On October 28, 2020, General Motors union workers at the auto giant ratified a new four-year labor agreement with the United Auto Workers, capping months of hard-fought negotiations between both sides. The result of the contract vote following several days of voting showed an overwhelming majority of workers approved of the deal.
The current contract covers over 50,000 GM workers in the U.S. Despite a majority of workers voting in favor, the vote was a contentious one, with some union members claiming that the deal is too beneficial to Big Three automakers. Others felt that the proposed wage increases and other benefits are not enough.
Tracy Fuentes, president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local 872, was a chief activist opposing the agreement. “This contract will do nothing to fix the systemic problems found within the UAW or the auto industry,” she said.
GM officials have said that the new labor agreement will help the company remain competitive and keep jobs in the U.S. for the long-term. GM officials have cited the need to pay competitive wages in the face of competition from global automakers, along with rising costs of developing electric vehicles.
The renewed labor agreement includes pay raises for workers, the shift to partially electric and autonomous vehicles, a new profit-sharing system, and more. The deal also addresses a wide range of areas that had stalled the negotiations over the past months, including job security, health coverage, and changes to the two-tier wage system.
While not all GM workers are in full support of the deal, members of the union will benefit from the new labor agreement. The ratification of the contract is a major accomplishment, as it sets the stage for a more prosperous future for both GM and its union workers.