UAW reaches tentative agreement to end GM strike

Workers participate in "Solidarity Sunday" at the General Motors Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant, Sept. 22, 2019 | Andrew Roth

The United Auto Workers (UAW) on Wednesday announced a tentative agreement with General Motors, but the month-long strike is not yet done. 

UAW Local 14 striking workers from Toledo demonstrate at GM headquarters, Oct. 14, 2019 | Ken Coleman

The UAW is not yet releasing details of its possible agreement with the Detroit-based automaker. Terry Dittes, UAW vice president, said in a statement that it will first let its National Council vote to accept the agreement that makes “major gains” for unionized workers. 

“We are extremely grateful to the thousands of Americans who donated goods and helped our striking workers and their families,” Dittes said. “As we await the Council’s decision, please know that the outpouring of community and national support will be etched in the memories of all of us at the UAW for years to come.”

In a statement, GM confirmed that a tentative agreement had been reached, but had no further comment at this time. 

The strike began Sept. 16. It’s unclear when the almost 50,000 UAW members may return to work. The UAW National Council is scheduled to meet behind closed doors on Thursday and then decide whether to recommend the deal for a full ratification vote.

UAW workers not ready to give up as strike nears one month mark

During that meeting, it’s expected that the council also will decide whether to continue the strike until the deal is ratified or return to work. 

The key issues in the strike have been:

  • Long-term temporary workers need to be made permanent employees
  • More jobs need to be re-shored — or returned to Michigan from overseas
  • Benefit levels need to be maintained
Nick Manes
Nick Manes covers West Michigan, business and labor, health care and the safety net. He previously spent six years as a reporter at MiBiz covering commercial real estate, economic development and all manner of public policy at the local and state levels. His byline also has appeared in Route Fifty and The Daily Beast. When not reporting around the state or furiously tweeting, he enjoys spending time with his girlfriend, Krista, biking around his hometown of Grand Rapids and torturing himself rooting for the Detroit Lions.

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