Published: Fri, October 18, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

GM workers to stay on picket line for now

GM workers to stay on picket line for now

General Motors workers will stay on the picket lines for several more days until they vote on a tentative four-year contract agreement with the company.

About 850 Aramark employees went out on strike for a new contract a day before hourly GM workers also walked off the job September 16 and have regularly been on picket lines in Flint.

The deal also eliminates the $12,000 cap on profit-sharing payouts.

"General Motors has reached a tentative agreement with the UAW".

The decision to keep the strike going for another week reflects the pressure on top UAW leaders amid a continuing federal corruption probe of the union.

President Donald Trump called UAW President Gary Jones, but union spokesman Brian Rothenberg said he did not know what the men discussed.

The strike at GM immediately brought the company's USA factories to a halt, and within a week, started to hamper production in Mexico and Canada. GM had entered into talks looking to increase the cost-share to help defray fast-rising medical costs that totaled roughly $900 million past year for its union-represented workforce.

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Members of the union have be on strike for a month and affected almost 3,000 workers at GM's Tonawanda and Lockport plants. But there may be a loophole in the fine print that gives workers pause, said Harley Shaiken, a professor or labor relations at University of California at Berkeley.

If the deal is approved by the workers, the union will next begin negotiations with Ford Motor Co or Fiat Chrysler, covering numerous same issues.

GM's website says 55 UAW workers staff the facility.

In-Progression workers are 35% of the GM union workforce.

Local union leaders and the UAW still must approve the deal, which would bring an end to the 32-day-long strike that has cost GM more than $1.5 billion. Other issues included the fate of plants GM has indicated it may close, and the use of temporary workers. The UAW previously agreed to temporary contract extensions with both automakers while it focused on GM. GM and other carmakers are also struggling to make the transition to electric and autonomous vehicles. A revamped North American free trade deal is stalled in Congress, raising doubts about the future of America's trade in autos and auto parts with Canada and Mexico, which past year came to $257 billion. Affected workers get special assistance under the new contract, including buyouts of up to $75,000 for the most senior workers.

Wolikow is still with GM, having transferred to a GM plant in Flint, Michigan not long before the Lordstown plant stopped building cars.

The strike had shut down 33 GM manufacturing plants in nine states across the USA, and also took down factories in Canada and Mexico.

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