In an interview published Monday by the Detroit News, King called for replacing wage increases with a “profit-sharing” model that would allow the company to pass off losses onto workers. “Do they [the workers] want base wage increases? Of course,” said King, “But that isn’t the most important priority.”
The UAW head restated the points he made in an interview last month with the Wall Street Journal, where he first broached the idea of “profit-sharing” as a replacement for wage increases.
Proposing to tie wage increases to the manufacturers’ assessment of “quality” and “productivity,” King set out to publicly reassure the automakers of the UAW's intent to drive down workers’ incomes.
Under the current contract, workers receive increases to their base pay corresponding to seniority. But King would propose eliminating these increases, leaving workers earning wages so low that, at $14 per hour, even the UAW admits that many will qualify for food stamps.