The week-long delay in the formal ratification of UAW’s new four-year labor agreement with General Motors until November 20th is spurring tension between workers who voted to approve the new deal and those who voted against it.
Specifically, 55.4 percent of GM-UAW union members overall voted “yes” on the tentative agreement, but 59.5 percent of skilled trades workers voted “no”. Representing positions such as electricians, millwrights, pipefitters and diemakers, skilled trades account for about 16 percent of the 52,700 work force. To ratify the new contract, both skilled trades and production line workers must majority vote for it separately.
The new contract impacts about 52,700 hourly workers in the U.S., and contains an $8,000 signing bonus as well as raises over the next four years. While the raises will take effect whenever the new contract is ratified, the delay will postpone the payment of $8,000 signing bonuses until after Thanksgiving and the Black Friday weekend, according to sources familiar with the contract speaking with the Detroit Free Press.
The UAW can overrule a rejection by skilled trades workers if it finds they voted against it for reasons that are predominantly economic and not unique to their classification.