Car Culture : Blog Of The Nation Every three years, the UAW gathers with each of the big three car companies in Detroit to negoti
NPR logo Car Culture

Car Culture

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?