Behind the Wheel with Phil Lebeau

Ford/Chrysler: Will They Buy The GM/UAW Deal?


Well, that didn't take long. Just 5 days after the UAW and General Motors  struck a dealthere are already people complaining that they don't like the agreement and questions about whether or not it will be the pattern and language of the contracts Ford and Chrysler strike with the union. I'm not surprised, to hear the complaints.

Within the UAW itself there are members who work at GM who are not happy with the deal because they believe the union is giving up too much to GM with little if any job guarantees. Add to that the New York Times report that GM plans to close four more plants during the life of this new contract, and you see why some in the rank and file might be skittish about this contract.


This brings up the question: Can Ford and Chrysler actually bargain a deal that is radically different than the one the UAW struck with GM? The answer: only if there is major impasse between the automakers and the UAW. But given the financial condition at Chrysler and Ford, I don't think either wants to risk a strike. That said, they will push the UAW for changes or "tweaks" in the GM contract that better suit both of those automakers. perhaps the bonus agreements for the rank and file, or the pension guarantees for retirees won't be as sweet as they are with GM.

But ultimately, I believe Chrysler and Ford sign deals with the UAW that are fairly similar to the one completed by GM last week.

Once that happens, it sets up the automakers to prove they have the plan and pipeline to not only be competitive with the foreign automakers here in the U.S., but to also more importantly win. Yesterday, I asked for your opinion of which automaker is best positioned to thrive over the next 3-4 years. Already, I've heard from some of you, and your reasons are interesting. I'll run down your thoughts later this week.

Here's some more Information from the Auto Insider Blog.

Cramer has an interesting opinion on what will go on in Detroit with the big automakers and the UAW in the near future, Here's the video.

Questions?  Comments?