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UAW convention closes today in Michigan



  The United Auto Workers close a special convention in Detroit today  designed to set the union’s agenda for upcoming contract talks.

   Experts say the outcome of the bargaining sessions set to begin later this year could have a direct impact on the U.S. economy.

   Detroit’s Big Three automakers are still highly profitable, but the industry is beginning to slow and the companies are searching for ways to save money.

   Delegates at the UAW’s bargaining convention in Detroit say union workers who helped the Big Three navigate the Great Recession deserve guarantees of job security and health care – even as some automakers close assembly plants and change product line-ups and trim employee salaries.

   Labor analyst Harley Shaiken says the coming contract talks between the UAW and automakers will offer a guide for many U.S. companies.

   “There are things that will happen in Detroit that go well beyond Detroit. What happens here could define at least a direction for competitive companies and workers and communities that benefit,” Shaiken says.

   Officials at the UAW convention this week increased strike pay for members, vowing to stage a work stoppage if necessary during contract negotiations.