December 23, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Detroit, MI – Next month, United Auto Workers members at the Detroit Three auto companies will once again be able to get free legal services. The UAW Legal Services program will be restored, union vice-president Cindy Estrada announced in a Facebook post Dec. 14.
The program, established in 1978, was eliminated in 2011 after the GM and Chrysler bankruptcies, and closed down in 2013. “We are getting good feedback on it,” Estrada told the Detroit Free Press. “We lost it… and won it back in our last round of bargaining.” The program made an independent group of attorneys available to UAW members at General Motors, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler, as well as to retirees and surviving spouses. It helped them with legal issues not requiring a court appearance, such as making out wills, buying a house, and adopting children. It will be re-established as a Taft-Hartley multiemployer benefits plan, with GM contributing most of the $14 million annual cost. Read more