Six hundred workers at the new Lear plant voted to unionize and join the United Auto Workers Local 659 last week. Line workers can expect immediate benefits in the form of more affordable healthcare and better protections for their fellow employees. Lear Corporation is one of the largest manufacturers of auto parts in the world, with 165,000 employees and over $20 billion in revenue annually.
Assembly line workers are paid around $35,000 a year, according to Glassdoor.com and are willing to work with the company to increase their share of the profits that their work generates for the company. Chairman and CEO Raymond Scott takes home an annual salary of $5,344,635 according to public filings. The Michigan Strategic Fund provided $4.2 million in tax breaks to the multi-billion dollar company in order to entice them to build the plant on the former Buick City site, and the City of Flint is giving them a 50% reduction in property taxes. In short, the business can afford to deal with their most important employees more fairly.
“We are thrilled to bring Lear’s exceptional workers into the UAW family, and are excited about the prospect of new jobs available in Flint,” said Gary Jones, president of the UAW to Mlive.com. More than 1000 people lined up for interviews back in January of 2018, and both the Union and the company see strong job growth ahead.
Direct investment in worker salaries immediately improves the lives and community of those workers, as the money is spent within the area. More people will improve their homes, go out to restaurants, and frequent local businesses if they have more money in their pocket. “We welcome these workers and the opportunity to be a part of Flint’s rebirth. We look forward to getting down to business, bargaining great contracts, and helping our new members make a positive impact on the community,” Jones said to Mlive.com.
If you would like more information on how to form a union in your workplace, please follow this link.