General Motors (GM) workers with the United Auto Workers (UAW) union celebrated a tentative contract deal this week after 31 days of strikes, reports the Associated Press
(16 October, Krishner). The contract deal is set to last four years and reportedly includes significant concessions from GM, including wage increases and lump-sum payments, top-notch health insurance at little cost to workers, promises of new products for many US factories, and a path to full-time work for temporary workers. Terry Dittes, the UAW’s chief bargainer with GM, said the deal represents a major victory for union workers. The picketing workers will stay off work for several more days as union committees review and approve the deal. After workers vote to approve the deal, they can return to the factories. The deal is a big victory for the union, too, given that it flexed its muscles and showed its influence with GM at a time when its membership is far below the peak it had in 1979. Analysts projected that the strikes will end up costing GM a total of US$2 billion in lost production. Auto workers, who each lost upward of US$3,000 over the course of the strikes, said they hoped the deal was as good as advertised, and were eager to get back to work. If the deal is approved, it will become the template for future talks between the UAW, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler.
From "Workers Celebrate Deal with GM, Show Union Power in Industry"
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