Full Details On The UAW GM Agreement

This image was lost some time after publication.
This image was lost some time after publication.

Well, we know the UAW strike's over at the moment and a labor agreement's been reached between the UAW and General Motors pending ratification by UAW membership. Although no official details have been released, we've got some rumors key points from a variety of different sources and our handicapping of who won what, all after the jump:


GM's top priority was the VEBA (Voluntary Employees Beneficiary Association) deal. That got done, shifting most of the General's $51 billion unfunded retiree health care obligation to a UAW-run trust. GM would pay about 70 percent of that obligation, or $36 billion, into the trust and the union would be responsible for health care for around 340,000 GM hourly retirees and spouses. The VEBA still has to be approved by the courts and reviewed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) post-ratification by the membership. ADVANTAGE: PUSH

Supposedly GM's pension fund has more money than expected obligations, so both sides have agreed to tap into it to fund the trust. Retirees would get a pension increase, but it would be offset by an equal increase in health care contributions. ADVANTAGE: PUSH


Wages would stay the same for the length of this new four-year deal, but workers would be given a $3,000 signing bonus to start, followed by three years of lump-sum payments roughly equal to 3% of annual wages.. Can somebody say KA-CHING!? We totally need to work that into our next blogging contract — anyone think Denton'll bite? ADVANTAGE: UAW

The deal modifies the jobs bank program in which laid-off workers receive pay and benefits. The changes will expand the geographic area workers would be required to take a new job in if one's available. Under current rules, workers are allowed to remain off the job and in the bank unless there's an opening within fifty miles of the old job. With fewer assembly plants, obviously there were fewer opportunities meeting that fifty-mile qualification. ADVANTAGE: UAW

No cuts to current wage levels but the creation of a two-tier wage system for non-manufacturing jobs like cleaning crews, janitors and security will be created under the new deal. It's supposed to save money on those jobs not directly tied to building vehicle by allowing for the creation of new UAW jobs — but with pay as low as $12-$15 an hour. ADVANTAGE: GM

Plant investment was a key issue — the UAW wanted an agreement that would provide more money spent on US plants and manufacturing locations and GM wanted an agreement that would let them spend as little money on manufacturing as possible. The result is a deal that gives no specifics but does provide an "assurance" that GM will provide more investment in the United States. So basically it means GM will move every bit of manufacturing they possibly can to China and Mexico. ADVANTAGE: GM


So who wins? Well, let's see — GM's Rick Wagoner gets his deal in the shortest amount of time possible — that'll make the markets happy and boost GM's stock price and bond ratings — letting him keep his job as grand lord of the General. On the other hand we've got the UAW's Ron Gettelfinger. He looks like a stud to his membership because he's getting them signing bonuses, keeps the jobs bank and now gets to hire a bunch of new UAW members from Burger King to mop the floors at the remaining plants not moving to China and Mexico — swelling his ranks and ensuring he gets to keep his job as grand lord of the UAW. WINNER: PUSH

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@schrosa: I don't think you read it wrong, or neither of us can read.

Unless that was something that GM wanted to totally cut and the changes are so small that the UAW doesn't see it as a change, since there are fewer plants.