General Motors has released an official statement following its agreement with the UAW on a contract proposal, which the union must now vote to ratify.
“General Motors has reached a tentative agreement with the UAW. We encourage the UAW to move as quickly as possible through the ratification process, so we can resume operations and get back to producing vehicles for our customers,” the statement said. “Our goal during these negotiations was to ensure the future of General Motors is one that works for our employees, dealers, suppliers and the communities where we operate. The agreement reflects our commitment to U.S. manufacturing through the creation of new jobs and increased investment.”
The UAW National General Motors Council has decided to leave workers on strike while they vote to ratify the proposal, meaning the 48,000 unionized GM employees will remain off the job until the end of the month at the earliest. The union is expected to begin voting on Saturday, with all ballots to be turned in by October 25th.
We went over the details of the contract proposal in an earlier article, though some of the highlights include a large ratification bonus of $11,000 (temporary workers who have been with the company for at least 90 days will receive $4,500) in addition to a 3-percent wage increase and 4-percent lump-sum payment on alternating years of the four-year deal. The proposed contract will also keep the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant open, with GM set to allocate a new, unnamed product to the facility, though Lordstown Assembly and the Warren and Baltimore Transmission plants will remain closed. The union had previously indicated that it would not accept a deal that did not include new products for both Detroit-Hamtramck and Lordstown.
“From the outset your brothers and sisters, local leaders and bargaining team members identified key areas of concern to focus on throughout this process: a clear pathway for temporary workers to full-time status; shortening the in-progression period; maintaining our current health plan and costs; improving our share of profits; as well as protecting job security and future work. We are pleased to announce that thanks to your solidarity and sacrifice, we have achieved gains toward all of these bargaining priorities,” the union said in a bulletin announcing the deal.
In addition to closing Lordstown, Warren and Baltimore Transmission, the deal will see GM close an ACDelco parts fulfillment center on Fontana, California.