General Motors (GM) has reached a deal with employees to end the longest automotive strike in 50 years.
GM employees with the United Auto Workers (UAW) union ratified the 2019 Collective Bargaining Agreement on Friday evening, UAW said in a statement.
The contract includes an $11,000 per member signing bonus, performance bonuses, two 3 percent annual raises and two 4 percent lump sum payments while holding the line on health care costs.
“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.”
“We want to once again thank our members’ families and their local communities for their outpouring of support,” added UAW President Gary Jones. “Our members not only joined together in solidarity but felt the support of their whole community throughout this important stand.”
About 48,000 employees took to the picket line last month to demand higher hourly wages, lump-sum payments and a better profit-sharing plan. The strike shut down several plants and reportedly cost GM $2 billion since the strike started.
Democratic Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownGM reaches deal with union to end strike Booker: ‘Democrats don’t need more candidates to enter’ The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Better Medicare Alliance – Diplomat’s ‘powerful’ testimony and ‘lynching’ attract headlines MORE (Ohio), a vocal proponent of unions, praised the UAW and cited the new contract as a “testament to the value of the labor movement.”
“Without the UAW, GM could have increased workers’ health care costs, kept their wages flat, and continued to use temporary workers indefinitely. More workers need union representation to help them stand up to corporate greed and fight for their rights and the rights of their fellow workers,” he said in a statement.
However, the contract will allow GM to permanently close three idled factories, including a large plant in Lordstown, Ohio.
“At the same time, this is another in a long line of sad days for the people in Lordstown. GM’s unilateral decision this year to close Lordstown and their continued refusal to bring a new product to the plant is a betrayal of the Mahoning Valley. Lordstown auto workers are the best at what they do, and I will continue to stand with them, their families, and the entire community as we fight to bring good, UAW auto jobs to the Valley,” Brown said.
The UAW will now negotiate with Ford Motor and Fiat Chrysler and seek similar terms.
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