UAW workers all over the country have been voting on the new contract during the week, which offers several new benefits and financial incentives. Besides the Lansing Grand River plant that voted in approval of the new deal earlier in the week, employees of the following seven GM plants have done so as well:
Nearly 3,500 workers at GM’s Wentzville plant near St. Louis, Missouri, approved the four-year contract 57 to 43 percent. The plant builds the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon midsize pickup trucks, as well as the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana vans.
Locals 1112 and 1714 that represent GM’s Lordstown, Ohio plant voted yes by 72 percent and 66 percent, respectively. The plant has roughly 4,200 workers who stamp parts for and assemble the Chevrolet Cruze.
Lansing Delta Township
Local 602, which represents about 3,200 workers who stamp parts and assemble the Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia at GM’s Lansing Delta Township Assembly, approved the new agreement by 53 percent to 47 percent, as 54 percent among production workers offset the 57 percent rejection by skilled trades.
On Friday, workers at GM’s engine plant in Tonawanda, New York passed the new contract by a narrow 51 percent.
Workers at GM’s Fort Wayne plant in Indiana that builds Chevy and GMC pickup trucks, voted in favor of the four-year agreement, passing it with a 58 percent majority on Thursday.
The Ft. Wayne vote was crucial in the voting process because nearly 4,000 UAW members work at the facility.
About 1,300 voters represented a 54 percent majority in favor of the deal at UAW Local 22 that represents workers at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant.
Also on Thursday, Local 163 that represents about 220 workers at GM’s Romulus engine plant in Michigan reported an approval of 54 percent to 46 percent.
The New Agreement
Some of the terms of the new GM-UAW agreement are as follows:
- Workers hired before 2007 would receive 3 percent raises in the first and third years of the contract and 4 percent lump-sum bonuses in the second and fourth years of the agreement.
- Lump-sum payments would be four percent of annual pay, the same as FCA. It’s likely that GM workers wanted this number to be greater given GM’s larger size and profitably.
- All hourly employees get a signing bonus of as much as $8,000, higher than rival FCA, whose hourly workers get a $4,000 signing bonus.
- GM workers would keep the outgoing contract’s profit sharing structure of $1,000 per $1 billion in GM North American profit. Some outlets have reported the bonus structure as being of “$1,000 and an additional $500 bonus when quality metrics are reached”.
- To note, GM paid an average of $9,000 to the average UAW member in profit sharing in 2015 alone, according to the Center for Automotive Research.
- Up to 4,000 eligible employees would be offered a $60,000 early retirement incentive.
- The pay gap between veteran workers and new hires will gradually be eliminated, thereby allowing entry-level, or two-tier workers to reach a top wage of about $29 an hour in eight years. For instance, entry level production workers currently paid between $15.78 and $19.28 per hour would see their wages increase to between $17 and $22.50 per hour and would eventually earn about $29 per hour.
- One of the most controversial aspects of the proposed agreement is to pay workers at GM Components Holdings a lower pay rate than other workers. A group of about 3,400 hourly workers at several GM parts plants with one to four years of seniority would be paid $16.25 to $19.86.
- GM will invest $1.9 billion in U.S. facilities, creating or retaining 3,300 jobs at 12 plants.
To be ratified, a majority of 52,700 workers in the U.S. must vote yes on the deal, with voting coming to an end today (Friday, November 6th, 2015).