General Motors Strike Agreement

Workers could be back in the factories by Saturday. Picket lines that have been occupied 24 hours a day by workers at GM`s West Virginia, Texas plants in the six weeks since the strike began on September 16 will end. UAW executives were also expected to discuss the details of the GM contract with labor officials from other major automakers Ford and Chrysler as part of a series of industry employment contract negotiations. At the time, the UAW union was also negotiating new employment contracts with them, although little progress had been made. Many experts have pointed to the possibility of Ford and Chrysler creating similar VEBA trusts, which would reduce their liabilities, which many of these companies have been eagerly awaiting. GM said the agreement would allow them to “significantly improve their competitiveness in manufacturing.” [4] CNN found that workers could remain on strike until the contract is fully ratified or they could return to work sooner than that. The union said it had made considerable progress on the commission`s issues with the two car manufacturers, but final economic provisions and production promises have yet to be drawn up. This means that these contracts remain uncertain and that both companies are still vulnerable to strikes if union negotiators want to play this card. Many GM dealers have complained about missing parts for repairs on service tracks. And 100,000 related workers had their incomes affected by the strike, economists said. The strike against GM has been renewed and sometimes painful. At one point, a public exchange of words saw GM insinuated the UAW went too slowly in negotiations and failed to respond to business proposals. The UAW reiterated that GM does not take the union seriously.

The UAW has been on strike since 16 September and the action has idled about 46,000 workers. Disagreements include health care, wages, protection of temporary workers and job security, as well as the union`s demand to stop the importation of genetically modified vehicles from other countries, such as Mexico. At the same time, the G.M agreement allowed three closed plants to be permanently closed, including one in Lordstown, Ohio, eliminating excess production capacity at a time when car sales were slowing. It also puts the company in a more stable position when the economy enters recession. But the agreement, which is estimated to increase labour costs by $100 million a year, will exacerbate G.M.`s disadvantage compared to some competitors. Before the strike, labor – including wages, benefits and other expenses – g.M. about $63 an hour, according to the Auto Research Center. The cost to foreign automakers operating non-union plants in the South is about $50 an hour.

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