UAW and GM moving closer to a proposed contract agreement

Published: Nov. 15, 2023 at 10:00 PM EST
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - The tentative agreement between United Auto Workers and General Motors may not go as planned. Multiple plants across the country have voted no for what some were hoping would be a possible solution.

Voting for the new contract began yesterday with many saying yes, but today we saw a change as plants across the country have voted no. The Fort Wayne Plant followed with 60.73% voting no. They join five other plants who also voted no today.

Nationally, it’s looking like it may pass, but in the end, it will be a close call. If the proposal doesn’t pass it’s hoped that bargaining will continue for another contract to vote on.

“I believe that General Motors and the UAW are going to sit down and have more conversations. I don’t see everybody going out on strike until we get a tentative agreement, I don’t. I think they’re going to take another shot at what the issues are if it doesn’t pass,” says UAW Local 2209 Bargaining Chairman, Rich Letourneau.

The final decision is waiting on nine plants who do not have their votes in, but right now it’s a 53% yes and 46% no vote overall. With the decision nearly split there’s reasons some are voting no.

“People that retire in the next three years are gonna get the $50,000 incentive to leave, but the language says to be determined and a lot of people are confused by that. They don’t know what the criteria is, if they’re going to qualify or not,” explains Letourneau.

Changes made to today’s original contract began in 2008, and many are looking to get benefits from before that year reinstated.

“They gave up some substantial parts of their contract during the great recession, 2008 2009, which frankly helped to save the American automotive industry. There was a possibility that it was going to close. So, they gave those up such as a pension, and so there are many workers who remembers those days and would like to return to that,” says Purdue Fort Wayne Director of Community Research, Rachel Blakeman.

We should know tomorrow by 4 P.M. if General Motors has accepted the proposed deal. No matter the outcome, it’ll be a much close vote than anyone expected.