A contentious 40-day strike ended on Friday after United Auto Workers members approved a new four-year contract. The strike, one of the largest in recent years, shuttered the automaker as it saw nearly 50,000 workers stopping the work across the country. More than 23,000 or 57 per cent of the union members voted in favour of the pact. Around 40,000 thousand GM workers had participated in the voting process, the union said in a statement. The new pact, which promises improvements in salary for new workers, promises that the automaker will bring full-time temporary workers on permanently. It also states that there will be a mandatory hike during each of the contract’s four years. Workers will also get a USD 11,000 signing bonus.
One of the GM employees in Warren who signed the new contract described the deal as both a compromise and a win. “You are going to have some kind of issues in every contract, so you have to look at it as a whole and find out that if you can survive with it,” the GM employee said. Workers are expected to return at factories soon with some electricians and machinists already reached there to get machinery restarted in order to begin preparations for production workers. With this, picket lines beings staffed around the clock by GM workers from West Virginia to Texas will end. The strike started on September 16.
Some workers voted against the deal but are ready to go back to work. They voted against the deal because they claim the contract still has several different pay scales for employees doing the same jobs. Some workers claimed that they were entitled to more equitable contact the General Motors reaped record profit by shutting three factories in the United States. Meanwhile, Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of the consulting firm LMC Automotive, estimated that the strike caused a production loss of 300,000 vehicles. Moreover, several companies that supply parts to GM had halted production during the 6-week long strike and they will need time restart production.