Automotive News

The UAW-Detroit 3
2019 negotiations

Latest News

Key Issues

Data Points

Key Players

Latest news

"This is our last resort."
-- Terry Dittes, vice president of the UAW-GM department, upon the announcement that the UAW would strike GM

"You could essentially shut down all of Ford with a couple of engine plants or a couple of transmission plants. It would really hit the volume sweet spot."
-- Jeff Schuster, president of global forecasting, LMC Automotive

Electric vehicles, which lack complex components such as multispeed transmissions or exhaust and fuel systems, require fewer labor hours. The UAW believes 35,000 or more of its members jobs are at risk because of EVs.

"There's a move toward electric and self-driving cars and a need to innovate and come up with this new technology and find the best way to do that. From the company side, this is big. From the worker side, they want some stability. They're afraid their plants are going to be shut down and they're going to lose their jobs. I think this is the biggest concern of workers in the UAW at this point, that the industry is heading toward another downturn." -- Josh Murray, an assistant professor of sociology at Vanderbilt University.

? Go to our complete 2019 contract talks coverage

Key issues

Ford expects the cost of health insurance for its 55,000 hourly workers in the U.S. to top $1 billion for the first time in 2020.

The U.S. auto market, while still healthy, has been contracting. Meanwhile, electric powertrains threaten to upend the workforce landscape for all automakers and health care costs threaten the profitability of businesses across America. It is in this environment that the UAW and Detroit 3 will negotiate a new four-year deal.

Learn more about the Health Care issue »

Learn more about the Temporary Workers issue »

Learn more about the Investment issue »

Learn more about the Tiered Wages issue »

Data Points

Contract highlights and lowlights

Major changes in recent UAW contracts with the Detroit 3

■ Retiree health care shifted to VEBA
■ 2-tier wage schedule created, eliminating pensions for new hires
■ Wage increases replaced by lump-sum bonuses

2009 (reopening of 2007 contract)
■ Jobs Bank eliminated
■ Right to strike forfeited through 2015
■ Health coverage cut back

■ 2nd-tier pay increased
■ Profit-sharing formula changed
■ Job-creation investments and insourcing of work from Mexico promised

■ Wages increased
■ Newly hired workers given path to full wages
■ No overtime after 8 hours a day, only after 40 hours a week.
■ No reinstatements of a cost of living allowance


Key Players

"We are preparing for a conflict, and we are choosing to rely upon ourselves rather than rely on the goodwill of others."
-- UAW President Gary Jones

General Motors
Terry DittesTerry Dittes

Dittes will enter negotiations after being appointed a vice president in January 2018. He was originally chosen to oversee the union's Fiat Chrysler department following the retirement of Norwood Jewell, who has since been charged and pleaded guilty in an ongoing corruption scandal. The following June, Dittes was re-elected at the union's bargaining convention and tapped to run the GM department.

Gerald JohnsonGerald Johnson
GM VP, global manufacturing

Johnson was appointed to his current title in April. He leads GM's global manufacturing operations, manufacturing engineering and labor relations organizations. He was previously vice president of North American manufacturing and labor relations.

Rory GambleRory Gamble

Gamble, a UAW veteran, enters his first round of negotiations as a vice president following the retirement of longtime UAW-Ford VP Jimmy Settles. Before his current role, he served three terms as director of UAW Region 1A. He was on the UAW-Ford national negotiating team in both 1998 and 2003, according to the union.

Bill DirksenBill Dirksen
Ford VP, labor affairs

Dirksen has held his current role since January 2014, leading the company's negotiations during the last round of contract talks. He's responsible for global labor policy and negotiations covering Ford's approximately 140,000 union employees. Additionally, he is responsible for hourly employee health care management and the company's collective bargaining with unions worldwide, according to Ford.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Cindy EstradaCindy Estrada

Estrada, the union's top-ranking female official, will oversee negotiations with Fiat Chrysler for the first time this year after previously leading the union's General Motors department. She was first elected UAW vice president in 2010 and assigned to direct the union's independents, parts and supplier/competitive shop department; public sector and health care servicing department and women's department.

Glenn ShagenaGlenn Shagena
FCA VP, head of employee relations

Shagena has served in his current position since 2015. He's the lead representative for a number of functions, including labor relations; integrated health care & disability; retirement & savings; manufacturing HR/ER; occupational safety & health; FCA Mexico & FCA Canada HR/ER; labor economics & benefit finance; & the UAW-Chrysler National Training Center.