Next up: Ford.
The United Auto Workers voted on Friday to accept the agreement made with General Motors, bringing to an end a 40-day-long strike that was the longest the US automotive industry has faced in half a century.
The agreement includes a $10,000 signing bonus for each member, along with performance bonuses, two 3% annual raises, two 4% lump-sum payments, various performance bonuses, and "holding the line on health care costs," the UAW announced on Friday. "General Motors members have spoken," said the UAW vice president Terry Dittes. "Their sacrifice and courageous stand addressed the two-tier wages structure and permanent temporary worker classification that has plagued working-class Americans."
According to Reuters, the strike cost GM over $2 billion and halted the production of some 300,000 vehicles – costs the automaker hopes to recuperate, in part, now that its 48,000 unionized employees are going back to work at 55 UAW-represented factories across the country.
Along with the direct benefits to its workers, GM has committed to investing $7.7 billion in US production, including the prospective production of a new electric pickup truck that would secure the future of the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant. The automaker will invest over $4 billion in other vehicle programs and facility upgrades.
The Lordstown complex, however, is being sold to an outside company that also plans to build electric pickups for commercial use. "We delivered a contract that recognizes our employees for the important contributions they make to the overall success of the company, with a strong wage and benefit package and additional investment and job growth in our U.S. operations," said GM chairman and CEO Mary Barra.
With negotiations now complete and the strike over, the UAW will begin the process again with Ford before moving on to Fiat Chrysler. However this next round is expected to go more smoothly than the last, and will hopefully avoid another strike.