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  • UAW End Automaker Negotiations With Two Mayor Victories

    The United Auto Workers (UAW) was able to ratify two major labor contracts late Friday with Ford Motor Co. and General Motors putting an end to a shaky round of negotiations.

    Contract negotiations began in July with three of the biggest automakers in the country. It wasn’t long, however, before the treat of strikes put the union and the companies in a tough spot. Workers demanded the end of recession-era concessions from an industry finally on the rebound after the 2007 financial crisis. With Fiat Chrysler Automobiles locking down its contract on Oct. 22 and Ford and General Motors  securing theirs going into the weekend, the negotiations for the big three have finally ended.

    “Our UAW members have ratified the national agreement after a long process and much debate,” UAW President Dennis Williams said in a statement. “The voice of the majority has secured a strong future that will provide job security and economic stability for themselves and their families.”

    The Ford contract looked at risk of failing. After two major plants located in Kentucky voted against it, every last vote began to count. Fortunately for the company and union, the contract passed by a slim margin. By the end, 51.4 percent of Ford workers voted in favor of the contract.

    “There is no higher authority than the membership,” UAW Ford Vice President Jimmy Settles also noted in a statement. “Through a fair and democratic process UAW-Ford members have delivered job security and strong economic gains for their families and communities.”

    Ford and the union have promised the new agreement will help secure and create 8,500 jobs. It includes $9 billion in new investments and limits on outsourcing. The Ford contract, though, wasn’t the only one having last minute difficulties. The General Motors contract actually passed early on but was put on hold because of adamant opposition among skilled trade workers.

    The union International Executive Board (IEB) met with other top officials to decide how best to go forward. After making adjustments to address the concerns brought up by skilled workers, the union decided to ratify the contract.

    “Based on the fact that the majority of the UAW-GM membership ratified the National Agreement and that the Skilled Trades membership concerns about protecting the core trades classifications and seniority rights have now been met, the IEB took action to formally ratify the UAW-GM National Agreement,” the union said in a press release. “General Motors has been notified of the UAW’s formal ratification of the National Agreement.”

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