Following tentative labor contract agreements with Ford and Stellantis, the UAW and GM have finally reached a deal on the 46th day of the Stand Up Strike, subject to ratification by the automaker’s 46,000 union members.
Although neither party has released a statement yet, the tentative agreement will likely include details similar to those negotiated with the other Detroit Three manufacturers. According to a report by the Detroit Free Press, the last sticking point was figuring out how to include GM’s Ultium Cells battery plants, which it exploits in a joint venture with LG Energy Solution. The Ultium Cells plant in Warren, Ohio is already operational, while the Spring Hill, Tennessee plant is scheduled to open in early 2024 and the Lansing, Michigan plant should open in late 2024 or early 2025.
It’s currently unclear how The General’s forthcoming fourth U.S. battery plant, which it plans to build in Indiana through a joint venture with Samsung SDI, will figure in this new worker contract that, if ratified, will expire on April 30th, 2028. The fourth plant is currently scheduled to be open for business in 2026.
The automaker released a statement on its dedicated UAW negotiations website, attributed to CEO Mary Barra. “GM is pleased to have reached a tentative agreement with the UAW that reflects the contributions of the team while enabling us to continue to invest in our future and provide good jobs in the U.S. We are looking forward to having everyone back to work across all of our operations, delivering great products for our customers, and winning as one team.”
GM and the UAW have thus reached a tentative agreement two days after the union expanded its strike to the GM Spring Hill plant in Tennessee, which currently builds the Cadillac XT5, the Cadillac XT6, the Cadillac Lyriq and the GMC Acadia, in addition to producing engines for various Chevy, GMC and Cadillac trucks assembled in other North American plants.
There were roughly 20,000 GM workers on strike, as the latter also affected production at the GM Wentzville plant in Missouri that builds the Chevy Colorado, the GMC Canyon, the Chevy Express and the GMC Savana, the GM Lansing Delta Township plant in Michigan that builds the Chevy Traverse and Buick Enclave as well as the GM Arlington plant in Texas that manufactures the Chevy Tahoe, the Chevy Suburban, the GMC Yukon and the Cadillac Escalade.
The General’s 18 parts distribution centers across the United States are also impacted by the UAW strike, with a ripple effect pushing General Motors to halt Chevy Malibu and Cadillac XT4 production at its Fairfax, Kansas assembly plant, in addition to laying off workers at various parts production plants.
As with Ford and Stellantis union members, GM’s UAW workforce should now be returning to work this week while the UAW National GM Council reviews the details of the agreement before asking its member to vote.
During its Q3 2023 earnings presentation, General Motors estimated its strike losses at roughly $200 million a week and more than $800 million overall, before the UAW announced the Arlington facility strike – considered to be the world’s most profitable auto assembly plant.