GM union workers ratify UAW deal following contentious vote
The United Automobile Workers (UAW) and General Motors (GM) have reached a labor agreement to end a weeks-long labor dispute that threatened to disrupt the American auto industry.
The agreement was ratified by UAW members on Friday in a contentious vote that ended in a decisive 53 percent majority in favor of the deal.
The new four-year contract will give GM workers a 3 percent pay hike and a 4 percent lump-sum bonus, while creating a path for temporary workers to become full-time employees. It will also add 9,000 new factory and skilled trade jobs over the life of the contract.
GM also agreed to close its Detroit Hamtramck factory and reassign most of the 1,200 workers to other GM plants, a decision that some UAW members opposed.
The contract includes a 10 percent pay increase for temporary workers, who currently make $15 to $19 an hour. The contract also allows temporary workers to transfer their seniority to a full-time job, and provides for an $8,000 retirement bonus for senior workers.
The deal marks a victory for UAW President Gary Jones, who has been facing an internal revolt from rank-and-file members in recent weeks.
The agreement averts a nationwide strike that could have crippled GM’s production for months. It also marks a rare glimpse of labor peace between the union and the company, which have gone through a series of disputes in recent years.
The UAW and GM have also agreed to develop a joint initiative to combat the opioid crisis in the states where GM and its workers operate.