Union Workers Ratified New Contract After Negotiations
On October 28th, workers of the United Auto Workers (UAW) union ratified a new contract after a lengthy negotiation process. This comes after the UAW secured terms from General Motors, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. The agreement aims to “secure a brighter future for thousands of UAW families,” including higher wages, improved safety standards, and more comprehensive benefits.
In a statement, UAW President Rory Gamble said “This agreement was made possible because our members stood together, stuck together, and voted together. We worked hard and overcame difficult obstacles throughout this process to secure an agreement that moves the needle for more than 150,000 hard-working UAW members.”
The agreement increases wages across the board, with many workers receiving wage increases by up to 8%. In addition, the three automakers will provide a $9,000 signing bonus to those UAW members who are currently working at the plants. This signing bonus is considerably higher than those in past contracts, making it one of the most lucrative ratification bonuses in recent history.
The agreement also provides a path for temporary workers and non-UAW members to eventually gain full-time positions. This is achieved by changing the structure of temporary staffing contracts to ensure that these workers have a set number of hours, as well as health benefits and vacation time. The agreement enables these workers to not only gain full-time employment, but also lead to higher wages.
The new pact also addresses health and safety protocols, and how COVID-19 could possibly impact working conditions. Employers will put into place protocols to prevent, test for, and treat the virus. For those workers impacted by the virus, there will be paid sick leave, as well as the ability to access medical treatment.
The agreement between the union and the automakers is a major victory for UAW members, and is a step in the right direction towards creating a brighter future for thousands of workers. With the ratification of this new contract, UAW members can look forward to greater job security, higher wages, and improved safety protocols.