UAW, GM Negotiations Have Ended, Tentative Contract Reached

UAW and GM negotiations ended just before midnight Sunday and have reached a tentative contract. The new four-year deal will conclude the strong talks between the two and puts an end to an impending strike by GM employees.

In a previous Inquisitr report, the UAW and GM had until 11:50 p.m. ET Sunday night to reach a deal. If negotiations had not ended in a deal by that time, GM workers were instructed to go on strike.

Worker strike averted with tentative UAW-GM contract. [Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images]

According to a USA Today report, a tentative contract between the UAW and GM was made prior to the deadline at 11:43 p.m. Now the deal goes before the union’s national council for approval. The council will meet in Detroit to review.

UAW President Dennis Williams says the UAW-GM negotiations went well and is confident in the deal.

“We believe that this agreement will present stable long-term significant wage gains and job security commitments to UAW members now and in the future. We look forward to presenting the details of these gains to local union leaders and the membership.”

GM seems to be in agreement with the outcome of the negotiations. GM North America’s vice president for manufacturing and labor relations, Cathy Clegg, believes it is a good for the company as well.

“The new UAW-GM national agreement is good for employees and the business. Working with our UAW partners, we developed constructive solutions that benefit employees and provide flexibility for the company to respond to the needs of the marketplace.”

Now that the initial UAW-GM negotiations are done, it is assumed the national council will approve the proposed contract. However, the deal still has to be voted on by GM’s 52,500 workers.

In previous negotiations with Fiat Chrysler, UAW members approved a four-year agreement just last week. However, the proposed contract was initially rejected by workers until Fiat Chrysler was forced to give up a little more.

Details of the UAW-GM contract have not been released, and neither party will comment on the specifics until after the UAW National GM Council vote on Wednesday. Many experts forecast the deal to be better than the UAW contract with Fiat Chrysler.

Should GM need to sweeten the deal to get the approval of the workforce, they could be in a financial position to do it. The Detroit Free Press reported that GM earned a record $3.3 billion North American pretax profit for the three months ended September 30. Additionally, experts are predicting sales of new cars and trucks to reach 17.4 million in 2015. The last time sales reached this peak was in 2000.

UAW and GM negotiations end in contract.
UAW and GM negotiations ended Sunday night. [Bill Pugliano/Getty Images]

Should workers push for a better deal, General Motors negotiators have some added bargaining chips of their own. Unlike Chrysler, GM has paid out approximately $30,000 in profit-sharing checks over the life of the current contract. Chrysler has only paid $9,000 in profit-sharing to its workers. Also, GM workers received a $5,000 signing bonus in the 2011 contract compared to only $3,500 for new Chrysler workers.

In addition, GM has announced they will be investing in factory upgrades and job creation. After visiting several manufacturing facilities throughout the country, executives announced a combined $5.4 billion will go into plant upgrades over the next three years.

With the negotiations currently over, an impending strike has been averted. The last time UAW called a strike over wages and benefits was in 2007, first at GM, then at Chrysler. The union was prohibited from striking during the 2011 negotiations due to the government bailout given to GM and Chrysler.

The current 2011 contract between the union and automaker expired September 14. The weekend UAW-GM negotiations were sparked after the union notified the automaker that they would no longer work under an extended contract.

[Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images]