There was a time in this country when corporations sought not to cut and run from pension plans, shift health costs onto employees, and shortchange their workers. Indeed, their was a time when companies sought to invest in their workforces, under the assumption that their workforces would respond in kind. This comes from page 23 Of Robert Collins' More:
The relationship between General Motors and the United Automobile Workers exemplified the new turn in class relations. General Motors had embarked on a massive $2.5 billion post-war expansion program designed to boost production by more than 50 percent over prewar levels, building new plants in California, Texas, Ohio, and New York and increasing its blue-collar workforce by 25 percent. To safeguard this expansion, GM needed stability and predictability. On the other side, the UAW wanted higher pay, better benefits, and relief from the press of post-war inflation. In 1948, GM and the UAW agreed on a contract incorporation both a quarterly cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) tied to changes in the consumer price index and an "annual improvement factor" (AIF) wage increase based on the increase in GM productivity. Two years later, the auto giant and the trend-setting union expanded the agreement in an unprecedented five-year contract -- the so-called Treaty of Detroit -- that sweetened the COLA and AIF provisions of the earlier deal, guaranteed workers a 20 percent increase in their standard of living over the life of the contract, and committed GM to provide a corporate pension and underwrite half the cost of a new health insurance plan.
My how far we've fallen.
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