Sci-tech

Worker pay hikes, factory closings move forward — GM contract

Worker pay hikes, factory closings move forward — GM contract”

The United Auto Workers union on Thursday reached a tentative agreement for a new contract covering 850 Aramark employees who work at General Motors plants in OH and MI in maintenance, two sources briefed on the matter said. But the company was offering that even before the union went on strike on September 16. "We continue to believe that if this is ratified, it is a fairly solid outcome for GM", RBC Capital Markets analyst Joseph Spak wrote in a note Thursday. But they're also exhausted of striking and may return before they vote on the deal themselves.

Once the union's GM councils endorses the contract will be forwarded to UAW members for ratification.

Details were posted Thursday on the United Auto Workers website as factory level union officials met to decide if they'll approve the deal.

Separate from the UAW deal, GM on Thursday confirmed plans for an electric battery plant near the Lordstown complex that could eventually employ 1,000 people. Analysts say the costs to GM will hit around $2 billion.

About 49,000 workers have been on strike for more than a month, paralyzing GM's US factories and costing the company an estimated $2 billion.

The Center for Automotive Research (CAR) in MI has estimated the strike's weekly costs to GM and the UAW strike fund at $450 million and $12 million, respectively.

Details of GM's last offer emerged over the weekend and included an increase of its proposed ratification bonus by $1,000 to $9,000. Workers hired after 2007 who are paid a lower wage rate will hit the top wage of $32.32 per hour in four years or less. Temporary workers now have a shorter path to becoming full-time employees, and they will receive $4,500.

The strike cost GM an estimated $2 billion according to analysts, hurt auto suppliers and played a role in USA manufacturing output falling more than expected in September. The UAW previously agreed to temporary contract extensions with both automakers while it focused on GM. It will now be up to the 48,000 workers to ratify the deal.

This time around - with a federal corruption investigation that has implicated the past two UAW presidents and brought convictions of five union officials - many union members don't trust the leadership.

The union's bargainers have voted to recommend the deal to the UAW International Executive Board, which will vote on the agreement. It wants to use the plant as its headquarters, research and manufacturing site for an electric truck it plans to call the Endurance.

"I'm proud that we stuck our ground and everybody stuck together", Himes said of the union workers during a phone interview.

Salaried employees will see 66 holidays over 4 years and an education/development bonus of $11,000.

Picketing United Auto Workers Richard Rivera, left, and Robin Pinkney react to news of a tentative contract agreement with General Motors, in Langhorne, Pa. Bargainers for General Motors and the United Auto Workers reached a tentative contract deal that could end a monthlong strike that brought the company's USA factories to a standstill.

Erik Gordon, a University of MI business professor who follows the auto industry, said that if the "rank-and-file" reject the tentative contract, they are voting against UAW President Gary Jones and negotiating team leaders.

Workers in Oshawa have been off the job for most of the strike due to a lack of parts from the U.S.



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