Barring any difficulties, it would appear that the standoff between the UAW and General Motors is slowly ending.
Negotiations were far more difficult than anyone thought they would be, and the strike certainly cost both sides more than they expected.
But once everything is signed, sealed and delivered, it would seem that those two will have a few years of peace until the next time.
I do not think that GM understands just how its bankruptcy had a permanent impact on the UAW and its members. That will remain long after the settlement of this strike.
But there are still two automakers — Ford and FCA — and hundreds of supplier companies that are waiting in the wings to find out what the future holds.
It could be fairly easy if the automakers simply agree to everything that GM did, making it a duplicate of this contract. Or one of the parties could decide to tweak the contract and make some changes that the other side might agree to.
What makes it a bit interesting with lots of potential land mines along the way is that FCA, like GM, went through a bankruptcy. Ford, on the other hand, never went through that process, so it is a wild card in terms of the contract.
From a standpoint of labor peace, I am sure most folks are hoping for a speedy conclusion to this current labor strife.
But no one has any idea what is going to happen in the next few weeks now that GM is done.
Someday, we might find out what was left on the table by both sides and whether either side is very unhappy or both sides settled with what the leaders pretty much expected.
I cannot think of anything that is more of a crapshoot when it starts and continues till the last man or woman is standing. What impact the prosecution of corruption at the UAW had on the talks or will have in the future is still unknown. Everyone expects that there will be more investigations and more indictments.
Union negotiations are always troublesome. This one has been no different. And it is not over. The fat lady has not sung.