GM Strike Ends As UAW Members Ratify Contract

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
gm strike ends as uaw members ratify contract

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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  • Jeff S Jeff S on Oct 28, 2019

    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.

    • Highdesertcat Highdesertcat on Oct 28, 2019

      "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.

  • Jeff S Jeff S on Oct 28, 2019

    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.

    • Highdesertcat Highdesertcat on Oct 28, 2019

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