Mixed early results in GM-UAW contract voting – Detroit Free Press
The four-year labor agreement between the UAW and General Motors suffered a setback in early voting Saturday as workers in Fairfax, Kansas, rejected it by a wide margin, but a strong majority of workers at one of two Lansing assembly plants approved it.
Neither of the two early results is indicative of the agreement’s fate. Together the plants have about 4,350 UAW members, or less than 10% of about 52,700 UAW-GM workers eligible to vote.
The deal would provide an $8,000 signing bonus upon ratification, bring newer workers the same health care coverage as their more senior co-workers and bring wages of those hired after October 2007 to parity over three to seven years with those hired before that date.
GM workers, most of whom received a pre-tax $9,000 profit-sharing check in early 2015 based on the company’s 2014 North American profits, are on track to receive the same or slightly more next spring. GM reported a pre-tax profit in North America of $8.3 billion for the first nine months of 2015.
Fairfax, where about 3,230 hourly workers build the Chevrolet Malibu and Buick LaCrosse, is one of the larger locals in GM manufacturing network. Production workers voted against the agreement by a 63% to 37% margin. Skilled trades workers voted no by a 66% to 34% margin.
Lansing Grand River has about 1,121 UAW workers making the Cadillac ATS and CTS. Of those voting, 57% voted to ratify the agreement.
GM is in the process of rehiring about 500 people for that Lansing plant, many of whom were laid off in January 2015. Those jobs are returning as the plant is launching production of the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro, The Camaro was previously built in Oshawa, Ontario.
More than 40 other GM union locals will be voting over the next week and should conclude by Nov. 8. Workers at the Flint truck assembly plant will vote from 10 p.m. Sunday through 10 p.m. Monday.
A UAW spokesman declined to comment on the early results.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles workers turned down their first tentative agreement, but approved a second deal that better addressed their concerns. The GM deal offers similar raises, but higher bonuses and improved health care for second-tier workers. It offers $60,000 lump sums for up to 4,000 older production workers who choose to retire between Feb. 1 and May 1 of next year.
The GM keeps the same profit sharing formula while the FCA agreement adopts a new formula.
Once the GM deal is ratified, the UAW will move on to negotiations with Ford.
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