United Auto Workers (UAW) members strike at a General Motors assembly plant that builds the U.S. automaker’s full-size sport utility vehicles, in another expansion of the strike in Arlington, Texas, October 24, 2023.
James Breeden | Reuters
DETROIT — The United Auto Workers’ tentative agreement with General Motors is back on track for ratification after a handful of large plants voted against the pact in recent days, according to ongoing voting results published Wednesday by the union.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the deal had the support of about 54% of the roughly 30,700 autoworkers whose votes had been finalized by the union. Results were still pending at several small facilities and a crossover plant in mid-Michigan, which a local chapter reported voted 60% against the pact.
The broad approval marks a swing in voting after several major assembly plants in Michigan, Indiana, Missouri, Kentucky and Tennessee — representing more than 19,000 of GM’s roughly 50,000 union employees under the tentative agreement — voted against the deal and spurred uncertainty about its prospects.
Later Wednesday morning, GM’s Arlington Assembly plant in Texas, which represents 4,900 autoworkers, voted in support of the deal, with roughly 60% of production workers and 65% of skilled trades union workers voting in favor. A joint venture battery plant now included under the tentative agreements also had 96%, or 1,313 votes, in support of the pact.
Both the UAW and GM declined to comment on the results until they’ve been finalized.
UAW members with Ford Motor and Chrysler parent Stellantis also are continuing to vote; those results have largely been in favor of the deals. Voting is expected to conclude by Friday. The union has not confirmed when votes will be finalized.
The UAW reached tentative deals with each of the automakers individually, so each is voted on separately. They are not contingent on one another to be ratified.
The record deal at GM, like those at Ford and Stellantis, includes 25% wage increases, restoration of cost-of-living adjustments and other benefits.
But UAW members, especially veteran workers, have voiced disapproval for the deal, citing inflated expectations created by Fain, who called for and ultimately failed to secure a 32-hour workweek and better retirement benefits.
GM has the highest number of traditional workers on a percentage basis, followed by Ford and then Stellantis. Stellantis also leans more heavily on temporary workers, who will largely be converted to full-time employees and become eligible for top wages by the end of the deals.
A rejection at GM would be a black eye on the negotiations for UAW President Shawn Fain. Although he has said union members have the final say on contracts, he and other union leaders have praised the historic deal, saying they bargained for every penny out of the automakers.
Correction: This story has been updated to correct that United Auto Workers members at General Motors’ SUV plant in Arlington, Texas, voted in favor of the tentative contract agreement.