UAW Seeks Raise for Auto Industry ‘Two-Tiers’

Bob King, the president of the United Auto Workers union, wants a raise. Not for himself, but for entry level workers at auto plants, who are called “two-tiers.”

Our Kate Davidson profiled several of them last year. Two-tiers earn roughly $14 an hour, or about half the wages earned by the industry’s veteran workers.

Speaking to reporters following a speech to the Economic Club of Detroit today, King said he’s “very concerned” about attaining a higher standard of living for these workers, according to the New York Times.

King has previously said he doesn’t want to eliminate the second tier of workers because he believes that it helps create jobs that might otherwise be filled in other countries or at outside suppliers with lower wages. Automakers, meanwhile, say they need the two-tier wage system to be more competitive.

The UAW president says he’s upbeat about the progress of contract talks with Detroit automakers, but says it might be difficult to get a deal by Sept. 14, when those contracts expire. It isn’t unusual for the union and the companies to talk past the deadline, reports WWJ-AM Detroit.

Are you following the negotiations? What are the top issues you hope to see addressed?

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