GM will be next negotiating target for the UAW, union says

Pact likely to mirror FCA deal phasing out Tier 2 wages

GM CEO Mary Barra launched negotiations with UAW President Dennis Williams in August. Photo credit: GM photo

DETROIT -- The UAW said it will pivot to General Motors for its next round of bargaining following Fiat Chrysler Automobiles workers’ ratification today of a new four-year contract.

The UAW “will pursue a contract for UAW-GM members in the next round of Big Three bargaining as negotiations continue at Ford,” the union said in a statement.

GM said in a statement: “We welcome the UAW turning their attention to GM,” and said officials will bargain “in good faith to obtain an agreement that meets the needs of GM employees and the business.”

GM and the UAW have been in quiet talks since September, though union officials focused on FCA in recent weeks after making it the target for a pattern contract.

Kristin Dziczek, director of the labor and industry group at the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Mich., expects the agreements ultimately reached at GM and Ford to follow the pattern set for the 37,000 UAW-represented workers at FCA, calling it a “good deal.”

That pact, which FCA workers approved with a 77 percent majority, eliminates the divisive Tier 2 wage for entry-level workers by providing them with an eight-year ladder of predetermined annual raises until they reach full wages of $30 an hour.

It also includes the first wage increase that legacy Tier 1 workers will have seen in more than a decade. They’ll get 3 percent increases in the contract’s first and third years, with lump-sum bonuses of $2,400 and $2,500 in years two and four.

Cathy Clegg, GM’s vice president of manufacturing for North America and GM’s top labor official during the last round of bargaining in 2011, is leading the company in the talks. UAW vice president Cindy Estrada is the GM negotiator for the union.

The UAW represents 51,000 GM workers and 53,000 at Ford.

-- David Barkholz contributed to this report

You can reach Mike Colias at autonews@crain.com

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