DETROIT -- General Motors plans to transition more than 650 temporary hourly employees into full-time jobs this month, the automaker said Monday.
Ford Motor Co. bumped up more than 400 workers as well.
The move delivers on promises made by GM and Ford in their 2019 UAW labor agreements to promote temporary employees with at least three years of continuous service to permanent positions.
The employees who will transition to full-time roles work at nine GM plants in Michigan, Indiana, Texas and Missouri, GM said in a statement.
"Our people are the heart and soul of everything we do and through their hard work and dedication to building quality products, they are taking the next step in their journey with GM," Phil Kienle, GM vice president of North America manufacturing and labor relations, said in the statement.
Temps who transition to full-time posts will get medical plan cost-share improvements, dental and vision coverage, company contributions to their 401(k) plans, profit-sharing and life insurance coverage.
The hiring of temp workers was a sticking point in 2019 as the Detroit 3 automakers negotiated a four-year labor contract with the UAW.
Japanese automakers staff their plants with about 20 percent temporary workers. About 7 percent of GM's workers were temps. At Ford, it was about 6 percent.
The Detroit 3 aimed to cut costs by increasing temps, who are paid less and receive less comprehensive health care coverage compared with full-time union members. Automakers argued they could offer greater job security to union workers if they could increase their temporary worker ranks. Early last year, GM gave 1,350 temps — about half of its temp staff — full-time jobs.
"This life-changing event is a testament to our members' hard work as permanent temporary employees and the power of collective bargaining that created this defined path for them to seniority status," Terry Dittes, director of the UAW-GM Department, said in a statement Monday.
Gerald Kariem, director of the UAW-Ford Department, added in a separate statement:
"This hard-fought UAW contract priority has resulted in over 400 UAW Ford members eligible to move to full-time status in January with more to come. For many UAW families this bargained pathway will be life-changing thanks to their solidarity at the bargaining table."