Labor Agreement Puts Brakes On GM Autoworker Strike

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The United Auto Workers (UAW) arrived at a labor agreement Sunday with General Motors Co. The deal is the second time in less than a week the union has been able to avoid a strike by closing tense negotiations.

The agreement will still need approval from a council of several hundred union leaders, but Reuters reports it is expected to pass. The union was able to finalize another agreement Oct. 22 with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. The Fiat deal also helped avoid a strike.

“We believe that this agreement will present stable long-term significant wage gains and job security commitments to UAW members now and in the future,” UAW President Dennis Williams said in a statement. “We look forward to presenting the details of these gains to local union leaders and the membership.”

If approved, the contract will impact 52,700 unionized workers at the company. Details of what the contract contains have yet to be released. One issue that workers have adamantly voiced is the elimination of the two-tier wage system. The policy allows some assembly workers to receive substantially less pay than others for same work. The policy has also been implemented at Fiat and Ford Motors. The new Fiat contract will eliminate the policy, but details of its replacement are still pending.

“The new UAW-GM national agreement is good for employees and the business,” Cathy Clegg, vice president for labor relations for North American, told The Detroit News. “Working with our UAW partners, we developed constructive solutions that benefit employees and provide flexibility for the company to respond to the needs of the marketplace.”

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