By on October 16, 2019

Image: UAW

After 31 days on the picket line, UAW-affiliated General Motors workers could soon be back in the business of building vehicles. Wednesday morning, the United Auto Workers and GM announced that their bargaining teams had reached a tentative agreement — one the UAW says includes “major gains” for its members.

All signs earlier this week pointed to a looming deal. On Tuesday, GM CEO Mary Barra and President Mark Reuss sat in on negotiations, while the UAW called its local union leaders to Detroit for a Thursday meeting.

“The elected national negotiators voted to recommend the UAW GM National Council accept the Proposed Tentative Agreement as the agreement represents major gains for UAW workers,” the UAW stated in a release.

GM backed up the message, stating only, “We can confirm the UAW’s statement regarding a proposed tentative agreement. Additional details will be provided at the appropriate time.”

Local union bosses will vote on the tentative agreement tomorrow at the UAW’s national council meeting, potentially securing an end to a five-week strike that cost GM $2 billion in lost revenue, according to Bank of America estimates.

“The number one priority of the national negotiation team has been to secure a strong and fair contract that our members deserve,” said UAW Vice President Terry Dittes in a release.  Out of respect for our members, we will refrain from commenting on the details until the UAW GM leaders gather together and receive all details.”

He added, “We are extremely grateful to the thousands of Americans who donated goods and helped our striking workers and their families. As we await the Council’s decision, please know that the outpouring of community and national support will be etched in the memories of all of us at the UAW for years to come.”

Among other things, a deal hinged on maintaining the generous health coverage seen in the last contract, as well as a pathway for temporary workers to secure seniority. The issue of job security focused on model allocation to U.S. plants and retaining assembly sites slated for closure.

Last November, GM announced the impending closure of two assembly plants (Lordstown Assembly and Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly) and parts and transmission plants in Maryland and Michigan. Lordstown closed its doors this spring; Detroit-Hamtramck is slated to go dark in January. The fate of those plants lies in the contract details.

While the details of the collective agreement remain unknown, a source told The Detroit News that the deal includes a $8,000 ratification bonus for UAW members.

As for the strike, tomorrow’s meeting will determine whether the walkout ends after the approval of local union heads, or upon ratification by members.

[Image: UAW]

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28 Comments on “GM, UAW Reach Tentative Agreement...”

  • avatar

    “The issue of job security focused on model allocation to U.S. plants and retaining assembly sites slated for closure.”

    The details of this will be interesting.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      The Detroit News had an interesting article featuring a fellow who moved 4 hours away to work at Lansing, since Lordstown closed. The union requires him to man the picket line 4 hours a day.

      His family stayed in Ohio, and he indicated he might vote against any contract that doesn’t re-open Lordstown.

      I don’t know how GM can offer any job security for any length of time. I’m guessing the UAW will cave on that; after all, it’s the union bosses whose jobs last the longest.

  • avatar

    I’m sure we can expect a large portion of that $8,000 ratification bonus to be donated to local charities, right? I would expect nothing less from an organization (and members) who love their communities so much. /s

    • 0 avatar

      ” I would expect nothing less from an organization (and members) who love their communities so much. ”

      and hate their employers even more.

      Ford’s next.

      Then it’s on to Fiatsler.

    • 0 avatar

      @ Cactuar ….,Do have any idea just how many of those union members donate a “large potion ” of their free time coaching Hockey, Baseball, Soccer. I personally know two couples that have spent endless hours working for “habitat for humanity” ..

      Do you know what a gate collection is ??? That would be any number of charitable organizations that set up at the entrance gates with collection buckets. A good 75 percent of the folks throw in a Five or even a Twenty in

      Oshawa hourly people have volunteered enough time and money to fill the food banks …We not only paid for tractor trailer loads of toys , and Christmas hampers…we delivered them with our own vehicles and gas.

    • 0 avatar

      @ Cactuar

      Those bonuses are meant to cover the time spent on the picket line duh. The longer the strike = the larger the payout to cover expenses. Did you think these people were joining the picket line with no chance of recovering the cost of doing so? They’re rational economic actors, just like the self-appointed business sages on these pages.

  • avatar

    Don’t fall for the Bolt electric car Ponzi scheme. If you fall for this the strike was a complete waste of time. It will cost your job in the long term.

  • avatar

    dues paying union auto workers are an endangered species.


    • 0 avatar

      “dues paying union auto workers are an endangered species.”
      Yeah, until the non union auto workers realize that they have been being screwed over for a long time!

  • avatar

    So, the strikers are out about $800M in wages. GM is out about $1.5B in actual profit. Interesting ratio for sure. It certainly shoots a hole in the “company can’t afford more” argument…

    • 0 avatar

      GM wins a Phyrric victory. They saved $800M in wages and kept the plants from producing more unwanted inventory they can’t sell at anything but distressed pricing. To their thinking, the $1.5B profit loss is worth it because it showed investors they’re serious about lowering costs. I think they’ll privately high-five one another, because that’s who they are. And maybe they’ll finally go out of business in 5-10 years.

    • 0 avatar

      I’d take the $1.5B number with a super-size grain of salt if I were you. I don’t think the strike will cost GM one dime over the next year. It may hurt them this quarter, due to the way they record revenue, but it’s a paper loss.

  • avatar

    If GM folds what UAW is planning to do? Do they have a plan B?

  • avatar

    I used to work at UPS which was slavery sorting boxes and they had a union, and the union honestly didn’t do jack crap but simply took money out of my paycheck for a year. The problem with union workers (I’ve seen it for myself first hand) is that over time they start to get lazy and slow down. It is very hard to fire someone that is part of a union because of the protected rights in the contract. You will have the absolute worst workers getting promoted and raises when other people there that are truly hard workers wouldn’t get anything because it’s all based off seniority.

    So there’s no incentive to better yourself or get noticed as being a great worker from management when you know you’re guaranteed a certain percentage pay raise every year like everyone else. With non union workers your value is based off your hard work and or talent which then shows managers that you deserve a pay raise over say someone who doesn’t care about his or her job.

    I wonder how this new contract with the UAW will affect GM’s ability to stay profitable in the long term. Also will quality and innovation get better or suffer?

  • avatar

    You don’t have to visit a UAW picket line to find lazy, entitled workers. There’s plenty right here in my building, and I work for a private enterprise who constantly has its eyes on its labor costs.

    Engaging work creates engaged workers. Mind-numbing work creates workers who are there for the paycheck. Doesn’t matter if its making cars, or filling out a spreadsheet while sitting down. You’re insane if you think that a person is supposed to sit there whistling like they’re in heaven as they screw on the 1,113 bolt of the morning.

    • 0 avatar

      If you want to have some real fun, try hiring someone from a large union environment, say a public employee, into a small business where everyone needs to actually complete their tasks, do whatever is necessary on top of their tasks, and where there is little redundancy for the picking up of slack created by someone being unable to do their job for whatever reason. They won’t even think you’re being serious when you ask them why something didn’t get done.

      • 0 avatar

        This really just defines the lines between a corporation and a small business. I’m with you on the latter – I spent 15 years at various small businesses where every individual effort mattered immensely to the operation of the firm, only to later move to a large corporation where the amount of waste and laziness boggles the mind.

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