Every three years, the UAW gathers with each of the big three car companies in Detroit to negotiate a new contract. For decades, those contracts guaranteed jobs, good pay, and benefits to generations of autoworkers in Detroit. And established a car culture and a whole way of life in the city and surrounding area. The negotiations kicked off again this week, but the times have changed. Toyota is fast becoming the top-selling car brand in the US, and the big three face layoffs, slow sales, and ballooning employee expenses for pensions and medical coverage. It's make-or-break for both sides, and it's very likely that each will have to give up some of the perks they've fought for decades to gain. If you're a member of the UAW in Detroit or anywhere else in the country, what does the union mean to you... then and now?
July 26, 2007