Details are emerging from the deal for a four-year contract struck last night by GM and the UAW. Both sides seemed pleased with the deal, the first since the government bailout and one that will serve as a model for the UAW's talks with Ford and Chrysler, notes the Wall Street Journal. Some highlights of the pact, which is expected to be ratified by the UAW rank and file in the next week or so:
- Hourly workers get a signing bonus of $5,000 if they approve the deal, reports the Detroit News.
- GM will reopen an idled assembly plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee.
- GM will improve profit-sharing for employees, basing the checks on all North American operations, not just those in the US, reports the Tennessean. (Last year's checks would have been $5,000 to $6,000, instead of $4,000.)
- Second-tier workers will get a raise of $3 over four years, reports the Detroit Free Press. Compensation in general will be more closely tied to vehicle quality, notes the Journal.
- Retiree benefits won't be cut, but they won't see "real gains" either, notes the Free Press.
- UAW chief Bob King: “This contract will get our members who have been laid off back to work, will create new jobs in our communities and will bring work back to the United States from other countries."
- GM VP Cathy Clegg: "We worked hard for a contract that recognizes the realities of today's marketplace, enabling GM to continue to invest in US manufacturing and provide good jobs to thousands of Americans."
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