This morning local UAW leaders that represent plants from around the country unanimously voted to approve the contract offered by General Motors that came at the end of a 40-hour strike by union workers this week. Official details of the contract have been revealed, and we now know that GM's contribution to the Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association (VEBA) will be $29.9 billion, plus another $5.4 billion in what The Detroit News calls "pre-VEBA costs". That's significantly less than the upwards of $50 billion we heard was being offered, but UAW president Ron Gettelfinger insists it should last the union some 80 years.
While the contract was unanimously approved this morning by UAW local leaders, it's the 73,000 union rank and file that still need to vote on the contract. That vote is expected to come by October 10th, and despite a $3,000 signing bonus for those who vote to approve the contract, there are some union members who argue that their leadership has betrayed them. A small but vocal group specifically disagrees with the VEBA and the fact that GM is now off the hook for health care costs. There are many who also dislike the new two-tier wage system that starts off thousands of new hires at a much lower $18/hour rate of between $14 and $16.23/hour. Despite protestations, however, we expect the majority of the UAW's GM workers to fall in line and vote this thing through.
Check out official details of the UAW-GM contract after the jump.
[Source: The Detroit News, Automotive News - sub. req'd]
Official details of the UAW-GM agreement:
- GM agrees to new-vehicle programs at 16 U.S. plants.
- GM would initially fund the UAW's health care trust fund with $29.9 billion with an additional $5.4 billion in future years.
- GM would provide the trust an additional backstop of as much as $1.6 billion over the next 20 years.
- Workers get a $3,000 signing bonus to approve the contract.
- Instead of pay raises, UAW rank and file get bonuses equal to 3 percent, 4 percent and 3 percent of their annual pay during the second, third and fourth years of the contract.
- New hires in noncore, nonproduction jobs would get paid between $14 and $16.23 an hour.
- New hires get a 401(k) plan instead of the traditional UAW pension plan.
- GM agreed to bring in-house 3,000 jobs that now are outsourced to contractors.
- GM agreed to hire 3,000 temporary workers as full-time hourly employees.