Vice President Cal Rapson, left, and President Ron Gettelfinger at a news conference May 29
With Chrysler and GM both facing bankruptcy and a catastrophic liquidation that could have eliminated hundreds of thousands of jobs in the midst of a deep recession, active and UAW members agreed to additional sacrifices, on top of concessions made in 2005, 2007 and 2008.
Contributions by active workers in the 2009 Chrysler and GM agreements include:
• Performance bonuses and cost-of-living adjustments eliminated for the remainder of the contract.
• Reduced holidays.
• Scaled back overtime and relief time rules.
• Wages for new "entry-level" employees were frozen, and the company was allowed to increase the percentage of its workforce employed at this much lower rate.
• Certain job security programs were suspended, and supplemental unemployment was scaled back for laid-off workers.
• Job classifications reduced and work rules adjusted.
Retired UAW members at Chrysler and GM will also share in the contributions required to help these companies emerge as smaller, more competitive enterprises:
• Retirees enrolled in Medicare Part B premium will now pay $76.20 a month for coverage, a premium that had previously been paid by employers.
• Prescription drug co-pays increased.
• Dental and vision benefits eliminated.
• Premiums and deductibles were increased for retirees with pensions less than $8,000, thereby tracking increases that were previously implemented for all other retirees.
• Voluntary Employee Benefit Association funding was restructured.
The concessionary agreements meet conditions set out by the U.S. Treasury for continued financial support to GM and Chrysler, saving tens of thousands of jobs at these companies, and hundreds of thousands more at suppliers, dealers and other businesses that benefit from the purchasing power of autoworkers and manufacturing employers.
In addition, UAW members won commitments from GM and Chrysler to source small car production in the United States, and enhanced rights to review investment and sourcing decisions at both companies.