Hunting Season Kickoff Brings Auto Factories to a Screeching Halt
By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times
November 15, 2012, 6:00 a.m.
While most of the country will head routinely to work Friday, workers at General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group will get the day off.
Why? It’s the start of deer-hunting season, a peculiar benefits quirk stemming from collective bargaining, corporate needs and Midwestern outdoors culture.
During contract negotiations in the late 1990s, the automakers agreed to make Veterans Day a paid day off — but with a catch. The United Auto Workers didn’t necessarily want to celebrate Veterans Day.
Rather, its members wanted a flexible day off in November about the time hunting season starts. So they worked a deal: Give us a day off around Veterans Day — and let’s make sure it creates a three-day weekend, and the closer to hunting season the better.