GM & UAW Reach Tentative Agreement

Filed under: Labor,News,Unions |

General Motors and the United Auto Workers reached a tentative four-year agreement late Friday night, 16 Sept. 2011. If ratified, the agreement would cover approximately 48,500 GM employees in the United States, who are represented by the UAW.

President Joe Ashton shake hands marking the start of negotiations between GM and the UAW Wednesday, 27 July 2011 at the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant in Detroit. Photo: Jeffrey Sauger/GM

President Joe Ashton shake hands marking the start of negotiations between GM and the UAW Wednesday, 27 July 2011 at the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant in Detroit. Photo: Jeffrey Sauger/GM

The UAW’s negotiations with Ford and Chysler continue, but an agreement with GM means those talks may be concluded swifty.

Terms of the four-year agreement are not being shared publicly to allow the UAW International to educate its membership about the agreement and conduct a ratification vote. The vote is expected to take place within the next seven to 10 days.

However, the UAW claims it fought back numerous concessions and made gains in health insurance and profit sharing.

“When GM was struggling, our members shared in the sacrifice. Now that the company is posting profits again, our members want to share in the success. To be clear, GM is prosperous because of its workers. It’s the workers and the quality of the work they do, along with the sacrifices they made, that have returned this company to profitability,” said UAW Vice President Joe Ashton in s press release annoucing the agreement. “The wages and benefits we negotiated in this tentative agreement reflect the fact that it was UAW members who helped turn this company around.

“We wanted a contract that provides our members with a real share of the success of the company and ensures its continued success. Our members cannot succeed unless the company succeeds, and we are strongly committed to that joint success, as this contract demonstrates,” Ashton added.

According to the UAW, highlights of the agreement include:
• Concessions by GM on major changes to its retirement plan.
• Significant improvements to health care benefits.
• Improved profit sharing with far greater financial transparency than in the past.

“We used a creative problem solving approach to reach an agreement that addresses the needs of employees and positions our business for long-term success,” said Cathy Clegg, GM vice president, labor relations in a statement. “We worked hard for a contract that recognizes the realities of today’s marketplace, enabling GM to continue to invest in U.S. manufacturing and provide good jobs to thousands of Americans.”

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