The United Auto Workers union enters into contract negotiations with the Ford Motor Company in Michigan. What are the three main subject areas the UAW can negotiate with Ford, with an example of each? What steps can the UAW take if there is no agreement? What steps can Ford Motor take if there is no agreement? Will the laws of the state of Michigan influence the collective bargaining process?

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According to the United Auto Workers Constitution under Contracts and Negotiation Article 19, the three areas in which the UAW may negotiate, in order of their listing in the Constitution, are wages, hours and working conditions. These areas are comprehensive and include wages, whether salaried or hourly, hours of work, apprenticeship programs, journeyman standards and working conditions, as detailed in Article 19. These negotiation areas apply to all worker levels from technicians to apprentices to production and office workers:

apprenticeble skilled trades and related workers, production workers, office workers, engineers, and technicians

The negotiating power of the UAW acting in behalf of all levels of workers and in these three areas are effective for contractual matters that are "common to all" workers or are common only to matters related to an exclusive group of workers, for example, to the exclusive group of engineers. All of this information is as explained in Article 19 of the UAW Constitution.

An example of negotiating for wages would be negotiating a contractual change to bring "auto manufacturing jobs back to the United States from China, Mexico and Japan." This will provide restored wages for previously displaced workers or new replacement workers. Another example is upgrading the profit sharing program. An example of negotiating for hours might be a negotiation that provides for increased sick leave to accompany the contractually secured "unlimited $20 doctor’s office visits." An example of negotiating for working conditions would be the contractual agreement that in 2015 significant improvements to tooling and buildings will be made: "$6.3 billion will be invested directly into retooling and upgrading plants."

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