GM Union Workers have recently ratified a new UAW deal following a long, contentious vote. The deal is far from perfect, but it was accepted due to GM’s pledge to protect jobs at its U.S. factories.
The deal, which was finalized on October 16, includes a 3% pay increase, a 2.5% lump-sum bonus and an extra two weeks of paid time off. It also guarantees $7 billion in investments in U.S. plants over the next four years, which will help protect jobs.
The ratification of the agreement followed a months-long debate among the 49,000workers represented by the United Auto Workers union. While some supported it, others felt it merely addressed surface-level issues and didn’t tackle the deep-rooted problems in the GM-UAW relationship.
The most controversial aspect of the deal was a provision that tied future raises to the company’s profits. This means that if GM’s profits fall, so could the pay of workers. This did not sit well with workers who felt it gave GM too much power and removed a lot of the job security that is so important.
Despite the contention, a majority of workers ultimately voted in favor of the deal, noting that it was the best option given the current business climate. According to the Detroit Free Press, 62 percent of the voting members were in favor of the deal, while 38 percent opposed it.
All-in-all, the ratification of the deal marks a delicate peace settlement between GM and the UAW. The company has given assurances that it will protect jobs and make investments in its U.S. plants while the union has accepted to some degree the conditions imposed by the company.
Although the agreement is far from perfect, GM union workers have chosen to make the best of the situation and accept the deal. Let’s hope that both GM and the UAW can move forward together with a renewed sense of understanding and commitment to their relationship.