Automakers in U.S. Win Approval of Labor Deals

By Bill Vlasic; Mary M Chapman | International New York Times, November 23, 2015 | Go to article overview

Automakers in U.S. Win Approval of Labor Deals


Bill Vlasic; Mary M Chapman, International New York Times


The new labor agreements include raises and bonuses for all unionized workers and a path for newer employees to wage parity.

After five months of bargaining and divisive ratification votes, the United Automobile Workers has completed new labor contracts covering more than 140,000 workers at the three largest American automakers.

The new agreements, which will expire in four years, include raises and bonuses for all unionized workers. They also provide a path for newer employees to eventually achieve wage parity with veteran workers.

But finalizing the agreements proved to be a painstaking process, because many workers opposed the terms negotiated by U.A.W. leaders with General Motors, Ford Motor and Fiat Chrysler.

The ratification process at Ford went down to the wire on Friday, when workers at a large factory complex in Michigan approved the deal and sealed its passage.

The agreement was in danger of being rejected until votes were tallied at the company's assembly and stamping plants in Dearborn, Mich.

But workers there approved the agreement by large margins, saving it from defeat. The union said that over all, slightly more than 51 percent of Ford's nearly 53,000 workers had voted in favor of the contract.

Dennis Williams, the U.A.W.'s president, said that the ratification provided economic gains for Ford workers, as well as provisions by the company to add thousands of new jobs and invest $9 billion in its American factories over the life of the agreement. …

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