NEW YORK, Oct 25 — General Motors autoworkers were poised to return to US factories following a lengthy strike once they hear results of the final union vote today approving a new contract.
Nearly 50,000 hourly workers walked off their jobs September 16, and a majority of UAW union members must support the contract in order to end the work stoppage.
Early signs point towards passage, based on the returns from local unions that have already voted.
There are “still some big units” left to vote, “but it looks okay right now,” UAW spokesman Brian Rothenberg said.
An announcement of the final vote is expected after 2000 GMT. A GM spokesman said the company would await the official vote announcement before commenting.
Once the GM situation is resolved, the UAW will turn its attention to negotiating labor contracts with Ford and Fiat Chrysler.
Key UAW selling points of the GM deal include: an US$11,000 (RM46,047) ratification bonus for workers; wage increases of three and four per cent throughout the four-year contract; no increases in health care costs; and a path to permanent worker status within four years or less for temporary employees.
But the deal largely came up short on other key union demands after GM in November 2018 effectively shuttered plants in Michigan, Ohio and Maryland by withholding or “unallocating” investment from the facilities.
The prospects for ending the strike boosted shares of GM, which climbed 1.1 per cent to US$36.20 in mid-morning trading.
Analysts have projected the strike cost GM US$100 million a day. The work stoppage also dented the economy in key auto manufacturing centers in Michigan and throughout the Midwest due to tens of millions of dollars of lost wages. — AFP