Tentative Union Contract with General Motors Fails to Secure Approval

by Sophia Chen
GM-UAW Contract Vote

The provisional contract agreement between General Motors and the United Auto Workers (UAW) union seems likely to be rejected. Although final voting results have not been officially announced, results from five major factories in recent days have shown a significant leaning against the proposed four-year and eight-month agreement.

The UAW’s vote tracking on their website indicates a slender margin of 686 votes in favor of the contract. However, these figures exclude votes from GM assembly plants in several locations – Fort Wayne, Indiana; Wentzville, Missouri; Lansing Delta Township and Lansing Grand River in Michigan, and a powertrain plant in Toledo, Ohio. These plants have reportedly voted against the agreement, as per local union representatives. The opposition to the contract in most of these locations ranged between 55% to approximately 60%.

There is anticipation for the final vote count from a major assembly plant in Arlington, Texas, with expectations pointing towards a rejection of the contract.

The union’s spokesman was unavailable for immediate comment on the situation.

The next steps remain uncertain, but local union leaders do not anticipate an instant strike following the announcement of the final results.

Meanwhile, voting is ongoing at Ford, where the agreement is currently being favored, with a 66.1% approval rate amidst the ongoing count at a few large factories.

The situation at Stellantis, the maker of Jeep, contrasts starkly, where early voting showed a strong 79.7% approval rate for the contract, even as several significant factories have yet to conclude voting.

Discontent among the workers seems rooted in financial aspects. Senior workers expressed dissatisfaction over not receiving substantial pay raises like their newer counterparts and sought greater pension enhancements. Conversely, newer employees advocated for a defined benefit pension scheme instead of the existing 401(K) defined contribution plan.

Tony Totty, the president of the UAW local at the Toledo powertrain plant, emphasized the need to capitalize on the current favorable conditions. He pointed out that the company does not hesitate to demand concessions during economic downturns, suggesting that the union should equally strive for advantageous terms during prosperous times.

In recent weeks, thousands of UAW members participated in selective strikes against Detroit automakers, a strategy that lasted six weeks and led to the eventual tentative agreements late last month. Instead of a company-wide strike, the union opted for targeted actions at individual plants across the three automakers. At the peak of these strikes, approximately 46,000 out of the 146,000 UAW workers at these Detroit companies were involved in picketing activities.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about General Motors UAW Contract

What is the Current Status of the Tentative Contract Between General Motors and UAW?

The tentative contract agreement between General Motors and the United Auto Workers (UAW) union appears likely to be rejected. Workers from major factories have voted against the four-year and eight-month deal, and the overall vote tally shows a slim margin of support that excludes these factories.

Why Are Union Workers Voting Against the GM-UAW Contract?

Union workers at several GM plants have voted against the contract due to dissatisfaction with financial aspects. Senior workers sought larger pay raises and pension increases, while newer workers wanted a shift from a 401(K) to a defined benefit pension plan.

What Are the Implications of the Rejected Contract for GM and UAW?

The rejection of the tentative contract may lead to continued negotiations or potential strikes. Local union officials do not anticipate an immediate walkout, but the situation remains uncertain, and further actions will depend on the final vote outcomes.

How Has Voting Gone at Other Automakers?

At Ford, the contract is currently passing with a 66.1% approval rate. In contrast, early voting at Stellantis showed a 79.7% approval rate for their contract, with several large factories still to finish voting.

What Strategy Did the UAW Employ During Recent Strikes?

The UAW engaged in selective strikes against Detroit automakers, targeting individual plants rather than initiating company-wide strikes. This approach resulted in about 46,000 UAW workers at Detroit companies participating in picket lines at its peak.

More about General Motors UAW Contract

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Mike Johnson November 16, 2023 - 12:08 am

not surprised the contract got voted down, GM needs to step up their game with the union, they cant just ignore what workers want…

UnionStrong November 16, 2023 - 3:31 am

Solidarity with the UAW workers! Companies need to learn that fair pay and benefits are not optional. Keep fighting the good fight!

SarahB November 16, 2023 - 6:43 am

It’s high time companies start realizing that happy workers mean a successful business, why is it so hard for them to get it?

CarGuy88 November 16, 2023 - 11:51 am

honestly, this is what happens when you dont pay attention to employee needs, GM’s gotta do better or they’ll face more strikes

EconWatcher November 16, 2023 - 1:15 pm

Interesting development in the auto industry, seems like the labor market dynamics are shifting. Could have big implications for the sector.


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