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The four-year labor contract between the United Auto Workers (UAW) union and the Big Three automakers – Ford Motor Co., General Motors Corp. and DaimlerChrysler AG – expires Sunday (Sept. 14), but a strike appears unlikely, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal on Monday (Sept. 8).
Although no agreement had been reached as of today (Sept. 9), it appears the UAW wants to reach a pact with all three members of the Big Three, instead of selecting one of the companies as a target for a possible strike, according to the Journal.
Under the target strategy, the UAW would try to reach a new agreement with the targeted firm and then get the other two auto firms to agree to a contract like the one worked out with the targeted firm. That has also meant in the past that the targeted firm’s plants could go on strike if an agreement weren’t reached prior to the expiration of the old contract.
The union’s apparent decision not to select a target firm and to reach an agreement without a strike is a recognition of the growing strength of Japanese and European automakers, many of whom operate nonunion plants in the U.S., according to sources quoted by the Journal.
The Big Three automakers are key suppliers to the motorhome sector. General Motors supplies gas-engine Class A motorhome chassis components to Workhorse Custom Chassis LLC and its Allison Transmission operation is the sole supplier of automatic transmissions for the diesel-pusher Class A category.
Meanwhile, Ford is the leading Class C motorhome chassis supplier and it supplies gas-engine Class A motorhome chassis components for final assembly by Detroit Chassis LLC.
DaimlerChrysler’s Freightliner subsidiary also is a diesel-pusher chassis supplier.