A deal struck between the United Auto Workers (UAW) and General Motors (GM) has won full-time jobs and wage hikes for about 930 American workers who had been temporary workers for the automaker.
Last fall, union workers went on a collective bargaining strike for 40 days to secure a better contract with GM executives. After reaching a deal at the end of October, union workers are now seeing big benefits that would have otherwise been passed on.
As part of the negotiation, about 930 American workers — all of whom have worked as temporary workers for GM but are UAW members — have been provided with full-time jobs at the automaker. With that full-time employment comes a $6 to $9 an hour wage hike for those workers, better health benefits that will now include dental and vision coverage, and perks like tuition assistance.
“He said, ‘As of tomorrow, you guys are full-time seniority employees of GM,’” Adarrey “Ace” Humphrey told the Detroit Free Press of the moment he and about 250 of his co-workers were told of the news that they would become full-time employees at GM.
“There was a gasp in the room for a few seconds,” Humphrey said. “Some of us thought he misspoke. Then, we had to say, ‘No, we heard him right!’ It was amazing.”
Last year, Humphrey said he joined his fellow UAW members in striking for 40 days to win a better contract with GM after the automaker had laid off thousands of Americans over the past year and a half.
Humphrey told the Detroit Free Press:
“It opens up a door for me to think about going to the doctor or dentist, too, because I have that insurance now, so it doesn’t come out of my paycheck,” Humphrey said. “I can think about getting a house, too.” [Emphasis added]
“This helps us better our future, our careers and our families,” said Humphrey. “I almost shed a tear when I heard the news because you finally achieved that goal that you waited three years for and you showed up every day for.” [Emphasis added]
American workers at GM’s plants in Flint, Michigan; Lansing, Michigan; and Bedford, Indiana, are among those who have secured full-time employment thanks to last year’s UAW strike. About seven to ten percent of GM’s U.S. workforce, or about 4,100 workers, are temporary, not full-time.
American manufacturing is vital to the U.S. economy, as every one manufacturing job supports an additional 7.4 American jobs in other industries. Decades of free trade, with deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), have devastated American manufacturing and U.S. workers’ job prospects, as well as suppressed their wages.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.