GM UAW contract updates

September 17, 2011 http://detnews.com/article/20110917/AUTO01/109170381

GM statement on deal with UAW

GENERAL MOTORS

General Motors and the United Auto Workers reached a tentative four-year agreement at approximately 11 p.m. Friday.

“We used a creative problem solving approach to reach an agreement that addresses the needs of employees and positions our business for long-term success,” said Cathy Clegg, GM vice president, Labor Relations.

“We worked hard for a contract that recognizes the realities of today’s marketplace, enabling GM to continue to invest in U.S. manufacturing and provide good jobs to thousands of Americans.”

Since August 2009, GM has announced investments of more than $5.1 billion and created or retained almost 13,000 jobs in its U.S. manufacturing plants.

Terms of the four-year agreement are not being shared publicly to allow the UAW International to educate its membership about the agreement and conduct a ratification vote. The vote is expected to take place within the next seven to 10 days.

If ratified, the agreement would cover approximately 48,500 GM employees in the United States, who are represented by the UAW.

September 17, 2011 http://detnews.com/article/20110917/AUTO01/109170383

UAW statement on deal with GM

The UAW is pleased to announce that the UAW General Motors National Negotiating Committee, made up of elected representatives from UAW GM locations across the country, reached a tentative agreement with General Motors Co. today at approximately 11 pm.

“In these uncertain economic times for American workers and faced with the globalization of the economy, the UAW approached these negotiations with new strategies and fought for and achieved some of our major goals for our members, including significant investments and products for our plants,” said UAW President Bob King.

“First and foremost, as America struggles with record levels of unemployment, we aimed to protect the jobs of our members – to guarantee good American jobs at a good American company. And we have done that. This contract will get our members who have been laid off back to work, will create new jobs in our communities and will bring work back to the United States from other countries,” King added.

“When GM was struggling, our members shared in the sacrifice. Now that the company is posting profits again, our members want to share in the success. To be clear, GM is prosperous because of its workers. It’s the workers and the quality of the work they do, along with the sacrifices they made, that have returned this company to profitability,” said UAW Vice President Joe Ashton, who directs the union’s General Motors Department. “The wages and benefits we negotiated in this tentative agreement reflect the fact that it was UAW members who helped turn this company around.

“We wanted a contract that provides our members with a real share of the success of the company and ensures its continued success. Our members cannot succeed unless the company succeeds, and we are strongly committed to that joint success, as this contract demonstrates,” Ashton added.

Details of the proposed agreement are being withheld until UAW members have had the opportunity to review it. While not providing specifics of the tentative agreement, a few things are worth highlighting:

— The UAW bargaining committee successfully fought back efforts to make major changes – and weaken – our retirement plan.

— The company proposed major concessions in health care, but the UAW is happy to report that the union not only fought for and protected the health care benefits of its members, but also made some significant improvements to health care benefits. In both pensions and health care, the UAW was able to convince GM that far greater success could be achieved working together than by cutting pensions or health care.

— In addition, the agreement includes improved profit sharing with far greater transparency than in the past.

“We’re proud of this agreement and are happy that it truly recognizes that the success of the company is tied to the success of the workers,” said King. “As everyone knows, we have had, and will continue to have, some real differences with GM. It’s the union’s job to fight for workers and protect our members, and we will continue in that fight. To the credit of both parties, we were able to work through our differences and put together an agreement that is good both for our members and for the company. This agreement demonstrates to the anti-collective bargaining crowd that collective bargaining is a positive force for society that benefits both workers and employers.

“We prove again today that through the collective bargaining process, we can provide decent wages, benefits and employment rights for workers while ensuring quality products and healthy profits for employers. We stand recommitted to our goal of organizing and fighting for all workers in the entire U.S. auto industry,” added King.

For decades the UAW played a central role in building America’s middle class. At one time, all American auto workers were members of the UAW.

“We are proud of this tentative agreement and what we have achieved, but as long as unionized workers are being forced to compete with nonunion workers who in most cases receive lower pay and benefits – many in temporary jobs – there will continue to be a downward pressure on the wages and benefits of all autoworkers,” King said. “The pathway to rebuilding America’s middle class and creating long-term job security for all American autoworkers must include organizing workers at the foreign-owned automakers operating without unions in the United States. We stand recommitted to that goal today.”

“Finally,” King said, “let’s be completely clear about this: None of this would have been possible without the efforts of President Obama, who invested federal funds to help turn the company around, protect the auto supplier base and keep good-paying jobs in America.”

September 16, 2011 http://detnews.com/article/20110916/AUTO01/109160406

UAW’s Ashton: Deal close with GM

CHRISTINA ROGERS
/ The Detroit News

United Auto Workers Vice President Joe Ashton told workers Friday that the union is “getting very close” to an agreement that would renew its four-year contract with General Motors Co.

In a memo sent Friday, Ashton explained that labor agreements “undergo numerous changes and revisions as the language becomes finalized.”

“I am very optimistic that the negotiation process is entering its final stage,” said Ashton, the union’s top official representing GM’s 49,000 hourly workers.

He closed the note, obtained by The Detroit News, saying: “I truly believe that a settlement is within reach.”

Since extending the old contract past its Wednesday deadline, GM bargainers have been working long days and late nights trying to secure an agreement that rewards workers with a share of the company’s success and keeps fixed labor costs in check.

Chrysler Group LLC was also a favorite for wrapping up early and had been right behind GM in its talks with the union.

But talks broke down hours before the midnight deadline Wednesday, resulting in CEO Sergio Marchionne sending UAW President Bob King strongly worded letter lambasting King for not meeting with him. Chrysler and the union extended the old pact for another week. Marchionne will be traveling in Europe and won’t return to the United States until early next week.

Ford Motor Co. continues to lag behind its crosstown rivals with the union targeting GM to secure a deal first. Ford and the union also have extended their contract indefinitely.

GM-UAW agree on new contract
Tom Krisher and Dee-Ann Durbin
Detroit — General Motors Co. and the United Auto Workers reached a tentative agreement on a new four-year contract late Friday.

Details weren’t immediately released, but the union said the contract will ensure that laid-off workers will be hired back. The union said the contract also will improve health care benefits and profit-sharing plans.

“When GM was struggling, our members shared in the sacrifice. Now that the company is posting profits again, our members want to share in the success,” UAW Vice President Joe Ashton, the chief negotiator with GM, said in a statement. “The wages and benefits we negotiated in this tentative agreement reflect the fact that it was UAW members who helped turn this company around.”

The UAW announced the agreement just after 11 p.m. EDT Friday, after a little more than eight weeks of bargaining.

The contract covers 48,500 GM workers in the U.S. GM was the first of the Detroit Three to reach an agreement with the UAW. Chrysler Group and Ford Motor Co. are still negotiating.

The UAW says the contract improves health care benefits for workers and protects their retirement benefits. It also says there is an improved profit-sharing plan.

Workers must vote on the plan before it will take effect. Union leaders from around the country have been asked to come to Detroit on Tuesday to learn the details of the contract so they can explain it to their members. GM says a vote is expected in the next week to 10 days.

“We used a creative problem solving approach to reach an agreement that addresses the needs of employees and positions our business for long-term success,” Cathy Clegg, GM’s vice president of labor relations. “We worked hard for a contract that recognizes the realities of today’s marketplace, enabling GM to continue to invest in U.S. manufacturing and provide good jobs to thousands of Americans.”

The UAW’s contract with GM expired Wednesday, but the union had extended it indefinitely while negotiators continued to talk. In the past, workers might have gone on strike when the deadline passed. But this year, GM and Chrysler workers weren’t allowed to strike over wages under the terms of the companies’ government bailouts two years ago. These talks are the first since GM and Chrysler needed government aid to make it through bankruptcy protection in 2009.

Talks between GM, Ford and Chrysler determine the wages for 112,500 factory workers at all three companies. They also set the bar for wages at auto parts companies, U.S. factories run by foreign automakers and other manufacturers, which employ hundreds of thousands of people

From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20110916/AUTO01/109160431/GM-UAW-agree-on-new-contract#ixzz1YDtJ5rQO

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