Strike, day 34: Membership reviewing GM-UAW tentative deal

Kalea Hall
The Detroit News

The national strike against General Motors Co. by the United Auto Workers continued Saturday, the 34th day of the strike, as 48,000 union members begin to learn what's in the union's tentative agreement with the automaker.

Members could start voting on the contract as early as Saturday since the UAW wants ballot totals from local unions by 4 p.m. Oct. 25. Local units have started scheduling education sessions on the new contract and ratification vote times, many of which take place next week.

The new four-year deal with GM promises permanent jobs for temporary employees, record ratification bonuses and the elimination of a $12,000 cap on profit sharing.

Bill Jackson, of St. Louis, gives a thumbs up to drivers that wave or honk as United Auto Workers outside the GM-Wentzville Assembly Center in Wentzville, Mo., Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019.

The proposed contract would give 3% base-wage increases in the second and fourth years of the contract and would pay 4% lump-sum bonuses in the first and third years. A record ratification bonus of $11,000 would be paid to permanent employees, while temporary workers would receive a bonus of $4,500.

It also allows GM to close three plants: Baltimore Operations in Maryland, Lordstown Assembly in northeast Ohio and Warren Transmission in southeast Michigan.

A lawsuit filed by the UAW against GM in February because the automaker decided to stop production at three U.S. plants before the previous contract expired will be dismissed with prejudice, which dismisses the case permanently, according to the 2019 contract.

Settlement Of Litigation & Effects Bargaining Agreement.

GM is pledging to invest $7.7 billion in the U.S., including $3 billion at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant, where the automaker plans to build electric trucks and vans. Detroit-Hamtramck was on the list to be idled like the three other plants.

A majority vote by membership is needed to ratify the contract.

Meanwhile, UAW leaders representing Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and Ford Motor Co. on Friday said their subcommittees will continue to meet until UAW President Gary Jones chooses the next company with which to bargain after GM sets the pattern.

The UAW-GM strike isn't the only walkout the union is overseeing as it works through the negotiation process with two other companies: Aramark Corp. and Mack Trucks Inc. The UAW's 850 members employed by Aramark, which provides maintenance at five GM facilities — Hamtramck, Warren, Flint, Grand Blanc and Parma, Ohio — have been on strike since Sept. 15 and will continue to be so until a contract is ratified. A tentative agreement was reached on Thursday.

Additionally, more than 3,600 UAW members employed by Mack Trucks walked off the job Sunday over issues including wage increases, job security, wage progression and health and safety.

Twitter: @bykaleahall