November 11, 2015
By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Opposition from skilled-trades workers has delayed the United Auto Workers’ ratification of a proposed contract with General Motors. More than 55% of GM’s union members voted to approve the deal, but nearly 60% of skilled-trades workers voted no.
The UAW said Nov. 6 that it would not declare the contract ratified until after union officials met with skilled-trades employees—who make up about 20-25% of GM’s union workers—to determine why they opposed it. Two possible reasons are that the proposed agreement would reduce the number of jobs designated for skilled-trades workers, and they would also not be eligible for a $60,000 retirement incentive that will be offered to some production workers. The UAW International Executive Board can overrule the rejection if it finds the workers voted against it for reasons that were not unique to the skilled trades. If it sustains it, the union will have to go back to the table with GM to renegotiate those issues. Read more