UAW sends proposed tentative agreement to GM for approval
The United Auto Workers and General Motors have reached a tentative contract agreement that could end a month-long strike that brought the automaker's U.S. factories to a standstill.
The deal was hammered out Wednesday, but it won't immediately end the strike by more than 49,000 workers.
Not all of the details of the deal are out, but News 10 has learned that the deal will include pay raises, a ratification bonus, a path for temporary employees to become permanent and the auto company will invest billions of dollars in more factories in the United States over the next four years.
Strikers will likely stay on the picket lines at least a few more days until union committees vote on the deal, and the entire membership also must vote.
GM Union worker Matthew Sleeman said he was ready to get back to work and hopes the deal passes the majority vote.
"You know I'm pretty excited about it," Sleeman said. "We've been out here for over a month now and I think we're all ready to get back to work."
News 10's Rachel Sweet spoke with strikers outside of the Lansing Grand River plant following the announcement of the tentative agreement. All in all, strikers were relieved and hopeful that an end is in sight.
"It's been a long time coming and hopefully the deal is what it is and we can all get back here and get back to work," Shawn Foster, of UAW Local 602, said.
Strikers say even though they don't know all the specifics, they feel good that there has been some progress.
"It's a good relief, obviously we hope it's a fair contract. We hope that it takes care of our temporary employees," Jason Peek, of UAW Local 602, said.
"I just want temps to get hired and us to get back to work and build these world-class vehicles," Foster said.
As far as what's next, strikers say they hope to get back to work soon.
"We have to get this to the membership and let them read it, and we're never going to get everything we want, but we've got to look at it, see whats going to happen with it," Sleeman said.
"The leadership of the UAW wouldn't have accepted a bad agreement so we should have a good agreement, that sounds great to me," a striker said.
We're just ready for some change, right guys? And we just want to be treated fairly that's all," a striker said.
Sleeman said he hopes the deal is good enough for most.
"I hope that it's good enough for the majority. I mean obviously like I said not everybody is going to get everything they want, but is it better than what we have or at least as good as what we had we hope it's better and then a that point then I hope it passes."
Workers left their jobs early Sept. 16. They wanted a bigger share of GM's profits, job security and a path to permanent jobs for temporary workers.
The company wanted to reduce labor costs in order to compete with foreign auto brands like Toyota or Honda.
"I basically think it showed General Motors that we do deserve a better piece of the pie," Sleeman said. "You know we lost a lot during the bankruptcy. The American public bailed [GM] out, the employees bailed [GM] out, and it's time to take care of the people that helped [GM] out."
The strike shut down all of GM's U.S. factories and hampered production in Canada and Mexico.
Economists estimated General Motors lost more than $1 billion since the strike began.
General Motors CEO Mary Barra joined negotiators at the bargaining table on Tuesday before announcing the tentative agreement.
On Saturday, The United Auto Workers International Executive Board voted to increase the strike pay to $275, which took effect on Sunday.
It would seem that those effort over the week paid off.
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