General Motors and the United Auto Workers union have reached a tentative deal after a 31-day labor strike. Details of the deal have yet to be released, but union officials are claiming some “big wins” for the members.
Both GM and the union have issued official statements confirming the deal, but neither have offered any details. Some sources are suggesting the deal calls for wage increases; both in lump sums and incremental raises. The deal is said to include improvements in health care, product commitments at U.S. plants and a path to permanent employment for temporary workers.
Assuming the speculation is accurate, GM ultimately caved more than original statements by the company eluded. The company entered negotiations with the goal of reducing labor costs, specifically around health care.
One small win for GM is that the new contract reportedly allows the company to close three plants already planned for closure. Those plants include a plant in Warren, Michigan, Baltimore, Maryland and Lordstown, Ohio. A fourth plant slated for closure–Detroit-Hamtramck–is reportedly spared in the new deal. The Hamtramck facility will build a new battery-electric pickup.
GM also committed to opening an all-new battery manufacturing facility in Lordstown, Ohio, but that facility is unlikely to have anywhere near the headcount of the previous vehicle assembly plant that is now officially closed.
While negotiations have ended, the deal is not done just yet. Union members will ultimately have to vote to ratify the new deal after details are shared with them. Union officials are already proclaiming this new four-year deal with GM will serve as a template for the agreement with Ford Motor Company and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, both of which are operating on extensions from the now expired agreements.
The UAW has not disclosed if Ford or FCA will be targeted next for negotiations.