Local UAW rep. optimistic for GM agreement ratification

UAW Local 1714 President Robert Morales is optimistic about a tentative agreement reached between UAW and General Motors on Oct. 28, 2015.
UAW Local 1714 President Robert Morales

DETROIT, Michigan (WKBN) – United Auto Workers members will have significant wage increases, signing bonuses and improved health care under the new tentative agreement with General Motors, approved during a meeting Wednesday in Detroit.

The tentative agreement secures investments in 12 different sites and creates or retains 3,300 jobs over the contract period, adding another $1.9 billion in commitments from GM, in addition to $6.4 billion in previously secured investments, according to a UAW news release.

It will now go before 52,600 UAW-GM members for a vote.

“I’m very impressed with our international union. I think they did a great job of securing issues in which the membership had spoken. They listened to the membership. They went and negotiated a great contract for our memberships,” said UAW Local 1714 President Robert Morales.

Morales, who was in Detroit on Wednesday for the announcement, said the deal included gains in job security, pay raises for all of our members across the board and a one-time lump sum bonus for retirees. Overall, he said he is really enthused.

Morales said language in the agreement states, “any products that you’re currently building in your plant will stay there. If there’s discussion on movements up and out, both sides need to sit down and agree on that.”

That is important to workers at General Motors Lordstown Complex who can rest assured that products will not be moved out of the facility without discussions between both sides.

Morales said at least $250 million was invested into the Lordstown plant, and he is excited about the Chevy Cruze and the next-generation Cruze to be built in Lordstown.

“You can have the best agreements out there, but if you don’t have job security and people working, it almost goes for none,” Morales said. “Because we understand that General Motors and the UAW – we contribute a lot to our communities, and we know the effect it has on the community.”

The next step in the process is a meeting with local membership in Lordstown this weekend to go over the agreement and answer any questions. A ratification vote is expected later next week.

“Once the membership gets an opportunity to read it, understand it, digest it, I believe the agreement is going to sell itself,” Morales said.

The total membership from UAW Local 1112 and 1714 in Lordstown represents roughly 4,500 workers.

The details of the tentative agreement include the following gains for UAW-GM members, according to the UAW news release:

  • Traditional Employees: All traditional members will receive a 3 percent wage increase for the first year, 4 percent lump sum in the second year, 3 percent wage increase in the third year and 4 percent lump sum for the last year. Traditional employees will receive an $8,000 signing bonus upon ratification.
  • In-Progression Employees: The bargaining committee secured a clear path for in-progression members to achieve traditional wages. All in-progression employees are moved to traditional health care plan. In-progression employees will receive an $8,000 signing bonus upon ratification.
  • Temporary Employees: The Tentative Agreement includes a lump sum payment of $2,000 for active, temporary employees who have worked at least 90 days prior to the effective date. Temporary employees will receive wage increases and a health care plan.
  • SAP of $60,000: The agreement includes a $60,000 bonus for up to 4,000 eligible production employees who retire between Feb. 1 and May 1, 2016, as determined under the normal and early retirement provisions of the national agreement.
  • Appendix “A” Rights: Appendix “A” rights will include in-progression employees with two years of seniority as well as eligible in-progression and traditional employees at GMCH, Davidson Rd. and Westchester

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