President's National Bargaining Convention Report

Last week your UAW Local 276 Constitutional Delegates attended the 2023 National Bargaining Convention.

The UAW bargaining conference opened as usual: delegates from across the country were there to give our national negotiating team general guidance concerning the resolutions that were submitted by members from every local, including ours. 

The conference was opened by the newly elected International Executive Board, including new President Shawn Fain who was sworn in on Sunday prior to the Convention.  Some of the contentious debate was on the negotiating strategy concerning COLA, coordinated bargaining, issuing mandates to bargaining teams (illegal) honoring picket lines from other unions while working, and more.  Another mandate proposed was for a 40-hour work week (no overtime).  Again, you cannot have a mandate going into a negotiation.  

We also gained a better understanding of the issues affecting our higher education members and the ways employers try to divide members.  For example by degree, where they teach, how and by whom they are paid (grant stipend, salary, etc.), and how, through negotiations, they win at the bargaining table and lose it through rate increases on services provided by the school or university (housing, transportation, etc.).

All negotiating teams were present at the Convention including John Deere who was celebrated for the awesome job they did negotiating their last agreement, including a 20% pay increase, the return of COLA, a pension increase for future retirees, additional holidays, etc.  The John Deere negotiating team are the bargainers that set the standard that we will follow to gain the fair contract that our members deserve.

Going forward we hope to communicate the steps to reach our goals and let everyone know what role we can all play in achieving a fair and equitable Agreement with the employers that we work for (GM, Caravan, or HydroChem). 

Final thought, we all know we just went through a contentious International Executive Board election but make no mistake, the entire UAW Leadership from the International, the Region, and your Local Union are united in our commitment to represent the membership in this round of collective bargaining and every aspect of life that affects our membership.

Key issues in Bargaining:

  • Our union aims to protect workers’ right and dignity by bargaining for safe workplaces, fair pay, better job opportunities, and a voice in shaping our work environment.  Members across our union will tackle these issues in an uncertain political and economic environment.  As the economy recovers from the global pandemic, the unemployment rate has remained low and wages for some workers have started to rise.  While these are positive developments for workers and teams, most of the gains from the rebounding economy have ultimately gone to the top one percent.

Critical issues:

  • Reduce wage disparities
  • Reduce the use of temporary workers
  • Insource new and outsourced work
  • New investment
  • Training
  • Protect health care and retirement security
  • Protect workplace health and safety
  • Fair and inclusive workplaces
  • Organizing

Coordinated bargaining is how we will achieve our goals.  It is used to obtain the most lucrative collective bargaining agreements for our members, by preserving industry wide contract patterns.

When we stand together behind a set of common goals and objectives, we will be successful.

In Solidarity,
Michael Cartwright


PDF icon 2023-04 President's Report - Bargaining Convention