General Motors union workers have ratified a historic deal with the United Auto Workers despite challenges in the voting process.
Though big assembly plants in Detroit rejected the pact, support from smaller facilities and select assembly plants secured the agreement’s passage.
A crucial swing in voting at a Texas SUV plant led to the result.
Initial doubts arose when seven of GM’s 11 US assembly plants rejected the deal on Wednesday, November 15.
However, a turnaround in voting outcomes bolstered the deal’s chances of ratification.
According to the UAW’s vote tracker, 54.7 percent of nearly 36,000 autoworkers at GM voted in favor, with 19,683 supporting and 16,274 opposing the deal.
GM and the UAW refrained from commenting on the results until their finalization.
Meanwhile, voting on similar contracts at Ford Motor and Stellantis continues.
The union said approximately 67 percent of unionized workers supported each deal on Thursday morning (November 16).
GM’s narrower voting margin can be attributed in part to the demographic composition of its workforce.
The automaker has a higher percentage of traditional workers expressing dissatisfaction with wage increases than newer hires.
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Despite discontent over pension contributions and retirement benefits, the ratified deal brings significant economic gains.
GM offers 25 percent pay increases, job security provisions for union ranks, and opportunities for organizing efforts at nonunion automakers in the US.
While the UAW and President Shawn Fain celebrate these gains, the contracts signal the upper limits of forecasted increases in labor costs for the companies and their investors.
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Ford’s CFO, John Lawler, expects an additional $850 to $900 in costs per vehicle assembled if the UAW deal is ratified.
He said the company will find productivity and cost reductions to offset these increases and deliver profitability targets.