Late yesterday General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) announced that employees at 55 UAW-represented sites across the U.S. approved a new four-year contract, ending the longest automotive strike in 50 years.
“General Motors members have spoken,” said Terry Dittes, UAW Vice President and Director of the 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.” The new agreement provides GM hourly workers with better than average wages, benefits and a profit-sharing package.
The contract achieved most but not all of the demands, notably Lordstown will no longer be a GM plant. Hours later, UAW President Gary Jones said that the union will proceed with pattern bargaining at Ford where large areas of an agreement have already been reached weeks ago and were awaiting the GM pattern for completion.
The new, four-year agreement for GM’s hourly employees includes:
- 3% wage increases or 4% lump sum payments in each of the four years of the contract
- Retention of world-class health care coverage, preserving the current 3% cost to employees
- An $11,000 contract signing bonus for regular employees, and $4,500 for temporary employees
- Enhanced employee profit-sharing, including no cap on our employees’ ability to share in the company’s profits
- A clear path for temporary employees to transition to permanent employment after three years of service, beginning in January 2020 for eligible employees with accrued time.
GM’s planned investments of $7.7 billion in the U.S. include:
- The opportunity to bring an all-new electric pickup truck assigned to Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly – securing the future of the plant and creating the potential for future new products to be built in the city of Detroit
- More than $4 billion for additional vehicle programs and existing facility improvements across its U.S. plants.
- Additionally, GM is moving forward with opportunities for future investments and job growth in Mahoning Valley in Ohio. These investments are outside the national agreement:
- An opportunity to bring battery cell production to the area, which would create 1,000 manufacturing jobs
- The sale of the GM Lordstown complex to Lordstown Motors Corp., a new company that plans to build electric pickups for commercial fleet customers. Lordstown Motors Corp. plans to create 400 manufacturing jobs initially.