General Motors’ GM-N tentative labour deal with the United Auto Workers (UAW) union has clinched ratification, making its workers the first of those at the Detroit Three automakers to approve the agreement.
The vote locks in the UAW’s tentative agreement with GM after an unprecedented six-week campaign of co-ordinated strikes at all three automakers that focused attention on boosting workers’ wages. Ultimately, the union was able to clinch record pay hikes for auto workers after years of stagnant wages and painful concessions following the 2008 financial crisis.
The UAW’s GM vote tracking site shows approval of the contract leading by a 55 per cent to 45 per cent margin with nearly 36,000 workers having cast votes out of about 46,000 UAW-represented GM workers. All the facilities voting have reported results.
Officials at the UAW and GM did not immediately comment. GM shares were down 1.1 per cent in Thursday trading.
Voting ends on Thursday at 4 p.m., although most votes were cast by Wednesday.
While the UAW has not formally announced the ratification, it would mark the first approval of a deal, which runs through April, 2028, with one of the Detroit Three. Voting at Ford and Stellantis is still under way.
All three companies agreed to tentative agreements about two weeks ago.
Seven of GM’s 11 assembly plants rejected the deal. However, the largest assembly plant in Arlington, Tex., approved the agreement along with assembly plants in Detroit; Fairfax, Kan.; and Lake Orion, Mich.
The UAW’s new agreement with GM grants a 25 per cent increase in base wage through April, 2028 and will cumulatively raise the top wage by 33 per cent, compounded with estimated cost-of-living adjustments to over US$42 an hour.
Currently, about 67 per cent of Ford workers who have voted are in favour of the UAW deal, and about 66 per cent of Stellantis workers have so far voted in favour, according to UAW figures. Ford voting is scheduled to finish on Friday, while Stellantis is set to close next Tuesday.
Automakers were previously slashing costs and navigating a bumpy road to manufacture EVs and catch up with market leader Tesla, but lower margins on those vehicles have deterred them from accelerating the move.
GM in October also pulled its full-year profit forecast due to the strike and postponed a US$4-billion electric truck plant in Michigan.