The new eighth-generation Corvette has already earned numerous awards before the first production car for a paying customer even hits the street.
Now some of the workers who will be producing the mid-engine 2020 Stingray starting next month are already reaping rewards, too.
In fact, 57 temporary workers at the Bowling Green Corvette Assembly Plant in Kentucky will be changing to full-time positions that will pay them more and offer better benefits, a move that had been promised in the four-year contract reached between United Auto Workers and General Motors after a nationwide 40-day strike.
“This is basically what we went on strike for,” UAW Local 2164 President Jack Bowers said. “Some of them (temporary workers) have been here three or four years. This is definitely a big improvement for them.”‘
The workers will see their hourly pay rise to $21 to $24, up from the current $17, and better benefits such as health care, according to a report in the Detroit Free Press. They’ll also be eligible now to eventually hit the top pay of $32.32 per hour by the time the contract expires in 2023.
“Many of these workers had been here for a number of years,” said Nora Roper, assistant plant manager. “We’re excited for them and their families. This is good for our employees and good for Bowling Green.”
Nationwide, more than 1,300 other temporary workers at 13 U.S. facilities will also transition to full-time by the end of March.
The Corvette plant has seen its overall number of hourly and salaried workers grow to 1,300 from 900 after the company decided to add a second shift at the facility to meet the overwhelming demand for the new C8 that recently won the North American Car of the Year award and has been widely praised by the media for its high performance at a low price.
GM has been seeking additional temporary workers at the Bowling Green facility, where they will start out at $16.67 an hour but with the new contract will have legitimate hopes of going full-time and perhaps doubling their wages.
“As time goes on, they’ll be hiring more temporary workers,” Bowers said. “But we won’t have people working five to seven years as temporaries anymore. We have language in the contract that says they’ll become full time after three years.”
While GM was trying to recover from its bankruptcy a decade ago, the company stressed the importance of being able to hire temporary workers to allow flexibility in adjusting to changing market conditions. Now it believes with its improved financial picture, those temporary workers deserve to be changed to full-time.
“Our employees are essential to meeting the needs of our customers, so providing these team members with an improved career path forward has numerous benefits,” GM Executive Vice President of Global Manufacturing Gerald Johnson said in a news release. “From health and safety to building high-quality products for our customers, it takes all of us working together to build a stronger future.”
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Corvette Assembly Plant is Hiring Temporary Full-Time Production Workers