General Motors and the UAW have reached a tentative contract agreement, potentially bringing an end to the 31-day strike, which has sidelined more than 48,000 American autoworkers and cost GM more than $1.5 billion.
“The elected national negotiators voted to recommend the UAW GM National Council accept the Proposed Tentative Agreement as the agreement represents major gains for UAW workers,” the UAW said in a press release sent out Wednesday morning.
The details of the agreement are currently not available. Around 200 local UAW leaders are expected to meet with GM representatives in Detroit Thursday morning to review the proposal, at which point more information on the contract may become available.
If UAW leaders agree on the contract Thursday morning, union members will still have to vote to ratify the proposal. However, they will have the option of returning to work while the vote is held, which would be good news for GM, its suppliers and others that have been impacted by the work stoppage.
According to CNBC, the agreement is believed to include raises and bonuses for unionized employees. The company is also expected to invest between $7 billion and $7.7 billion in its U.S. manufacturing operations as part of the contract, add thousands of hourly union jobs over the next four years and maintain its current healthcare plan. It’s not clear if the agreement includes plans to re-open Lordstown Assembly or keep the Detroit-Hamtramck plant open.
In a statement, UAW Vice President Terry Dittes said the “number-one priority of the national negotiation team has been to secure a strong and fair contract that our members deserve.”
The GM contract will be used as the basis for contract negotiations with Ford and Fiat Chrysler as well. It’s not clear if the union plans to negotiate with Ford or FCA next.
The UAW strike began on September 15, when GM’s near-50,000 unionized workers left their job posts demanding better wages, larger profit sharing bonuses and a clear path to full-time employment for temporary workers, among other concessions. Last weekend, about 3,600 UAW members employed by American truck company Mack also walked off the job with similar demands.
On Tuesday, White House spokesman Judd Deere encouraged GM and the UAW to come to a “fair and speedy conclusion,” with regards to the strike. The Trump Administration is not currently involved in the discussions.