UAW's Jones: Detroit 'on notice'

The UAW is starting its talking-points offensive ahead of annual contract talks with U.S. automakers.

United Auto Workers President Gary Jones told attendees of the union's annual bargaining convention in Detroit that the UAW won't tolerate further factory closures or any talk of moving more jobs to Mexico.

"They are on notice," he said of the Detroit-based manufacturers, according to Reuters.

In his speech to union delegates Wednesday, Jones said that he expected annual contract negotiations with Detroit's automakers to be particularly high-stakes this year as healthcare costs and the use of temporary workers remain contentious issues for both sides.

The UAW announced that union members will receive more pay during strike periods starting this year in hopes that it would discourage any unilateral moves by any automaker to further trim or relocate its labor force.

GM's announcement late last year that factories would be shut down and jobs slashed were a blow to U.S. labor. Jones referred to the shutdowns as "[...]quiet closing[s] of plants," likely an insinuation that any further shutdowns would be met with lively and vocal protest.

The UAW is exploring several avenues for re-opening Lordstown (along with keeping other facilities on the shutdown list up and running), including a lawsuit brought against GM by the union over the closure of the Ohio factory.

The union also wants to negotiate a re-opening of the plant for the production of a future (and as yet undetermined) product, which seems unlikely in the near term.

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