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GM and UAW reach tentative labor agreement [UPDATED]

Contract negotiations between General Motors and the United Auto Workers have led to a tentative agreement on a new labor deal, pending ratification by membership.

Specifics of the four-year contract, agreed upon last night at around 11:00 PM, have not been released, but in an official announcement on its website, the UAW says that the deal includes improvements in both health-care coverage and profit sharing for its 48,500 GM workers. UAW boss Bob King also said that the proposed contract will lead to the rehiring of laid-off workers, the creation of new jobs, and the repatriation of some jobs that had been moved offshore.

In its coverage of the GM/UAW labor agreement, Bloomberg says that it's not yet clear whether higher-than-usual signing bonuses will be used to help ensure the contract's acceptance by the union rank and file.

With General Motors out of the way, Bloomberg reports that the union will likely shift focus to Chrysler. It appears that Ford, which has not received a no-strike pledge from the UAW, will need to wait until the Chrysler contract is settled to work on its new deal with the union.

UPDATE: In a follow-up to its initial article on the new GM/UAW deal, Bloomberg reports that sources with knowledge of the contract's specifics say that pay for entry-level workers will rise by $2.00 to $3.00 per hour.

Furthermore, UAW members will reportedly be paid a signing bonus of $5,000 each if the tentative contract is ratified. That would be a new record signing bonus (workers received $3,000 each for signing the 2007 contract), but well short of the $8,000 to $10,000 number that had seen speculation last week.

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