Striking UAW members voting on GM contract offer this week

UAW LOCAL 2250 members manning the picket line outside General Motors’ Wentzville Assembly plant are scheduled to vote this week on a tentative contract agreement that could end the more than month-long strike. – Labor Tribune photo

The United Auto Workers strike against General Motors will continue through at least this Friday as the UAW’s 48,000 members vote on the union’s tentative deal with GM.

Glenn Kage, president of UAW Local 2250 in Wentzville, said members will remain on the picket lines until a contract is ratified.

Local 2250 planned to hold information meetings on the contract Wednesday. Kage said members would begin voting on the contract at midnight Wednesday, Oct. 23, and continue through 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24. The outcome of the vote will be released sometime Friday evening, he said.

“We are still manning the picket lines and will continue to do so until it is ratified,” Kage said. “We will not leave our pickets until we get a notice from the international that the strike is over.”

The tentative agreement provides several financial gains for members, including raises and bonuses that outpace current inflation, elimination of a $12,000 cap on profit-sharing payouts and a record $11,000 ratification bonus.

The contract does not include a return of production from Mexico or reversal of GM’s plans to close four U.S. facilities, including Lordstown Assembly in Ohio, two transmission plants in Michigan and Maryland and a parts distribution center.

However, GM has agreed to spend $5.7 billion to create or retain about 9,000 jobs at four U.S. plants, including investments in next-generation midsize pickups in Wentzville, Mo., next-generation utility vehicles in Lansing, Mich., and Spring Hill, Tenn., and preproduction operations in Warren, Mich.

“With every contract, you never get everything you want,” Kage said. “That’s true of every contract, but this one, I think, is not a bad contract. I think it’s a fair contract.”


  • Temp worker conversions – Full-time temporary workers with at least three years of continuous service will become permanent employees in 2020. Starting in 2021, full-time temps will become permanent employees after two years on the job. Layoffs of up to 30 days won’t restart the calculation of continuous service.
  • No change to health care – GM had proposed workers pay 15 percent of their health care costs, up from three percent today. The deal keeps health care coverage and out-of-pocket costs unchanged.
  • Ratification bonus – Full-time employees get $11,000 upon ratification of the deal, up from the $8,000 that GM initially offered and that workers got in 2015. Temporary employees who have been on the job for at least 90 days when the deal is ratified get $4,500.
  • Uncapped profit-sharing Annual profit-sharing payouts are no longer capped at $12,000. The formula ($1,000 for every $1 billion in North American earnings) is unchanged.
  • Shorter path to the top – New hires start earning top wages after four years instead of eight. By September 2023, all current permanent employees would be earning at least $32.32 an hour.
  • Alternating bonuses and raises – A four percent lump-sum bonus in November 2019 and October 2021. Base wages would increase three percent in 2020 and 2022.
  • Flexible vacation – Workers no longer have to use two weeks of vacation time for a two-week shutdown period. One week can now be used at their discretion.
  • Buyout offers – Up to 2,060 workers will be eligible to receive a $60,000 retirement incentive. Workers displaced by the closure of plants in Ohio, Michigan and Maryland can elect a $75,000 retirement incentive ($85,000 for skilled trades), a buyout of up to $75,000 depending on their level of seniority or several other options.

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