New York, Oct 26 (AFP/APP): General Motors hourly workers ratified a new contract with the auto giant on Friday, ending the longest automotive strike in nearly 50 years.
The package includes an $11,000 ratification bonus, wage increases and no increases in health care costs, said statements from GM and the United Auto Workers, touting the agreement as a compromise that worked for both sides after difficult negotiations.
Nearly 50,000 hourly workers had been on strike since September 16, effectively shutting down GM’s US manufacturing operation.
“General Motors members have spoken,” said Terry Dittes, director of the UAW-GM Department, praising workers for “their sacrifice and courageous stand” that also won temporary workers a faster pathway to full-time status.
GM also scored key concessions, specifically an agreement that cleared the pathway to permanently shutting four plants, three of which the company had defunded in November 2018 in a move that enraged the union.
“We delivered a contract that recognizes our employees for the important contributions they make to the overall success of the company, with a strong wage and benefit package and additional investment and job growth in our US operations,” Chief Executive Mary Barra said.
“As one team, we can move forward and stay focused on our priorities of safety and building high-quality cars, trucks and crossovers for our customers.”
Analysts have projected the strike cost GM $100 million a day. The work stoppage also dented the economy in key auto manufacturing centers in Michigan and throughout the Midwest due to tens of millions of dollars of lost wages.