Reporting Jeff Gilbert
DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – The UAW has reached a deal with General Motors that it hopes will become a pattern for the other two automakers.
“This contract will get our members who have been laid off back to work, will create new jobs in our communities and will bring work back to the United States from other countries,” said UAW President Bob King, in a statement issued by the union shortly after the deal was reached around 11 PM Friday evening.
Neither King, nor GM Labor Relations vice president Cathy Clegg gave specifics of new work or new investments.
“We worked hard for a contract that recognizes the realities of today’s marketplace, enabling GM to continue to invest in U.S. manufacturing and provide good jobs to thousands of Americans,” said Clegg in GM’s announcement of the deal.
The agreement came nearly two days after the expiration of the previous deal. With a strike not permitted this time around, the talks were relatively low key. But that doesn’t mean they always agreed on everything.
“We prove again today that through the collective bargaining process, we can provide decent wages, benefits and employment rights for workers while ensuring quality products and healthy profits for employers,” said King.
King said during the talks they were able to fight back attempts to cut wages and pensions. He also said the company agreed to improved profit sharing. The union gave out no numbers, and didn’t give any information about wages.
GM’s Cathy Clegg said they reached the deal by working together.
“We used a creative problem solving approach to reach an agreement that addresses the needs of employees and positions our business for long-term success,”
The union says more details will come as they are explained to members.
The UAW will turn next to Chrysler. While talks continue this weekend, a deal isn’t considered likely until early next week, when CEO Sergio Marchionne returns from an overseas trip.
Ford, which didn’t receive government aid, has a different set of issues, and has been put on hold by the union until after the GM and Chrysler deals are done.