Detroit, Michigan – Members of the United Auto Workers Union (UAW) voted two-to-one to ratify a new collective bargaining agreement with General Motors.  The union reached a tentative agreement with the automaker on September 16, 2011, marking the first of the three domestic companies to do so.

The vote was 65 per cent in favour of the agreement among production workers, and 63 per cent in favour among skilled trades workers.

“The UAW and GM entered into this set of bargaining as America struggles with record levels of unemployment and an economy that shows little sign of improvement,” said UAW president Bob King. “Because of President Obama’s and the American taxpayers’ backing of our jobs and our companies, we were determined to work together with GM management to grow jobs in the U.S. and to get more Americans back to work and we are doing just that. With the continued support and solidarity of our members at GM, we stood strong and not only stopped these proposed givebacks, but we made important gains for our members in this contract.”

The contract will create 6,400 new jobs in the U.S., providing jobs for UAW members laid off over the last several years, creating new jobs, and bringing work back to the U.S. that had been moved to Mexico and other parts of the world.

The contract brings wages for entry-level workers to US$19.28 over the term of the agreement, provides a $5,000 signing bonus for all employees, up to $4,000 in inflation protection and quality lump-sum payments over the term, and improves profit sharing with a new, more simple and transparent plan that provides higher payouts.

The UAW also reported that it is continuing its meetings with Chrysler Group and that productive discussions are ongoing.

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