(Courtesy of MI Live.com)
UAW President Bob King expects recent contract negotiations with General Motors and Ford will directly create or save up to 18,000 jobs in the United States, and he believes the ripple effect could result in up to 180,000 jobs industry-wide.
GM workers ratified their new contract earlier this week, and union members at Ford are expected to vote on a similar package some time in the next week.
“It’s a good deal for the company, it’s a good deal for our membership, but what we’re really proud of is that it’s a good deal for the United State of America,” King told host Paul W. Smith this morning on WJR-AM 760. “More jobs, which we need desparately.”
Both deals include profit sharing arrangements, signing bonuses and provisions requiring the automakers to add thousands of domestic jobs. Locally, Ford would add shifts in Flat Rock, Dearborn and Wayne, while GM is expected to create more than 600 combined jobs in Romulus and Warren.
While some Ford workers believe their company’s success means their contracts should be better than their counterparts at GM, King said the deals are very comprable — and should be. And both deals, he said, have enough structural flexibility to serve as a model for ongoing discussions with Chrysler, the only Big Three automaker yet to agree to a new UAW contract.
King credited President Barack Obama for his support of bailouts for GM and Chrysler, and he thanked American citizens for their role in the Big Three rebound.
“We appreciate the American taxpayers supporting the auto industry. We’re very proud that we’re coming back with profitable industry creating jobs in the US. That was what we were supposed to do, and that’s what we’re doing.”