The UAW strike against GM that lasted 40 days came to an end on Friday afternoon after UAW members ratified a new four-year labor agreement with the automaker.
The vote passed with 57% of membership agreeing to the new deal. The actual vote count was 23,389 to 17,501.
“We delivered a contract that recognizes our employees for the important contributions they make to the overall success of the company, with a strong wage and benefit package and additional investment and job growth in our U.S. operations,” said Mary Barra, GM Chairman and CEO. “GM is proud to provide good-paying jobs to tens of thousands of employees in America and to grow our substantial investment in the U.S. As one team, we can move forward and stay focused on our priorities of safety and building high-quality cars, trucks and crossovers for our customers.”
The ratified contract includes an $11,000 per member signing bonus, performance bonuses, two 3% annual raises and two 4% lump sum payments and holding the line on health care costs.
A major point during the strike had to do with temporary workers. The new agreement offers a clear path for temporary employees to transition to permanent employment after three years of service, beginning in January 2020 for eligible employees with accrued time.
“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 have no indications yet how the startup of Bowling Green Assembly Plant will begin other than assuming that workers will begin prepping the plant to reopen. Not only did the strike shut down production, but it also interrupted the flow of parts to the plant from various vendors and other GM facilities.
The factory is expected to wrap with the remaining C7 Corvettes before shutting down to retool for exclusively building the C8 Corvettes. The retooling is expected to last about eight weeks, which pushes the start of the 2020 Corvette production in January 2020.
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