UAW will press for more money, jobs for Chrysler workers

It's time to follow the money. Contract talks begin Monday morning at Chrysler Group LLC headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mich., between Chrysler executives Scott Garberding and AI Iacobelli and UAW bosses Bob King and General Holiefield.

The two sides commence negotiations on issues such as job creation and retention and profit sharing after the honchos make "the official handshake."

Chrysler paid out the lowest profit-sharing checks in Detroit last year: $750 per auto worker. The UAW hopes to boost that number substantially.

Benefits also are at issue, as they always are for America's most powerful labor union.

Negotiators representing Chrysler are Garberding, who is senior VP-manufacturing / world class manufacturing, and Iacobelli, VP-employee relations.

UAW negotiators are King (pictured), president of the union, and Holiefield, VP and director of the UAW Chrysler Department.

There also will be negotiating teams from each side present.

Chrysler is the first of the Detroit Three to begin negotiations. Ford Motor and General Motors will talk new contract a little bit later. The UAW represents more than 100,000 auto workers in America employed by the former Big Three. The current contract expires in mid-September.

"We are interested in the long-term viability of the companies," King told Detroit's WXYZ TV in an interview. At the same time, King expects the car companies to do better with health-care coverage this go-around.

"There are ways to make health care less expensive without taking a penny off the workers," he told WXYZ.

The Detroit Three have been profitable in a down economy in part because union members took compensation concessions these past few years to keep the American auto companies competitive. Now it's time for UAW members to be rewarded for that, King contends.

“I’m focused on income,” King told The Associated Press in an interview. “I think in today’s world that’s how you’ve got to think about it.”

You can reach's Hawke Fracassa at [email protected] or at (248) 747-1550.

Image source: CAW / UAW

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Why are Chrysler leaders called "executives" but UAW leaders called "bosses?"