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United States : strike action over at GM, UAW now negotiating with Ford
Planet Labor, 28 October 2019, n°11451 - www.planetlabor.com

After 6 weeks of work stoppages, the workers strike at General Motors has finally come to an end. Members of the United Auto Workers (UAW) union voted 57% in favor of the four-year wages agreement negotiated by the union on their behalf (read art. n°11431). Next is line for negotiations is Ford, and after that it will be FCA (Fiat Chrysler automobiles). The strike action proved costly with GM losing $1.75 billion during the period, and with direct and supplier businesses’ employees missing out on almost $1 billion in wages. In the end however the UAW did secure significant ‘wins’, including an entry bonus for multi-year employment contracts that is now set at $11,000, sizeable salary increases of 3% for the second, third, and fourth employment years as well as a 4% bonus for the first and third years of employment, and an agreement to implement a salary catch-up plan for the least well-paid. Staff employed during the lean years after 2007 have until now only been earning half the salary of their colleagues who were hired prior to that date. Their new contracts intend that after four career years they will reach the highest hourly rates of $32. Temporary employees will also see their career paths improve. After three years of temporary employment they will be able to secure permanent employment status. This particular move will affect 900 staff in January 2020 and a further 2,000 by 2021. In exchange for these salary improvements the UAW has agreed to the closure of three facilities operating in the U.S., although they did manage to save the Detroit Hamtramck site for closure.