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The UAW General Motors National Negotiating Committee entered into this set of bargaining as America struggles with record levels of unemployment and an economy that shows little sign of improvement. GM, like most private and public employers across America, immediately sought givebacks in health care and in our pension plan. With your continued support and solidarity, we stood strong and not only stopped these proposed givebacks, we made important gains for our members in this tentative agreement.
We are enormously proud of our union and the UAW GM National Negotiating Committee. In these uncertain economic times, we were able to win a tentative agreement with GM that guarantees good American jobs at a good American company. When GM was down, our members sacrificed and saved GM. Now that GM is posting strong profits, our members, as a result of this tentative agreement, are going to share in the company’s success.
This tentative contract provides jobs for UAW members who have been laid off over the last several years, creates thousands and thousands of new jobs, and brings work back to the USA and UAW GM plants that had been moved to Mexico and other parts of the world. While new jobs, new investment in our plants, and new products for our plants are the most important components of a secure future for our members, we were also able to make important gains for our members in both income and benefits in this agreement.
In terms of income, we were able to make significant progress toward our ultimate goal of equal pay for equal work by increasing Entry-Level wages to $19.28 over the term of the agreement. We also won a $5,000 Signing Bonus, and up to $4,000 in Inflation Protection and Quality lump-sum payments over the term of the agreement. Another important gain is the strong improvements we made in transparency, simplicity and higher payouts in the profit sharing plan.
In the area of health care benefits, when it seems like everyone in America is getting cuts in benefits and paying higher co-pays and deductibles, we were able to maintain and improve on our current benefits. Most significant for our members, we were able to add unlimited $25 doctor’s office visits! This important improvement is projected to both increase the long term health of our members and reduce overall plan costs. Other improvements are spelled out in this summary.
GM is prosperous because of its workers. It’s the workers and the quality of the work you do, along with the sacrifices you’ve made, that have returned this company to profitability. This tentative agreement reflects the fact that it was UAW members who helped turn this company around.
As representatives of workers, we will always have some differences with GM management. Over and over, we reminded management that no one has a stronger self-interest in the success of GM than UAW GM workers. CEOs come and go, often with huge golden parachutes, management comes and goes, stockholders come and go, but it is our UAW GM members who are here for the long run and have the most at risk if the company fails. It is our members who bust their backs every day making the best vehicles in the world. We appreciate the greater and greater role our members are playing in decision making on quality, health and safety, productivity, in many areas and at every level of the company. We appreciate the recognition of our members’ work and sacrifices shown in the gains made in this tentative agreement.
We are extremely proud of the job that was done by the entire UAW General Motors National Negotiating Committee. We employed new strategies and tactics in these difficult economic times. Your bargaining team fought successfully not only to beat back the corporation’s attempt to weaken our contract, but also to win major improvements we all can be proud of.
This document summarizes the tentative agreement the UAW has reached with General Motors. Please review it carefully, and go to www.uaw.org to review the entire agreement.
And we urge you to vote “YES” in favor of ratification.
Bob King, president
International Union, UAW
Joe Ashton, vice president and director
UAW General Motors Department