State University. "The (UAW) leadership will not be able to sell an agreement that the membership will ratify, because they will not have confidence in the leaders.”  

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