Details of UAW/GM deal reveal minimum wage raise, 6.4K jobs created or retained [w/poll]

Details about the tentative deal struck between General Motors and the United Auto Workers union last Friday are being released, and it would appear the union didn't do too bad for itself. Under the new agreement, General Motors has reportedly agreed to retain or create 6,400 union jobs as part of a $2.5 billion investment in future products and the plants that build them. Those product and plant investments include the following:
  • Reopening GM's Spring Hill, TN plant to build two new mid-sized vehicles
  • A new compact vehicle to be built at a plant to be determined
  • A new transmission program at the company's Warren, MI powertrain plant
  • A new engine program at the company's Romulus, MI powertrain plant
  • A new casting operation at a plant in Saginaw, MI
  • An additional production shift at the company's Wentzville, MO assembly plant
Automotive News reports that most of the above investments were originally slated for GM's Mexico operations but will now remain in the U.S. and contribute to the retention or creation of those 6,400 jobs.

Of course, in order to keep and create jobs, others must retire, and so the new accord between GM and the UAW will offer a $10,000 buyout to eligible employees who retire over the next two years and a whopping $65,000 buyout for skilled trades workers who retire between November 1 and March 31, 2012. GM has also agreed to make adjustments to the controversial two-tier wage structure established by the last agreement, raising the minimum wage for entry-level workers from $14/hour to $15.78/hour, as well as improving their health insurance and offering tuition assistance.

Current workers would also appear to make out well, with a record signing bonus of $5,000 if the contract gets ratified, as well lump sum payments of $1,000 in 2012, 2013 and 2014 in lieu of cost-of-living adjustments. Workers will also get a minimum profit-sharing payment in early 2012 of $3,500 based on GM's profits through June 2011, as well as an annual award of $250 if the company meets certain quality goals. All-in, current workers stand to pocket an extra $12K during the course of this new contract. How do you think this new deal rates? Take the poll and tell us why in Comments.

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