GM labor deal heads toward UAW vote

Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:40am EDT
 
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By Bernie Woodall and David Bailey

DETROIT (Reuters) - About 48,500 General Motors Co workers at U.S. factories will begin considering the details of a proposed four-year contract on Tuesday that represents the first labor deal for the automaker since its 2009 bailout by the Obama administration.

Local leaders from the United Auto Workers union are scheduled to meet on Tuesday in Detroit to review and approve the deal, which will then be sent to a ratification vote by GM workers expected to be completed within a week.

That clears the way for UAW President Bob King to turn to Chrysler Group LLC, the smallest of the Detroit automakers, where contract talks broke off last week on the cusp of an expected agreement.

Chrysler Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne is expected to return to Detroit by Tuesday to resume talks with UAW President Bob King.

The GM deal is expected to provide a rough blueprint for contracts at Chrysler and Ford Motor Co, although total compensation at the companies is expected to differ more sharply than in the past.

Chrysler, which is controlled by Fiat SpA, has insisted that it hold the line near its current level of about $49 per hour in average wages and benefits. By contrast, GM and Ford are higher, at $56 per hour and $58 per hour respectively.

The UAW's four-year contracts with all three Detroit automakers expired last week. All three contracts were extended indefinitely as talks continued.

At stake are wages and benefits for about 112,500 unionized U.S. auto workers at GM, Chrysler and Ford, who have gone without a base pay increase since 2003.   Continued...