- The United Auto Workers and General Motors have reached a tentative agreement for a new, four-year contract.
- GM’s nearly 50,000 hourly workers have been on strike for almost five weeks.
- The deal won’t necessarily end the strike; the membership could remain on walkout while awaiting a vote to ratify the agreement.
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On Wednesday, General Motors and the United Auto Workers announced a tentative contract agreement to end a strike by nearly 50,000 GM hourly workers that had stretched on for nearly five weeks.
It has been the longest strike against a major automaker in decades and the first big action since the UAW walked out on GM in 1982.
Negotiations involved protracted discussions of job security, health benefits, profit-sharing, and a quicker path for temporary workers to become full-time employees at the largest US car company.
“Today, after five weeks of intense negotiations, the UAW GM National Negotiators and UAW GM Vice President Terry Dittes announced the achievement of a Proposed Tentative Agreement with General Motors,” the UAW said in as statement emailed to Business Insider.
“The elected national negotiators voted to recommend the UAW GM National Council accept the Proposed Tentative Agreement as the agreement represents major gains for UAW workers.”
In its own statement emailed to Business Insider, General Motors said: “We can confirm the UAW’s statement regarding a proposed tentative agreement. Additional details will be provided at the appropriate time.”
The union declined to release the details the agreement, but UAW Vice President Terry Dittes added: “The number one priority of the national negotiation team has been to secure a strong and fair contract that our members deserve.”
According to the union, “The UAW GM National Council will meet and review details on October 17, 2019 in a private meeting, at which time they will vote on whether to recommend it to the full UAW-GM membership for ratification.”
The strike occurred against the backdrop of attacks on GM by President Donald Trump – who objected to contemplated factory closures in Michigan and Ohio, states critical to his 2020 reelection bid. It also played out amid a federal corruption investigation of the UAW’s leadership, including President Gary Jones.
A tentative contract could end the strike, but it’s up to the UAW membership to decide whether it should return to work while preparing to vote on the deal. In 2015, FCA’s UAW-represented workforce rejected a first tentative contract before ratifying a later agreement.
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