The strike against the Big Three automakers is suspended, and local union leaders, including those from Parma’s UAW Local 1005, will head to Detroit at the end of the week to learn the details of the new contract.
The United Auto Workers and General Motors negotiators reached a tentative agreement on Oct. 30. Union president Shawn Fain announced the deal in a message on Facebook.
“We were relentless in our fight to win a record contract, and that is exactly what we accomplished,” Fain said.
Dan Schwartz, president of UAW Local 1005, told 3News that while GM Parma Metal Center never officially joined the strike, more than 200 of its workers were temporarily laid off due to decreased production at plants where walkouts occurred.
“This shows that if you stand together with your brothers and sisters and let your voice be heard and you fight for something that you deserve, it could happen,” Schwartz said.
A few details of the preliminary contract were released on UAW social media.
Starting wages for assembly workers will increase roughly 70%, and top wages will jump nearly 33% from $32.32 to $42.95 per hour.
Schwartz said he wants to see the full contract, but he stressed that there’s a lot more to it than just the numbers.
“The cost-of-living allowance, the right to strike for plant closures, keeping those battery plants as our work under our master agreement, and hopefully stuff in there for the retirees in the future,” he explained.
Schwartz highlighted the significance of the U.S. battery plants joining the union and the effect on the industry’s future. A main concern for auto workers is that it might take fewer of them to build electric cars.
“It’s been forecasted that the battery plants were going to be a 40% labor reduction because of not having internal combustion engines and powertrain,” he said.
Schwartz told WKYC that he and the local bargaining chairman will go to Detroit on Friday with other local union leaders to hear more about this contract and vote on it. If that vote passes, they’ll bring it back and have informational meetings to share details with local members before they vote.
See full 3News coverage here.