GM employees vote to approve new contract
Wed, 28 Sep 2011 16:31:51 GMT —
General Motors workers have ratified the new contract.
According to the Associated Press, 65% of production workers voted in favor of the deal, and about 65% of skilled trade workers also supported it.
The new plan includes a $5,000 signing bonus, profit sharing of a minimum of $3,500 in 2012, and pay raises for entry-level employees. Additional bonuses based on future profit sharing and other factors could result in each GM employee receiving over $30,000 over the next four years. There is also a provision in the contract to set aside 10% of profit sharing for future retiree benefits.Read more Factory workers approve four-year contract UAW Pres. Bob King releases statement UAW VP: "... we were able to maintain and improve our current benefits."
Under the new deal, retirees will also seem to benefit. Last year, retirees eye and dental coverage were dropped. However, GM and the UAW agreed to take a portion of the signing bonuses each employee will receive, and put it in the retirees TM fund. You can read the full details on what will be covered by clicking here.
A Flint Assembly retiree that did not want to be identified says, "I think in a way they are picking on retirees, but in another way we've got so many retirees out there GM could not stay afloat if they don't start cutting a little but here and a little but there."
He says the world has changed and that the benefits of the past may never come back.
However, some have for retirees, like vision and dental.
"Anything that GM can do or to help the retirees out it's really appreciated because everything else is going up," says Sandra Rouse-Thames, a wife of a GM UAW retiree.
Some retirees say current workers often look out for themselves and quickly forget those hired before them.
Hoss Green, husband of a GM UAW retiree says, "These guys that are working in the shop now, they need to understand what they has been fought for since 1937. My grandpa was one of the original Sitdown Strikers in 1937, and he fought for it. I've had aunts and uncles that have found for it."
Green says he knows retirees that use the $700 Christmas bonus to pay their taxes. He says, without it, they could be deciding between food and medication.
However, others say it's all in how you look at it.
"Just the fact that they were able to bargain and get something is appreciated because there are a lot of people out there that still don't have what we still get," says Rouse-Thames.
Some UAW GM retirees are talking about boycotting paying their union dues because of the recent contract on the UAW Local 651 Facebook page.
Mid-Michigan plants are also expected to profit from the deal. Saginaw Casting will get about $215 million and add over 250 jobs. Two Flint plants will also receive a portion of money.
We want to hear your thoughts on this new contract. Are you happy with the outcome, or are there things you would have liked to see in the new plan? Tell us below.