UAW members to picket at GM dealerships as strike approaches one month

Saturday, 19 Oct, 2019

The changes come four weeks after almost 50,000 GM workers at 31 GM factories and 21 other facilities walked off the job after failing to reach a new union contract. But as Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton reports, union leaders now have to sell the deal to rank-and-file workers.

Even if the union council votes to approve the agreement the strike may not end until after a full ratification vote is held.

The UAW and GM have made a decision to table negotiations over returning jobs to a recently shuttered plant that had produced the Chevy Cruze to prevent the 31-day strike from being prolonged any more, according to two sources briefed on the deal.

The 32-day walkout by 50,000 GM workers centered on issues including a path to permanent work for temporary workers, pay raises or lump sum payments for UAW members and promises of investment at USA plants.

The new deal also specifies GM's commitment to invest $7.7B in the US factories over the four-years contract that will create more employment.

This is a developing story...

"The number one priority of the national negotiation team has been to secure a strong and fair contract that our members deserve", he said.

Both sides also have agreed on a path for temporary workers to get permanent jobs, the people said. I'm not sure they're going to get anything that they wouldn't have gotten had they continued to bargain and hadn't gone on strike. Parts companies that supply GM have had to lay off thousands of workers. But they're also exhausted of striking and may return before they vote on the deal themselves.

The striking employees plan to circulate leaflets at the dealerships, as well.

The deal was hammered out after months of bargaining but won't bring an immediate end to the strike by 49,000 hourly workers. "Additional details will be provided at the appropriate time". Late a year ago, GM announced it was unallocating (ph) two of its plants in MI, one in Maryland and one in Ohio.

The strike began on September 16 when some 46,000 GM workers struck 55 company locations in the United States.

Dittes didn't offer any details or tout any gains in the tentative agreement.

BRIAN PETERSON: We're talking about, you know, in the neighborhood of $1.5 billion in lost profit for GM.

In a statement loaded with qualifiers, United Autoworkers (UAW) Vice President Terry Dittes announced "the achievement of a Proposed Tentative Agreement" with General Motors Co. GM shares jumped 2.6% just after the news broke, but they eased back by early afternoon with the stock up 1.2% to $36.68. Ultimately, the strike involved 320,000 workers and lasted 113 days.

Details of the four-year agreement have yet to be released.