UAW-GM members ratify contract, ending longest automotive strike in nearly 50 years

Strike ends after 40 days

LANSING, Mich. – UAW-GM members ratified a proposed contract Friday, ending the longest automotive strike in 50 years, officials announced.

"General Motors members have spoken," said Terry Dittes, UAW vice president and director of the UAW-GM Department. "We are all so incredibly proud of UAW-GM members who captured the hearts and minds of a nation. Their sacrifice and courageous stand addressed the two-tier wages structure and permanent temporary worker classification that has plagued working class Americans."

The 40-day strike ends with the ratification of the contract. Workers will begin to report to work as instructed by GM, officials said.

Here are the final ratification results:



"This is good news for our working families and our economy," Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said. "Michiganders are some of the hardest working people in this country, and they deserve to be treated with respect. I was proud to stand with the UAW as they negotiated for more American jobs, better wages, and good benefits, and my administration is committed to continuing our work to close the skills gap and protect hardworking Michigan families."

The ratified contract includes an $11,000 signing bonus for each member, performance bonuses, two 3% annual raises, two 4% lump sum payments and holding the line on health care costs.

"We want to once again thank our members' families and their local communities for their outpouring of support," UAW President Gary Jones said. "Our members not only joined together in solidarity but felt the support of their whole community throughout this important stand."

Friday was the 40th day of the UAW workers' national strike against GM. It was also the day final votes from UAW members were tallied.

Workers were asked to vote on a tentative contract agreement UAW leaders reached with GM.

The national strike officially started at 11:59 p.m. Sept. 15. Nearly 50,000 workers at GM plants across the country were on strike for fair wages, affordable health care, a greater share of profits, job security and a defined path to permanent employment for temporary workers.

"For 40 days, our union brothers and sisters held the line on fair wages, affordable health care, and a pathway to permanent employment for temporary workers.," House Democratic leader Christin Greig said. "Standing up for workplace rights takes incredible courage and I commend the UAW members for their resolve and perseverance. I am pleased the contract provisions UAW workers have fought so hard for are now a reality."

"I am grateful that both parties have come to an agreement that prioritizes job security, fair pay, and strong benefits," Sen. Debbie Stabenow said. "This is good news for our workers, Michigan's families, and our economy. Michigan workers built the middle class in this country and make our economy stronger every day."

"I applaud both the UAW and GM for reaching an agreement that benefits both parties," Wayne County Executive Warren Evans said. "Labor negotiations are never easy, but we all win when workers have a voice and the right to collectively bargain. The reported creation of 9,000 new jobs, $9 billion in new investment, as well as collectively bargained pay raises and bonuses are good news for our economy, both local and national. It is important that Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant will remain open under this agreement. This is a win for workers at the plant and for the communities where it resides. The decision to build electric pickups at Detroit-Hamtramck was a prudent and necessary one and further establishes Wayne County as the emerging epicenter of next generation mobility innovation."

"Michigan autoworkers and their families sacrificed a lot over the past 40 days," Sen. Gary Peters said. "I was proud to stand with these workers and join them at the picket lines as they fought for better wages and benefits."

Jones announced Friday that the union with now proceed with pattern bargaining at Ford.

"Now that the General Motors strike has ended and the agreement has been ratified, we will proceed to Ford, working with UAW Vice President Rory Gamble, Director of the UAW Ford Department and their staff," Jones said.

"We can confirm the UAW today notified Ford it plans to negotiate with us next," a Ford spokesperson said. "As America's No. 1 producer of vehicles and largest employer of UAW-represented autoworkers, we look forward to reaching a fair agreement that helps Ford enhance its competitiveness and preserve and protect good-paying manufacturing jobs."

More UAW-GM strike coverage:

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Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.