Advance Notice: Briefs

GM contract will go before UAW workers

By: - October 17, 2019 7:36 pm

Workers participate in “Solidarity Sunday” at the General Motors Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant, Sept. 22, 2019 | Andrew Roth

The UAW National Council voted Thursday to accept the tentative agreement with General Motors after a monthlong strike that could deliver big gains for workers. The next step is ratification informational meetings and votes at UAW locals.

Those will take place beginning Saturday and ending Friday, Oct. 25. Workers will remain on strike until the agreement is ratified.

“We thank the public for their support during the strike and their continued support as UAW GM members review the tentative agreement,” UAW Vice President and Director of the General Motors Department Terry Dittes said. “Ultimately, UAW members will make the decision to ratify the agreement. Their unity and solidarity brought us to this moment.”

As the Advance previously reported, GM and the UAW reached a tentative deal on Tuesday. The strike involving roughly 48,000 workers began on Sept. 16.

The union released details of the deal on Thursday, which includes:

  • No change in health care costs
  • A pathway for temporary workers to permanent status
  • An $11,000 ratification bonus for seniority employees and a $4,500 ratification bonus for temporary employees
  • The $12,000 cap on profit sharing payouts has been eliminated
  • Wage increases of 3 to 4% annually
  • Enhanced vacation time

The Detroit Hamtramck Assembly Plant will stay open under the contract, but facilities in Warren, Baltimore and Lordstown, Ohio, will close as planned. The union announced that “with sadness” but negotiated an assistance package for impacted workers.

In a message to workers on Thursday, Dittes and UAW President Gary Jones said they “are pleased to announce that thanks to your solidarity and sacrifice, we have achieved gains toward all of these bargaining priorities.

“Collective bargaining is never easy. We don’t expect it to be easy. And striking is never an easy decision but your sacrifices reminded General Motors of the power and might of SOLIDARITY. Brothers and sisters, we stood up with one loud, clear voice and said: ‘No More.'”

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Susan J. Demas

Susan J. Demas is a 21-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 4,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 70 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.