GM reaches deal with UAW minutes before deadline – USA TODAY
Sixteen minutes before a strike authorization was to go into affect, the United Auto Workers union and General Motors reached a proposed tentative agreement on a new contract.
The agreement came at 11:43 p.m. ET Sunday. At 11:59 p.m., the union had declared it would be free to call a strike on GM.
Now, the UAW says it is going to put the deal before the union’s national council on Wednesday. If approved there, it could go to 52,500 GM workers represented by the UAW for a vote..
The union’s bargaining committee unanimously voted to sent the proposal to the council.. The council will meet in Detroit, where GM is based.
“We believe that this agreement will present stable long-term significant wage gains and job security commitments to UAW members now and in the future,” said UAW President Dennis Williams in a statement. “We look forward to presenting the details of these gains to local union leaders and the membership.”
UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada said the agreement provides a :”clear path” for its members. While she didn’t explain further, the union has sought to find ways to bring new workers on a lower-wage scale, called Tier 2, up to the same higher wage scale as veteran workers.
“The significant gains in this agreement are structured in a way that will provide certainty to our members and create a clear path for all GM employees now and in the future. The agreement not only rewards UAW-GM members for their accomplishments, but it protects them with significant job security commitments,.” Estrada said.
GM was supportive of the proposal as well.
“The new UAW-GM national agreement is good for employees and the business,” said Cathy Clegg, GM North America’s vice president for manufacturing and labor relations. “Working with our UAW partners, we developed constructive solutions that benefit employees and provide flexibility for the company to respond to the needs of the marketplace.”
GM is the second Detroit automaker as the UAW negotiates with Detroit’s Big 3. UAW members just voted in a favor of a new four-year pact with Fiat Chrysler. But it didn’t come easily. Fiat Chrysler sweetened the deal after workers rejected the first proposed contract.