The Detroit Free Press is reporting that workers at GM Powertrain's Massena, New York engine plant are the first to have rejected the proposed four-year labor contract agreed upon by UAW officials and General Motors. The members of UAW Local 465 chose to shoot it down by a margin of 172 to 137. They have good reason, though. According to the contract, the plant in which they work is scheduled to close in 2008. We're actually surprised 137 voted for the contract at all considering the document seals their fate.
UAW workers under GM's employ have until October 10th, another five days, to approve the contract, though only 13,000 out of 73,454 employees have voted so far. The rejection by the engine plant in Massena is not surprising, though we expect the contract will still be approved by a majority of the UAW rank and file. After that, the UAW moves on to negotiations with Ford and Chrysler, both of which are in a weaker position than crosstown rival GM and able to offer the UAW less.
[Source: The Detroit Free Press]