General Motors and the UAW were able to reach an agreement on certain issues during tense negotiations over the weekend, but other key points remain unsettled, reports The Detroit Free Press.
According to the Detroit newspaper, GM has reached tentative agreements with the UAW on issues including a pathway to permanent work for temporary workers, health care, profit sharing, ratification bonuses and wages. Specific details on what GM and the union have agreed on with regard to these issues are not clear, but the UAW was seeking a better path to full-time employment for temporary workers, a freeze of the current health-care plan, a ratification bonus that is higher than the proposed $8,000 and increased wages.
Crucially, GM and the UAW are still arguing over the issue of production allocation to Detroit-Hamtramck and Lordstown Assembly. In addition to new products for these plants, the union wants GM to commit to building future gasoline-powered vehicles at U.S. plants instead of assigning them to Mexico, but GM has resisted the idea, saying the high labor costs of U.S. plants will make it hard to compete in the marketplace.
GM has previously proposed to allocate production of its upcoming electric pickup truck to Detroit-Hamtramck and assign battery production to Lordstown. However, the UAW has concerns about this plan as electric-vehicle production will mean fewer jobs than gasoline-vehicle production, the Free Press reports. Additionally, it’s unclear how successful electric-vehicle programs will be, which could lead to those plants being idled once again sometime in the future. GM is allegedly not utilizing the full capacity of the Orion Assembly plant in Michigan, which builds the Chevrolet Bolt EV.
The Free Press also reports GM and the UAW have not reached an agreement on the issues of in-progression workers and retirement plans. Currently, workers hired after 2007 (so-called “in-progression workers) start at $17 an hour and can have their wages raised to $28 an hour after eight years, but the union wants to see that period lowered to four years or have an equal pay for all workers, regardless of when they were hired. Workers hired before 2007 also get a pension from GM, whereas those hired after 2007 get 401k contributions. The formula for these contributions has not been updated to account for inflation since 2007, the union says, and wants to see it adjusted as part of the new contract.
On Monday, the UAW announced it had voted to increase strike pay for its members from $250 a week to $275. It will also allow members to take on part-time jobs during the strike, so long as the job leaves time for them to fulfill their duties on the picket line.
Source: The Detroit Free Press