GM Workers Ratify Union Deal

Leah Shepherd By Leah Shepherd November 16, 2023

Editor's Note: On Nov. 17, Ford workers voted in favor of the UAW contract with 68 percent approving it. Stellantis workers have approved their contract as well. 

General Motors (GM) workers have narrowly approved the deal the United Auto Workers (UAW) union recently negotiated with the carmaker. The voting concluded on Nov. 16.

Earlier this year, about 40,000 UAW members went on strike after their contract with General Motors, Ford and Stellantis expired on Sept. 15. It was the union's first strike against all of Detroit's Big Three automakers simultaneously. Ford and Stellantis workers are still voting on their deals.

Also on Nov. 16, President Joe Biden signed a memorandum to emphasize the administration's global commitment to worker rights.

The memorandum signaled the administration's pledge to prevent threats, intimidation and violence against union leaders. It also promised to enhance training on labor rights across federal agencies and strengthen enforcement of trade laws to promote internationally recognized labor rights.

We've gathered a group of articles on the news from SHRM Online and other trusted sources.

Some Large Plants Rejected Deal

The GM deal was supported by 54.7 percent of the nearly 36,000 auto workers who voted. A majority of GM's large assembly plants rejected the pact, but it wasn't enough to offset support at smaller facilities and a handful of other assembly plants.

The GM deal includes 25 percent pay increases, a path to secure future jobs for union ranks at battery plants, and a springboard for organizing efforts at other nonunion automakers operating in the United States.


Concerns Over Pensions

The close vote at GM comes after union leaders touted the deal, achieved after a 46-day strike. Main issues with the deal seem to mostly be held by legacy workers who've been with the company for more than a decade. Their concerns include not enough gains for pensions and not enough in wage increases for workers who are barely making more than they were before GM went bankrupt in 2009.

Meanwhile, competitors like Toyota, Honda and Hyundai recently announced their own steps to stay competitive, including wage increases and decreasing timelines for workers to get to the top of the pay scale.

(Detroit News)

Pay Hikes and COLAs

The UAW said the GM agreement grants 25 percent base wage increases through April 2028, and will cumulatively raise the top wage by 33 percent compounded with estimated cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) to over $42 an hour. The starting wage will increase by 70 percent compounded with estimated COLAs to over $30 an hour.

GM will offer three buyout programs from January 2024 through the life of the agreement that include a $50,000 lump sum pretax retirement incentive for traditional employees who meet the normal or early retirement eligibility requirements.

The UAW's agreement with GM largely mirrors the tentative deals with Ford and Stellantis.

(Detroit Free Press)

Ford and Stellantis Workers Still Voting

Voting is still underway for the Ford and Stellantis deals. Currently, about 67 percent of Ford workers who have voted are in favor of the UAW deal, and about 66 percent of Stellantis workers have so far voted in favor, according to UAW figures. Ford voting is scheduled to finish on Nov. 17, while Stellantis voting is set to close on Nov. 21.


Three Deals Are Similar

The Stellantis deal includes a 25 percent hike in base wages through April 2028, and the starting wage will increase to over $30 an hour, according to UAW. Stellantis is the parent company of Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram.

The Ford deal will cumulatively raise the top wage to more than $40 an hour, including an increase of 68 percent for starting wages to over $28 an hour. It also includes reinstatement of cost-of-living adjustments, a three-year path to top wages and the right to strike over plant closures.

(SHRM Online and SHRM Online)



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