Striking United Auto Workers workers have ratified a new 4-year contract with General Motors, ending a 40-day strike that brought U.S. production to a halt. UAW members voted in favor of the contract by a 57.2% margin, approving it 23,389 to 17,501.
The strike began on Sept. 16, when 49,000 workers walked off the job. The new contract Some workers were expected to go back to work as early as Friday night.
The new agreement includes a wage increases and lump-sum payments, plus an $11,000 signing bonus. As part of the deal, GM will close three U.S. factories. The 40-day strike cost the automaker more than $2 billion.
The union is expected to negotiate with Ford next, followed by Fiat Chrysler. The two companies agreed to contract extensions so the UAW could concentrate on talks with GM. The GM contract will serve as a template for negotiations with the other Detroit automakers.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer said, “This is good news for our working families and our economy. Michiganders are some of the hardest working people in this country, and they deserve to be treated with respect. I was proud to stand with the UAW as they negotiated for more American jobs, better wages, and good benefits, and my administration is committed to continuing our work to close the skills gap and protect hardworking Michigan families.”