By on October 17, 2019


Ren Cen. GM

After reaching a tentative agreement with General Motors on Wednesday, the United Auto Workers has released a summary of the proposed labor contract.

Contained within are wage hikes for GM autoworkers, lump sum increases, a generous signing bonus, the removal of caps on profit-sharing payouts, and a health care plan that maintains the status quo. It would also keep one previously doomed assembly plant open.

What we don’t know, at this point, is when the ongoing strike will end.

At publication time, local UAW leaders and union brass were still meeting behind closed doors to decide whether to greenlight the agreement — and whether that go-ahead will signal an end to a five-week-long strike that darkened GM plants the continent over. It’s possible the strike could continue until an agreement is ratified by members.

(You can read a full summary of what the agreement means for hourly and contract workers here.)

During bargaining talks, two issues that cropped up again and again were health care coverage and a path to full employment for temporary employees. These issues seem to be addressed here. After initially proposing workers pay 15 percent of their health costs, up from 3 percent, GM backtracked shortly before the strike. The previous 4-year contract’s health coverage carries over into this agreement.

As for temporary employees, they would have a path to full employment under this proposal. Meanwhile, all current hourly workers would be on a route to earn at least $32.32 an hour by the end of the contract term. New hires would reach full pay in four years; half the previous time span. A $11,000 signing bonus would be offered to full-time hourly workers.

Wages and lump sums would be subject to increases of 3 percent a year.

But what of vehicle production? The issue of job security and recently announced plant closures played a role in prolonging the negotiations. While the tentative agreement keeps Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly — previously slated for closure in January 2020 ⁠— open, it doesn’t return life to Ohio’s shuttered Lordstown Assembly, nor the two GM transmission plants in Michigan and Maryland.

To that end, GM is offering big buyouts. Employees from these plants can either choose early retirement, or opt for a $75,000 buyout without having to return any relocation expenses paid for by GM. Workers eligible for retirement will be given a $60,000 bonus if they choose to leave the job and start collecting their pension in January or February.

[Image: General Motors]

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38 Comments on “Tentative GM Agreement Details Revealed, UAW Council Deliberates...”

  • avatar

    Sounds like the union got everything they wanted except Lordstown.

    Don’t see how they can turn this down. Perhaps the conventional wisdom about GM’s high inventory allowing it to ride this out while not being hurt badly was wrong. It seems like they gave up a lot here.

    • 0 avatar

      The GM plan is to continue to shutter existing plants and expatriate over the long term, just look at the buyout incentives they are offering. UAW will win the battle but lose the war.

    • 0 avatar

      Husband of late wife’s cousin is retired from GM HQ, where he worked in HR. He once described GM’s approach to contract negotiation as:

      1. UAW tells GM what they want.
      2. GM screams long and loud that these demands are impossible, company simply cannot afford them, etc., etc.
      3. Some time passes.
      4. GM caves.

      Plus ça change….

  • avatar

    “After initially proposing workers pay 15 percent of their health costs, up from 3 percent, GM backtracked shortly before the strike. The previous 4-year contract’s health coverage carries over into this agreement.”

    Are the UAW and the U.S. Congress the only places that get to escape the reality of 2019 era health care costs?

  • avatar

    I wonder what Hamtramck’s new lease on life means for the CT6.

  • avatar

    If the remaining plants are to close the strike continues. Wall Street agrees with this assessment since GM stock is declining rapidly today. Obviously, somebody told Wall Street the strike will continue.

    The UAW is not falling for the electric vehicle Ponzi scheme. It is better to keep the mediocre selling Impala and Lacrosse in production than rely on the poor selling Bolt. GM is basing its future on its slowest selling vehilce.

    Below is a list of the slowest selling compacts in North America. Here are the three bottom feeders.

    Bolt (2018) – 15,500
    FCA 500 (2018) 14,600
    Mirage (2018) 42,000

  • avatar

    GM stock is in a free fall right now. Something is up, and for this reason I believe the strike will continue. The 100 day strike looks like a real possibility now.

  • avatar
    Rick Astley

    If that publication turns out to be true, then I see the UAW hasn’t learned it’s lessons from the (farce of a ) bankruptcy and is still head-in-the-sand about it’s part of forcing jobs out of America.

    How on earth could an auto manufacturer make long term plans with the pistol of the UAW up against their heads?

    Keep bleeding that stone, UAW, but membership has a tendency to drop when factories are shuttered and jobs outsourced just to get away from draconian labor management. But hey, you can start sending your former members those fancy watches and cigars that your executives left after deploying their golden parachutes!

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    GM has lost the battle but not the war. Offer buyouts and reduce workers and plants. This allows GM to set up more foreign plants which is what they want anyway.

    • 0 avatar

      So I was having lunch today with two old friends, retired military, and they both told me that their next new vehicle will not be a UAW-built vehicle, regardless of brand.

      This goes hand in hand with what my best friend told me yesterday, when he was considering buying a new Silverado CrewCab in Silver Ice Metallic that his wife likes, that he won’t be buying anything made by the UAW.

      This leaves only Tundra, Tacoma, Titan, Frontier and Ridgeline.

      My guess is that the overwhelming value for the money, smooth ride, competent handling, and overall efficacy, will win the day for the Ridgeline.

      No doubt he’ll ask me to help him install a set of running boards/side steps on his new Ridgeline, after he buys one.

      • 0 avatar

        Well he could still buy a Silverado or Ram since a lot of them are made in Mexico.

        • 0 avatar

          I reminded him of that but he dismissed it out of hand.

          He and I, and sometimes his wife also went along, spent a lot of time looking at pickup trucks within a 150-mile range of his home.

          Since I now live in El Paso. TX, he always had a place here where he could R&R. And he did.

          But the Hecho en Mexico Silverado trucks we looked at, VIN starts with 3, mostly LT trim, weren’t as nicely assembled as those where the VIN started with a 1, mostly LTZ and High Country.

          And when I tapped on the sides of the Hecho en Mexico trucks, I got the impression the metal is thinner, because it sounded different, tinnier, thinner.

          If it were me, I’d buy another Tundra because I had excellent experiences with my 2011, my 2016 and my wife’s 2016 Sequoia.

          But he’s more of a pragmatic kinda guy with a penchant for comfort, quiet cabin, smooth and trouble-free operation, which all points to the Ridgeline RTL-E.

          Buttery smooth, quiet, competent, and long-distance road worthy came to my mind when my buddy took one out for a spin with him and his wife in the front seats and me and the saleslady in the back seat.

          It’s too bad that they didn’t discount that 2019 RTL-E more because he would have whipped out his checkbook. He asked how much they needed to sell it for, and they told him, in writing.

          So when he started to walk, the sales manager comes out of his cubicle, strikes up a conversation with us, and tells us that he’s going to recalculate to see if he can lower the price.

          So my buddy says to the sales manager, “I asked how much the store needed to sell it for. I’m fine with the price but I don’t care to pay that much for last year’s model. If you change the price, I won’t believe you.”

          And so endeth the negotiation.

          • 0 avatar

            A friend of mine who owns pawn shops got off the F150 train and bought a Ridgeline. He was extremely happy with it last time we spoke about it. I keep my cars forever and worry about piston rings on VCM Hondas, but he will probably put 100K on it in a few years and get another one.

          • 0 avatar

            Honda owners have told me that the key to long engine life in a Honda engine is frequent oil&filter changes with Mobil or Castrol 100% Synthetic oil, and replacing the timing belt as scheduled (because Honda has an “Interference” engine).

            Some of these people have driven Honda since their 1980 Accord, and then some.

            And they never trade them in, just pass them down to kids, grandkids, or other family.

  • avatar

    The electric truck slated for Hamtramck is vaporware. It will take years before it is slated for production and by that time all the workers at the plant will have already lost their jobs.

  • avatar

    I wonder if GM plans on another bankruptcy in the next recession? The UAW skated through the 2009 one because Obama’s “car czar” was tight with labor. Who knows what could result next time.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    hdc–Your friend can still buy a GM if he gets one made in Mexico–no UAW in Mexico. As for unions they served a purpose but many times they have outlived that purpose. I would put much of the blame on overpaid and incompetent CEOs that many times know little about the products their companies make. For me I am going to buy the best product for my needs regardless if it is made by union labor or not. I just bought my neighbors 2012 Buick Lacrosse with 45k miles for a very good price and signed over the title to my 99 S-10 to my nephew who is retired from the Coast Guard. The S-10 gave me 20 1/2 years of very inexpensive and reliable service one of the most reliable vehicles I have ever owned and I doubt that a Tacoma would have been much more reliable. My nephew has a 1 ton dually 4×4 2014 Cummins diesel Ram Longhorn with heated leather seats and his wife has a 09 Honda Accord both in excellent condition. My S-10 still runs and looks like new with 120k miles. My wife has a 2013 CRV which has been good. I am less interested in if a union labor makes my vehicle but more interested in how well a vehicle has served me. I haven’t had very many really bad vehicles (maybe 1) and that is counting all the Big 3 and Japanese vehicles I have owned over 44 years.

    • 0 avatar

      Jeff S, I refer you to my reply above to Scott’s comment.

      My friend retired his 1993 S10 Tahoe ExtCab 4.3L by parting it out, and will soon retire his 1989 Camry V6 sedan as well, so he is inclined to buy a four-door pickup truck to replace the both of them.

      Difficulty is ingress/egress with the taller full-size half-ton trucks – he and his wife are both in their mid-seventies and entry-height is crucial, as are Power Seats (Driver and Passenger). They’re needed for medical reasons, travel comfort, back support, you may know the drill. A necessary expense – nothing worse than spasms in your back, legs or torso while traveling great distances on the Interstate.

      He used to borrow my 2016 4-dr Tundra on occasion and his wife dubbed it “The Kidney Buster” because of the firm ride, so they’re not big on Tundra. She referred to my 2011 DoubleCab Tundra as “The Bouncer” because it was jittery on washboard roads when the bed was empty.

      But the Ridgeline brought an ear to ear grin to both their faces.


      I think it’s going to be a Ridgeline for them.

      We thought pricing would be better in El Paso, TX, but it appears that discounts are higher in Rio Rancho, NM and Albuquerque, NM. So when he gets the itch again, he and I may go up there since his wife doesn’t need to go.

      Right now, it’s all about the Benjamins; Franklin, that is.

      And if he can’t find a price he likes, then the search goes on. He currently owns a 2012 Grand Cherokee Laredo 4×4 and a 2015 Avalon Limited, plus that 1989 Camry I used to borrow. So he’s not without transportation.

  • avatar

    As I predicted the strike continues. This strike is going to easily beat the 1970 record of 67 days.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    #highdesertcat–The Ridgeline is an excellent choice for many and the cab room is excellent. For most a Ridgeline would more than meet their needs and Honda makes good solid vehicles. My wife had a 77 Accord for over 17 years and her 2013 CRV which is loaded is a very good vehicle. I am almost 68 and I completely understand the importance of ingress and egress and seat comfort. It appears that the vehicle your friend wants will be the Ridgeline–“happy wife happy life.”

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    HDC, your welcome. Everyone has different needs and wants and the most important thing is to be satisfied with what you buy.

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