After a week of consultation with union members throughout General Motors manufacturing system, the United Auto Workers executive board has elected to re-open negotiations with the automaker on issues of concern to skilled trades.
UAW members classified as skilled trades at GM decisively rejected the union’s tentative contract with the auto giant by a decisive margin of more than 59% even though the contract included an $8,000 signing bonus and 3% pay increase for workers hired before 2007.
The agreement was ratified by production workers, but the UAW executive board has held off on declaring the contract ratified.
Meanwhile, the union executive board is waiting on the outcome of a ratification vote among workers at the Ford Motor Co. The vote at Ford is also expected to difficult. Union members rejected one tentative agreement with FCA U.S. even before the skilled trades at GM had stymied the ratification of the contract with company.
UAW President Dennis Williams said that meetings were held with the UAW skilled trades membership at each GM worksite in order to determine the issues for their rejection of the tentative agreement. “Based on this feedback from the skilled trades membership, I have determined that further discussion with the company was needed. Such discussions are currently taking place,” Williams said in a statement.
(New Ford UAW contract includes return of Ranger, Bronco. For more, Click Here.)
GM officials said in statement the company was open to further discussions with the union.
“General Motors is working with the UAW to address issues raised by skilled trades workers. We remain committed to obtaining an agreement that is good for employees and the business.” GM spokeswoman Katie McBride said in an e-mail.
(Click Here for details about the new GM-UAW contract.)
The revolt among skilled trades, which surfaced at GM and at FCA has been brewing for the better part of decade as the automakers restructured in the face of recession and bankruptcy.
“Are you fed up with your work being contracted out while GM skilled trades are cut to the bone? Are you tired of seeing the vast majority of tool and die work outsourced while our numbers plummet? Do you want to stop the consolidation of skilled trades, which threatens job security and safety?” noted one of the fliers circulated by the Autoworkers Caravan, which has been critical of the UAW executive board.
(UAW facing tight vote on proposed GM pact. For more, Click Here.)
Another issue in the skilled trades vote at GM appears to have been the lack of a bonus for skilled trades who opt for retirement through the first part of 2016. Production workers, who opt to retired during the four-month window stand to collect a $60,000 bonus.