The first two GM assembly plants to vote on the new tentative UAW contract have done so with contracting results: Lansing Grand River Assembly in Lansing, Michigan has voted in favor of the new contract, while Fairfax Assembly in Kansas City, Kansas voted it down.
The new agreement is financially richer than the automaker’s outgoing contract, which was reached in 2011. The new contract is also more financially attractive than the one ratified by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV employees.
The union and GM approved the tentative agreement on October 25th, minutes before the strike deadline, thereby averting a possible strike. If ratified nationally, the tentative agreement would provide 52,600 UAW members with raises, a larger bonus from the 2011 contract, and move entry-level workers to the same health care plan as veteran workers.
Other GM plants are voting on the tentative agreement thought the week.
Lansing Grand River Assembly
Union members of Lansing Grand River Assembly, who build the Cadillac ATS, Cadillac CTS, and sixth-gen Chevrolet Camaro, voted on the national agreement just two days after the UAW National GM Council approved the tentative agreement Wednesday, October 28th. 57 percent of hourly members at the plant voted “yes” on the contract.
“The members have spoken,” Mike Green, UAW Local 652 president, told Detroit News. “They passed it.”
58 percent of production employees voted “yes” while 52 percent of skilled trades voted “no.” The local union tallied 1,098 votes. The plant has about 1,570 employees.
Fairfax Assembly members who build the Chevrolet Malibu and Buick LaCrosse voted down the national agreement by a 2-1 margin.
According to UAW Local’s 31 Facebook page, 37 percent of production workers at the plant voted “yes” while 63 percent voted “no”. The result among skilled trades workers wasn’t much different: 34 percent voted “yes” and 66 percent voted “no”. The plant employs about 3,230 hourly workers.
Some of the terms of the new GM-UAW agreement are as follows:
- 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).
- 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 Friday, November 6th, 2015.