UAW Meets Amid Heated National Debate Over Workers' Rights

DETROIT (AP) — The United Auto Workers union is meeting in Detroit this week amid a heated national debate over collective bargaining rights.

More than 1,200 delegates are expected to attend the three-day convention, which starts Tuesday. Among the items on their agenda is setting goals for this fall's contract talks with U.S. automakers. The UAW's contracts with General Motors, Ford and Chrysler expire Sept. 14.

Workers are expected to push for a share of the profits as Detroit automakers get healthier.

But unions are facing a backlash. Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and other states have passed or are considering measures to curb public workers' bargaining power.

And companies may be in no mood to bargain, as they face higher gas prices and potential production slowdowns because of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.