Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

UAW Gains From Detroit’s Downfall

The New York Times has a brutally honest headline: “As Detroit Is Remade, the U.A.W. Stands to Gain.”

The article goes onto highlight just how much the UAW stands to gain and its disproportionate influence on automobile policy. A few of the key points to take away from the article:

The UAW will get to sit on both sides of the table.

“According to restructuring plans proposed this week, the union will have more than half the stock in Chrysler and a third of General Motors, meaning it will have tremendous influence, with the government, in determining the future of the companies.”

The UAW made very few concessions in comparison to other unions in industries that faced bankruptcy.

“The U.A.W. members at both automakers stand to lose some of their pay and benefits, but the cuts are not as deep as those faced by airline and steel workers when their companies went bankrupt. Under proposed deals devised by the Treasury Department, U.A.W. pensions and retiree health care benefits would largely be protected.”

The UAW gave up their Easter Monday holiday and agreed to overtime for work exceeding 40 hours per week.

“But many of the U.A.W. members who voted Wednesday on the Chrysler proposal were struggling to see the benefits of the cuts they were agreeing to. The deal suspends cost-of-living pay increases, limits overtime pay and reduces paid time off. It also eliminates dental and vision benefits for retirees.”

The UAW has contributed over $25 million to federal candidates, 99 percent to Democrats.

“In the last 20 years, the U.A.W. has donated more than $25.4 million to federal candidates, 99 percent of it to Democrats, according to, a site that tracks campaign contributions.”

The UAW is really good at looking after itself.

Categories: Center for Union FactsEFACNewsUAW