WISCREPORT.COM (9/26/07) - General Motors and the UAW have reached a tentative agreement on a new national labor contract, covering approximately 74,000 represented employees. The agreement is subject to UAW member ratification. The union announced that workers are to return to work today (Sept. 26, 2007) at most GM facilities.
“We’re proud of this tentative agreement and we look forward to getting into the field and discussing it with our membership,” International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) President Ron Gettelfinger said.
The UAW International Executive Board and the UAW GM National Negotiating Committee -- made up of elected representatives from UAW GM locations throughout the country -- have unanimously recommended ratification of the agreement.
“We reached this agreement because of the extraordinary solidarity of our membership, and through a tremendous amount of hard work by the committee they elected to negotiate a new contract,” said UAW Vice President Cal Rapson, director of the union’s GM Department.
Complete details of the agreement are being withheld pending ratification. The tentative agreement includes a memorandum of understanding to establish an independent retiree health care trust, as well as other changes to the national agreement.
Following ratification, implementation of the memorandum of understanding is subject to approval by the courts, and satisfactory review of accounting treatment with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
"There's no question this was one of the most complex and difficult bargaining sessions in the history of the GM/UAW relationship," said Rick Wagoner, GM Chairman and CEO. "I'd like to thank UAW President Ron Gettelfinger, UAW Vice President Cal Rapson and their bargaining team for their leadership and hard work in negotiating the agreement."
The national agreement paves the way for GM to significantly improve its manufacturing competitiveness, providing the basis for maintaining and strengthening its core manufacturing base in the United States.
"This agreement helps us close the fundamental competitive gaps that exist in our business," Wagoner said. "The projected competitive improvements in this agreement will allow us to maintain a strong manufacturing presence in the United States along with significant future investments."
The company claims that General Motors Corp. is the world's largest automaker, and has been the annual global industry sales leader for 76 years. Founded in 1908, GM today employs about 280,000 people around the world. With global headquarters in Detroit, GM manufactures its cars and trucks in 33 countries.
In 2006, nearly 9.1 million GM cars and trucks were sold globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, HUMMER, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn and Vauxhall. GM's OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services.