Autoworkers hesitate on new contracts despite ‘record’ pay increases
UAW Local 598, which represents workers and retirees at a General Motors truck plant in Flint, Michigan, said Thursday that 51.8% of its members voted to reject the deal. Production workers in the chapter narrowly opposed the new contract, while a smaller group of skilled workers strongly supported it.
Another group of GM employees, UAW Local 659, said Tuesday that production workers at the Flint engine operations plant also voted against the deal by a 52% to 48% margin. Other parts of the chapter were strongly in favor, however.
The proposed contracts were negotiated after members of the UAW went on strike for more than six weeks. If majorities at each automaker approve, the pacts will last through April 30, 2028. Union members will get an 11% initial wage increase and a total pay increase of 25% over the course of the 4½ year deal. The new contracts also reinstate cost-of-living adjustments, let workers reach top wages in three years instead of eight, and protect their right to strike over plant closures.