By on October 25, 2019

Image: UAW

The longest General Motors strike in half a century came to an end late Friday as production workers and skilled trades employees voted in favor of a contract agreement forged between the automaker and the UAW last week.

GM assembly lines should be back up and running soon, but the end of this labor dispute only serves to throw the ball into Fiat Chrysler and Ford’s court. They’re next in line to head to the bargaining table.

“General Motors members have spoken,” said UAW Vice President Terry Dittes, who’s also head of the union’s UAW-GM Department. “We are all so incredibly proud of UAW-GM members who captured the hearts and minds of a nation. Their sacrifice and courageous stand addressed the two-tier wages structure and permanent temporary worker classification that has plagued working class Americans.”

GM can order workers back to work as it pleases, now that the contract ratification process is complete. While the agreement didn’t meet with overwhelming support, but it did garner enough approval to pass. The four-year contract includes such goodies as a $11,000 per member signing bonus, performance bonuses, two 3-percent annual raises and two 4-percent lump sum payments. The healthcare arrangement of the previous contract, in which workers pay 3 percent of their healthcare costs, carries over.

According to a tally of votes compiled by Automotive News, production workers voted 56-percent in favor of the contract, while 66 percent of skilled trades employees gave the deal a thumbs-up.

While the ratification means things can start getting back to normal at the automaker, GM’s decision to close three assembly plants — Lordstown Assembly in Ohio and two transmission facilities in Maryland and Michigan — will mean bad blood between the company and a subset of workers.

[Image: UAW]

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54 Comments on “GM Strike Ends As UAW Members Ratify Contract...”


  • avatar
    indi500fan

    Despite the strike, GM and my dealer keeps sending lucrative lease deals to me to consider (I’ve got 6 months left on current 3 year lease). My daughter is 11 months into a 2 year Traverse lease and they will switch her to a new one basically at no added cost. When they get production going again, I wonder if the deals will get even better?

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    Performance bonuses?

    At least GM won’t have to actually pay those…

  • avatar

    General Motors will cease to exist by 2025.

    Buickman
    Founder
    GeneralWatch.com

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      Buickman: if Dems are in control of govt, it will be another quick turn bankruptcy with the union skating once again. Car czar Steve “the rat” Rattner is waiting in wings for an encore performance.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        How quickly we forget…even though the GOP controlled Senate did not support the bailout because the union did not get hammered hard enough on concessions, ultimately Bush came up with the 17 billion. Today, if this happened, Trump would have to support it since his “political revolution” hinges on keeping those blue collar workers brainwashed into thinking that he actually cares about them.

    • 0 avatar
      redgolf

      GM will survive – ICE’s will dwindle down, BEV’s will take off!!!! UAW will loose workers unless work is moved back to USA !

      • 0 avatar
        2manycars

        In your dreams. Back here in the real world BEVs are overpriced and bring too many inconveniences and drawbacks to the table. Buyers not clamoring for them. In fact practically the only people pushing them are young idiots, environmentalist wackos, and armed criminal gangs (governments.) I certainly will not be buying an electric vehicle. I don’t care what government wants. I don’t care what young people want.

        Internal combustion – accept no substitutes!

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      Essentially, you are predicting a global depression then?

      Cause, if you think about it, that is what you will have if GM goes under by 2025. Again, the number of ancillary jobs affected number in the millions.

    • 0 avatar

      “General Motors will cease to exist by 2025.”

      America cease to exist by January of 2021. End of the world already happened, multiple times.

  • avatar
    redgolf

    Well, I predicted a short strike – Phfffffffff!

  • avatar
    grimm01

    They only pay 3% of healthcare costs??? Keeping that in place was probably worth the strike on its own.

  • avatar
    gasser

    A signing bonus??? Two 3% raises and two 4% bonuses?? A cap of 3% on health costs?? This is an unbelievably good deal. Those in the gig economy can only dream of such a contract.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Seems like a pretty good reason for gig workers to, well, unionize.

    • 0 avatar
      Mackey

      Boggles my mind. Even the normal private sector would salivate over half of that! What’s amazing is that nearly half of the production employees voted it down! What more should you be expecting?!

      3% of healthcare costs?! $11K signing bonus, 2 4% lump sum payments?! “Nope- not good enough!!” Crazy…

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      The funny thing is that contrary to the point you thought you were making, you’re just saying that the “gig economy” is an abomination.

      • 0 avatar
        Mackey

        True statement from a direct comparison, but I’ve never considered the vast bulk of the ‘gig economy’ to be a direct comparison to steady full time jobs, such as factory work. In fact, it is the antithesis to such jobs, and always has been. Before it was called the gig economy, it was simply people doing piece meal house keeping, painting, handyman work, shade tree car repairs, computer repair, etc. It was for those who wanted the freedom and control of owning their own company, but eithout the headaches of employees, etc. They decide what work they want to accept and when, but as a result, will always have deficiencies versus scheduled, full time work with defined benefits, etc.

        This is totally cool for many who choose it because they are either single with no dependents, or they have a separate income stream in the household providing stability.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          yes, but many of those people were literally working for themselves, and not the “not-employees but really employees” scam that “gig economy” companies pull.

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      AND!!!! only 56% agreed to it.

      How many of us here have had our employer come to us and offer a sign on bonus, even though we have technically already signed on along with guaranteed raises? I am willing to bet not many.

      I am really curios as to WTAF the other 46% were thinking they are ‘owed’.

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        Having been immersed in the world of unions, I think it is pretty funny when there is a scandal involving abhorrent acts by union labor involving everything from union teachers raping children, to auto workers using force to stop others from doing their jobs well, to using drugs on the line and some buffoon always says the bad apples that the unions protect are the exceptions. That’s not how corruption works. People get corrupted.

  • avatar
    thejohnnycanuck

    Gee, I hope they didn’t run out of inventory…

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    The workers won the battle but in the long run GM wins the war. GM will continue as Ford and FCA to set up more foreign plants.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Plant closures remain, and no mention of job security. GM won the war, and I wonder if this is the last contract agreement the union ever has with the company.

    Look for continued shrinkage of GM’s domestic operations. They’ll simply be paying 97% of the workers’ health care costs to fewer people.

  • avatar
    jfb43

    Unions are stuck in 1914 while the rest of the world realizes globalism is here to stay. They are doing nothing more than fighting for the loss of their own jobs and lobbying for Mexican and Asian workers. How kind of them.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    The long nightmare is over! Now I can go out and buy a new Buick Verano.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    All that to install a grille and screw in a taillight.

    If ever there was a definition of organized crime, the UAW is it.

    • 0 avatar
      redgolf

      EBFLex – “All that to install a grille and screw in a taillight.”

      This comment from a softy “pencil pusher”

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        @redgolf ….Give …”EBFlex ” a couple of shifts on the business end of a Spot Welder it just might give him a different perspective ?.

        I witnessed a lot of folks come in with that very mind set. Some of them actually made it through the shift . Others cried for their Momma .

        Enjoy your retirement brother !

    • 0 avatar
      chris724

      Union members are ready to commit violence in the name of their own pocketbook. Sounds like crime to me. Unbelievable that it’s still with us in this day and age.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        And conservatives openly call for the murder of people who disagree with them. So how are they any better?

        • 0 avatar
          Fliggin_De_Fluge

          DO they? Because a link would be super neat. I can link you to plenty of disgusting comments by elected Liberals calling for the deaths of anyone who supports the current President. Heck, even newborn babies aren’t spared the Dems wrath of killing in the name of. Some of the most disgusting things I’ve ever heard have been said by Libs over the past 4 years. But hey, lies are all you got, might as well be whoppers. Seriously disgusting. Grow up.

  • avatar
    redgolf

    “Unions are stuck in 1914 while the rest of the world realizes globalism is here to stay.”

    https://uaw.org/solidarity_magazine/uaw-history/

    1914? Do your research!

    • 0 avatar
      jfb43

      *UNIONS*. I didn’t say the UAW in particular. The unionization movement in the US was pretty damn strong in 1914 and they wish everything today was like how it was then. Except that it isn’t, and they’re an ancient dinosaur clinging to dear life. They obviously don’t care about the employee. Unions have been about perpetuating themselves for quite a long time now. They had their place but they are, for the most part, obsolete.

  • avatar
    redgolf
  • avatar
    redgolf

    Jerry Maguire, the movie – ” Show Me the Money” !!!!!

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    We should keep the discussion of politics out of this. I don’t hate the UAW or the union workers but I believe their days are limited in that in the future there will be less and less jobs and more and more automation along with more foreign manufacturing. This will happen regardless of who our President is. I am glad to see the GM workers get a decent settlement Barra and the Board are very well compensated and why not have those who manufacture the vehicles get a piece of the pie. GM was not going to settle on reopening closed plants that was a non starter for GM.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Jeff S, I don’t know how we can keep politics out of this since politics drives everything in America today.

      But for those real-world new car buyers who don’t agree with this settlement or the whole UAW mess, the answer is simple: buy something that is NOT UAW made.

      Those non-UAW assemblers do a better job for less money and without all the drama, and it is still made in the good ‘ole US of A.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @highdesertcat-I did not make myself clear regardless of the outcome of the strike and regardless of the UAW or any union the number of jobs and the number of automobile plants will diminish over time. Even the cheapest labor will not stop automation. Even in China automation is taking place eliminating jobs. There comes a point when robots become more cost effective and the efficiencies far outweigh any labor costs no matter if that labor is nonunion and comes from the third World. I don’t hate the US autoworkers nor do I wish them ill will even though I believe their union, the United Auto Workers, has outlived its purpose. I also don’t hold up most CEOs on a pedestal some are better than others but many are mediocre at best. A CEO of a corporation is an employee not the same as the entrepreneur who creates a business and is responsible for everything about their business. The CEO is more likely to get a reward if a business does poorly whereas an entrepreneur will not (ie golden parachute).

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Jeff S, I’m all for more automation and robotics in all industrial sectors where they can be used. The auto industry most of all.

      People really are the worst species on the planet with their greed, malice, never ending demand for higher pay and benefits, and driving their employers into bankruptcy.

      These people who are so unhappy with their pay and benefits should try to make a living on their own, the way that the American pioneers did, instead of demanding equal pay with that of CEOs.

      CEOs get paid what they get paid by consensus, a Board of Directors, because they are worth it. Worker bees get paid what they get paid because they can easily be replaced, and can walk off the job anytime.

      I tried being self-employed for thirty years, and it is a tough way to make a buck. There were times I had to make payroll and didn’t have enough cash to go around.

      I cannot feel sorry or have empathy for UAW members.

      I will not buy a UAW-made vehicle!

      Now that is settled as well.

      • 0 avatar
        redgolf

        highdesertcat – I did try working on my own for about 4 years after being laid off from 4 plants, taught myself to hang commercial wall covering, the 54 inch wide stuff not the kind you decorate houses with, the money was good sometimes better than i could make in the plants, the problem was nobody uses wall covering in hotel rooms any more, it’s all knock down with paint and I saw the writing on the wall, that’s why when I had the chance to go to Saturn , I took it! The tax man also bit me for $10 K even though I owed only $4 K ( penalties) Oh yeah, after 12 years with Dana Corp. I went to electronics school only to wind up in cable tv for 3 years taking a much lower paying job and risking my life falling from telephone poles trying to trouble shoot loss CATV signals, figured my wife and 4 children needed me more! So this is what happens when your parents die young and you marry young (19) you do what you have to survive the best way that you can and the UAW plants is what carried me and my family through so that I could finally retire with a decent retirement! I didn’t get the full “30 year” package but 13 years at Dana and 27 at GM gives me the money and health insurance that most of my non union friends don’t have. ;-)

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          redgolf, I’m glad it worked out for you. But layoffs will continue everywhere because robots and automation are better than unreliable, cantankerous people.

          Wallpapering is a dying art because it has been superseded by other means of wall decoration.

          I was in rebuilding, refurbishing and remodeling homes for my wife’s family business, and it was tough work.

          I was drafted. They needed me. I had built our home in the desert while living on the Air Base, prior to my retirement from the USAF and my father-in-law needed that kind of knowledge from someone he could trust.

          That was 1985-2015.

          After I retired I gained 65 pounds, mostly around my gut.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        …CEOs get paid what they get paid by consensus, a Board of Directors, because they are worth it…

        Is Mary Barra worth it? Elon Musk?

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          golden2husky, the Board must think so. And Elon? He founded the company. He can pay himself any amount he wants, even after going public.

          And you can do the same.

          Start a company called Husky Motors, built the exact vehicles you want, like Tucker did, pay yourself as much as you think you are worth, and then let things take their natural course.

          You either succeed, or you fail.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Some CEOs are worth it but others are not worth a dime.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    highdesertcat–There is a huge difference between CEOs that can make up to 100s of millions and workers who in this case make over 100k. I don’t recall any of the auto workers asking to be paid on the same level as a CEO. CEOs often sit on each others boards so it is easy to vote for their own compensation. I don’t want to see US workers paid at the same level as third world workers but I don’t want to pay anyone for sitting on their ass. Do you really believe that lowering wages to the level of workers in China and Mexico is good for our economy and even for our country? Maybe we should go back to working 7 days a week and use child labor. I don’t believe in extremes. The UAW workers make a good living but like everything else it will not last but then it will not last for those Chinese or Mexican auto workers because they too will eventually be replaced by automation. The jobs that will be left will require more skills to keep the automation running.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Jeff S, that’s where we disagree. I believe that workers are expendable, replaceable, disposable.

      You may ask, “Why?”

      The answer is “history”. There are two classes of working people, those who start/own a business, and those who get hired to work for someone. The concept of “Public Corporations” widened ownership to everyone with money to invest and they became part of the shareholder/owner class, even if employed by that business.

      Everything else like the employees are just cannon fodder, easily replaced.

      But employees have one benefit that owners don’t have. Employees can walk away from it all, any time they please.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2019/10/28/ford-flex-suv-discontinued-ford-motor-co/2456712001/

      I forgot to add this with the question, “What will happen to all the UAW crews who used to make this vehicle?”

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    CEOs of major auto companies are not the same as entrepreneurs. Yes workers are expendable and so is our economy if all we have left is low paying jobs. Getting more and more people in lower paying jobs means those workers have less discretionary income to spend and that hurts the economy overall. I am not saying that everyone should be paid the same or that workers should be paid millions but if you lower people’s earnings enough then you hurt everyone. Question do you want to go back to the time where people worked 7 days a week over 12 hours a day for a dollar a day and put children back to work? How long do you think we would last as a country if we went back to that? Sounds like your opinions are very extreme. If you get too extreme and people are not able to exist on what they make then you have a revolution which is not good for any of us. Extremes seem to be what is popular whether it be to the extreme right or to the extreme left. Extremes are dangerous.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      “CEOs of major auto companies are not the same as entrepreneurs.”

      That’s true.

      But CEOs are hired to act on behalf of the owners/shareholders to protect and advance their interests and insure a positive return on their investments.

      CEO’s are also paid accordingly to that responsibility and trust. What kind of job would a CEO do if they got paid the same as UAW member?

      My guess? The same quality of work the UAW became notorious for over the past 100+ years.

      I do not think MY opinions are extreme at all because that is the reality of the world today, that’s why people get paid what they get paid.

      And BTW, did you know that Millennials will inherit $68TRILLION from the Baby Boomers? That’s a lot of money coming loose in the years ahead.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Did I say that CEOs should be paid the same as UAW workers? The following is what I said:

    ” I am not saying that everyone should be paid the same or that workers should be paid millions but if you lower people’s earnings enough then you hurt everyone.”

    Where in the above statement did I say that CEOs and UAW workers should make the same?

    Do you believe that all CEOs earn their pay? Do you believe that Bob Nardelli or Ed Acker of Pan Am were good CEOs? I would not argue about CEOs like Lee Iacocca who saved Chrysler or even Sergio Marchionne but I would not put Mary Barra or James Hackett in that category. Lee Iacocca wrote a book several years back called Where Have All The Leaders Gone is a very good read and an informative book. A good leader motivates workers to do a better job and a poor leader demoralizes workers. True workers can be fired at anytime but if that is what you expect and you treat those workers accordingly then you will get exactly what you expect which is subpar and unmotivated workers. There is a difference between coddling workers and motivating them.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Jeff S, that was a rhetorical question about how good a job CEOs would do if everyone got the same rate of pay.

      https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2019/10/28/gm-flint-uaw-workers-fired-violence/2491125001/

      You were talking about extremes and these people couldn’t help themselves.

      Regardless, UAW members get no sympathy from me. If they don’t like their job, they can leave on their own, anytime.

      In the not too distant future UAW jobs will diminish as robotics and automation replace human laborers with more precise, more efficient, less fallible AI-driven machinery.

      I’ve seen the future on “How It’s Made.”

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