GM Strike Update: Contract Votes Reveal a Divided UAW Membership

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
gm strike update contract votes reveal a divided uaw membership

Voting is ongoing among UAW locals this week as the union attempts to put a contract deal in place between its members and General Motors.

Thus far, the voting process has been met with mixed emotions, with one assembly plant opting to reject the proposal. Outside that plant, the ongoing GM strike was marred by the death of a picketing plant worker.

WKRN reports that UAW member Roy McCombs was struck and killed by a vehicle on a bridge near the Spring Hill, Tennessee assembly and propulsion facility early Tuesday morning. While police are investigating, it seems the collision was not intentional. GM workers are still on strike after a decision last week by the UAW’s National GM Council, which signed off on the proposed tentative agreement reached with the automaker but agreed to continue the strike until the deal is ratified by members.

In a statement, the UAW expressed its condolences to McComb’s family and stated it was working to ensure the safety of members marching on picket lines.

Spring Hill builds Cadillac’s XT5 and XT6 crossovers, as well as the GMC Acadia and various engines, among them the well-regarded 6.2-liter V8 and GM’s new 2.7-liter turbo four. Employing 3,300 hourly workers, Spring Hill narrowly voted to reject the contract proposal.

According to Automotive News, this round of voting isn’t likely to return overwhelming support for the proposed deal. While not all UAW locals have returned results, those that have show that only 59 percent of hourly workers are in favor. Among skilled trades workers, whose vote is separate from that of production workers, 77 percent back the deal thus far.

As of Tuesday morning, 3,683 workers have given the deal the thumbs-up, versus 2,116 on the no-dice side. This prompted Evercore ISI analyst Arndt Ellinghorst to write that “some market doubt” exists as to whether the deal will be ratified and the strike ended.

Spring Hill is the largest plant to show its cards, but it won’t be the last. The votes of several other large assembly sites have yet to be tabulated before the process ends on Friday.

[Image: General Motors]

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  • Redapple Redapple on Oct 22, 2019

    STEPH A minor nit to pick. I believe the 6.2 is made at my old plant. Tonawanda. It would be extremely unusual for any engine to be made at a second plant 500 miles away - much less a large V8. You say above it is made in spring hill.

    • See 1 previous
    • Scott Scott on Oct 23, 2019

      I am pretty sure that the v8s are only made at Tonawanda and St.Catharines, powertrain, maybe Spring Hill does some final assembly on them, not sure. If GM says the 6.2 is among the products built there they probably are (or wer) at some point. Considering we don’t have the machining capacity yet to build more there is something suspect about this.

  • Thelaine Thelaine on Oct 23, 2019

    Tick tock. It took a corrupt 20 billion dollar taxpayer-funded, never repaid bailout of the UAW pension fund to save this lumbering, wheezing terminal patient last time. The next recession should put them in the ground. The only people defending them here are the ones whose paycheck or pension check comes from GM. I don't blame them. In the end, when the taxpayers are finally done subsidizing failure, and the only customers are GM employees, rental fleets and government agencies, the UAW will have proven to be the biggest contributor to the death of GM as an American automobile manufacturer, just as they have been the biggest factor in its decline.

    • Highdesertcat Highdesertcat on Oct 23, 2019

      I have mentioned elsewhere that this latest UAW temper tantrum and acting up has driven a few more GM fans into the waiting open arms of the competition. I am no longer a GM fan since 2008 but I resolutely side with Ms Barra on this one. She’s trying to keep GM relevant, not only in the US auto market, but the global auto market as well. The UAW is not helping here. But what goes around, comes around. It did in 2008-2009 and it will again in the not too distant future.

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