Profit Sharing and Union Strategy

March 12, 1958

Report Outline
New Factor in Collective Bargaining
Profit Sharing in American Industry
Profit Sharing and the Labor Unions

New Factor in Collective Bargaining

The demand of the United Automobile Workers that the country's manufacturers of motor vehicles share profits with their employees, and with their customers, strikes a new note in employer-union relations. Profit sharing is not a stranger on the American business scene; such arrangements were first introduced more than a century ago, and thousands of profit-sharing plans are in operation today. The unusual thing about the U.A.W. proposal is that a labor union is making it.

Profit sharing up to now has rarely been a subject of collective bargaining. Arrangements for splitting profits with workers have been instituted by employers and continued or discontinued at their pleasure. Until U.A.W. President Walter P. Reuther outlined the union's 1958 bargaining proposals, no labor leader of stature had accorded profit sharing much favor. On the contrary, many labor leaders had roundly denounced it.

Issues Raised by Novel Demand of Auto Union

With the current business recession hitting the automobile industry particularly hard, it is a question whether the union will make a major effort to obtain acceptance of its profit-sharing plan in this spring's contract negotiations. But the course has been charted. If the demand is not pressed with vigor this year, the union undoubtedly will come back to it at the first favorable opportunity.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Profit Sharing
Dec. 12, 1962  Profit Sharing in Industry
Mar. 12, 1958  Profit Sharing and Union Strategy
Feb. 23, 1946  Sharing Profits in Industry
Sep. 09, 1938  Profit Sharing for Wage Workers
Employee Benefits
Unions and Labor-Management Relations