The United Auto Workers' five-week strike against General Motors reached its endgame on Oct. 16 as the union came to a tentative agreement with the company. The new contract preserved health insurance benefits with no added costs for workers and created a path to permanent employment for temporary workers.
The strike, which began on Sept. 15, involved almost 50,000 workers at General Motors plants around the United States and cost the company more than $1 billion in profits. It was the first national United Auto Workers’ strike in 12 years and the longest national strike against General Motors since 1970.
If approved, the new contract will provide 3 percent pay raises in the second and fourth years and 4 percent lump-sum payments in the first and third years, and the cap on profit-sharing payouts will be eliminated. There is a pathway for temps, whose numbers have swelled, to become permanent workers and for newer hires to more quickly reach full wages. That top wage increased to $32.32 per hour.
The ratification bonus of $11,000 for permanent workers and $4,500 for temps more than offsets the lost strike wages.
GM agreed to invest $3 billion in a Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant that General Motors had planned to close. Three other U.S. plants — one each in Ohio, Maryland and Michigan — that the company said it would idle in November 2018 are still closing.
Detroit News, Oct. 16 and 18