UAW-GM contract: What the UAW didn't get for its auto workers from GM

The new contract for auto workers between the UAW and General Motors Co. should get ratified in record time and by an overwhelming margin because the UAW got a lot from GM: At least 6,400 more union jobs, job security, more products to build, plant reopenings, auto workers' first raises in eight years and $5,000 profit-sharing checks. But there were some people who didn't benefit from this four-year contract.

General Motors' retirees will derive nothing from the deal, at least not immediately, and that's significant because there are about 400,000 of them. In these negotiations the UAW did not recapture any benefits for them that they used to have with GM.

There might be a silver lining: Health-care benefits could be brought back at a later date via the UAW Retiree Health Care Trust, the Detroit Free Press reported today. But if that comes to pass the cost would be borne by current auto workers, not GM. About $500 would be siphoned from each active auto worker's profit-sharing check next March to underwrite that expense if active UAW members from GM vote to approve the giveback. Voting to ratify the contract started Thursday and ends on Wednesday.

Tier One auto workers, veterans who earn about $118,000 per year in pay and benefits already, get job security and profit-sharing checks. But, unlike Tier Two entry-level auto workers who will get raises of up to 22%, the more experienced auto workers will get no pay raise of any kind in any of the next four years. The GM auto workers also will get no COLA or merit raises.

Veteran skilled-trades workers have targets on their backs. GM aims to thin the herd with incentives it is offering to such workers who are eligible for retirement so it can pay new people considerably less for doing the same work. Skilled tradesmen typically make slightly more per hour than the average auto worker, so GM is offering $75,000 in buyout money to anyone in this category who wants to go away. It amounts to about an extra year's pay, minus benefits.

The creation of jobs benefits the U.S. workforce, but not the North American workforce, not really. Mexican workers are big losers in this deal. Many of the "new" jobs shift to America from Mexico, which is also North American. So while it is a net gain for GM workers in the United States, it is not a gain at all for North America, per se, because the true impact is a cannibalization of jobs in North America, not a creation of them.

Voting to ratify the contract at UAW sites around the country ends Wednesday. At least 70% of GM UAW workers must vote for the result to count.

Hawke Fracassa covers the auto beat from Detroit for TN. You can reach him at [email protected] or (248) 747-1550. Or follow him on Twitter @HawkeFracassa.

Image source: Wikipedia

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My Husband worked for GM for 38 years, he was GM true and blue and worked long hours at the tech center in Warren, Mi. As most people don't seem to realize, your pension is part of your wages, paid for by employees. At only 55 he died of bile duct cancer, there is only one way to get bile duct cancer in the US. Exposure to substances now outlawed. Since he only worked for GM, that is where he was exposed. This has been confirmed, no rumor; however, my recourse in nill. All the money we put into stocks, gone; as his widow at 62 I still work 40-50 hours a week, just to "make it". And by the way, at the tech center; employees are "dropping like flies", I quote from employee friends of my husband. What do I get, not much, I lost our home of 18 years, only owed 6 more years, would have been paid off when he was 62. My health is shot, and what did I just get $38 from the litiagation, $1 for each year he worked, what a slap in the face. Whats next, I imagine, the little I get now will be cut out with this new buy out. Thank you GM, you never appreciated your loyal employee that virtually gave his life for you
Again, nothing for retirees. COLA cut in 2008 and who knows if we will EVER get it back, not to mention medical benefit cuts. No longer will I be buying a GM product and I will no longer give out authorization #s to family and relatives to purchase a GM product as well. That amounts to about 2 new cars/trucks per year. IF all retirees did this with only 1 new purchase a year average (among family and relatives) GM would be selling 400,000 less cars, Looking to the Korean cars now.
I agree. I have stopped buying GM 2 years ago. No to anyone who wants an authorization # as well. GM and the union are screwing retirees!
I think in the next contract, gerneral motors and the uaw should concentrait a lot more on the benefits of the retires that are in pain and dieing from the years toiling in that inviroment of military like atmosfere of abuse and degradation. I personaly could have went out on disability and should have! I'm thinking about getting a good lawyer and sueing your fucking ass' off. I have to take so many pain pills a day, that I'm to full to eat. I thought at the time that I was retireing on the contract I was on at the time. I understould that you almost losy everything, and I and everyone else had to sacrifice to get you back on your feet. well your back !! welcome back. now what about the retireries? I am hurting. both physicly and emotionaly. my lower backs been out since 1977 and my nrck is bothering me [ pinched nerves ] for quite some time, from driving a fork lift in the years before retiring. I recently tried to get some physical therapy, but found out I first had to pay an outrageouse amount of copay first. so much for that. lost my cristmass bonus. and dureing the great recession lost three quarters of my life saveings at fidelity. I can't enjoy any so called retirement now , do to financial and health issues. I wish you fat cat managers and union afficiondoes could walk a mile in mu shoes. u.a.w/ !!! what a fucking racket. I was gullable enough to think you were on my side. just a quick suggestion. how about doing something for us in the nexr contract ? I could certainly us a few thousand dollar bonus too. and one more thing. if the rest of you retired people wany to start a class action suite. I am in ! ! ron wallis, lansing mi. [email protected] te
Not happy at all !!!! Our ins is a joke !!! its allways money ,its like being retired from GM is a laughing matter..... HOW DO YOU THINK RETIRES ARE TO LIVE !!!!!! ( I THINK YOUR COMPANY DON'T CARE ABOUT YOUR PEOPLE ) ONLY THE HIGHER UP PEOPLE GET WHAT THEY WANT AND HOW MUCH !! And the CHRISTMAS DEAL -----well lets forget the retires ,WE are one who relly need it !!!!!!
you guys that are still working you get ready because it will be your turn some day and I hope the people still working stick up your where the sun don't shine just like you have done to us but I hope it is a lot further, then you will know how it feels.
500 dollar gift card to the retirees...thats disgusting and after giving them 35 yrs of hard work and thats the bone they throw at me more gm cars for me or my family....they have shown me what my loyalty was worth...i hope the people that are actively working now see what they have to look forward to when they retire...what a disgusting company to work for..
At least you got something. We in GM Canada got NOTHING!!!
Does a widow or a surviving spouse receive gm bonus check 2015
I was married to my husband for 13 years. When he died the Union said I'm not entitled to his retirement as I wasn't his wife when he retired. He gave 30+ years of service. Is this correct. Also I get no yearly bonus. ??
As widows we also got screwed. We were not entitled to bonus at Christmas time. Retirees got it. But not widows.