Product commitments have replaced wage hikes and time off as “the gold standard” for labor contracts in today’s fractured auto industry, a noted labor professor says. “The product commitment has assumed a new importance in an uncertain economy where there’s overcapacity,” says Harley Shaiken of the University of California, Berkeley. Through August, light-vehicle sales lagged like-2008 by 27.8%, according to Ward’s data. And with full-year deliveries expected to fall below 10 million, ...

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