By on November 6, 2015

General Motors #AMERICA

With hours remaining until voting ends on the tentative contract between General Motors and the UAW, support for the contract continues to grow.

According to The Detroit News, over 80 percent of GM’s 52,600 hourly employees have had a chance to look over and vote upon the agreement, including those in Lordstown Assembly in Ohio, and Lansing Delta Township Assembly in Michigan.

Among Lansing’s over 3,000 employees, 54 percent of production and 43 percent of skilled trades workers voted in favor, per UAW Local 602. Over in Lordstown, Local 1714 (Stamping, Complex West) found healthy majorities in favor of the contract — 67.9 percent production, 57.4 percent skilled trades — while Local 1112 saw 72 percent of production and 29 percent of skilled trades workers voting the same. Both unions represent over 4,100 Lordstown employees.

Similar schisms between production in favor and skilled trades opposed have emerged throughout voting, including New York’s Tonawanda powertrain factory and its 1,564 hourly employees, where 58 percent of production voted for the contract, while 72 percent of skilled trades voted against. The contract was barely approved with 51 percent overall, according to Local 774.

Meanwhile, both production and skilled sides among Kokomo, Indiana’s GM Components Holdings plant voted overwhelmingly against the agreement at 84.8 percent and 72.4 percent opposed, respectively. Kokomo’s 758 workers are among those working in the automaker’s four GMCH plants against the contract, taking issue with the pay scale cap of $19.86/hour, differing from the $29/hour path over eight years for entry-level employees working for other GM production plants. A total of 3,400 employees make up the voting base for the four facilities.

Should the contract be approved, entry-level workers would be moved onto the same health care plan as veteran employees in January 2016, as well as an $8,000 signing bonus for all full-time workers and $2,000 for temps. Performance bonuses of $1,000 annually and $500 for meeting quality targets would also come into play, as would an increase in pay for veteran employees, a $60,000 early retirement bonus for 4,000 employees, and the elimination of the two-tier system over eight years.

Finally, for the hundreds of workers who took positions at GM plants away from home — one of the effects of the 2008-2009 collapse and bailout of the United States auto industry — the contract would allow any affected employee to come back home though special “one-time enhanced language.” The UAW spent a year hammering out the details of language, which would apply to those who met certain transfer conditions, and would be based on seniority, as well as available openings. The transfer agreement would affect most employees who once called Spring Hill home, with the offer made to those employees to return by the end of Q1 2016.

[Photo credit: General Motors/Facebook]

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