Local UAW Presidents Approve GM Deal

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DETROIT, Sept. 20 (UPI) — Local United Auto Workers presidents in Detroit approved a contract proposal from General Motors, sending it to a vote among 48,500 rank-and-file workers.

More details on the contract emerged Tuesday as UAW President Bob King briefed local presidents on the proposal, The Detroit News reported.

If ratified, the contract commits GM to a $2.5 billion investment that will create or salvage 6,400 jobs through the life of the four-year deal.

The contract also creates a guarantee of $12,500 in bonus pay to UAW workers over the next four years, the News said.

“One of our main objectives is jobs, and I think we met that objective,” said UAW Vice President for GM Joe Aston.

The proposal fails to restore a cost-of-living increase or any other increase in base pay for experienced workers, called tier one workers.

Four years ago, the UAW agreed to split base pay into two groups. Tier one workers were established on the payroll, whereas tier two workers, who would be paid about half the rate of the first group, would be comprised of new workers.

King said before the contract negotiations began one of the goals was to close the gap between the two pay groups.

The proposal includes increasing entry level pay from $14-$16 to $19.28 by the end of the four-year deal.

The contract also spells out plans for plant activation. In the deal, GM has agreed to reopen a factory in Spring Hill, Tenn., where the retired Saturn brand was produced.

The plan calls for bringing the plant back to life in two stages, first by adding 500 workers to produce a midsized vehicle and turning out a second midsized car by 2014.

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