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UAW got a good deal from GM, labor leaders, experts say

Jamie L. LaReau, Detroit Free Press on

Published in Automotive News

DETROIT -- Many labor experts and union leaders say the UAW got a good deal from General Motors and expect union members to ratify it.

In the meantime, about 46,000 workers will remain on strike while they learn about the tentative agreement and vote through next week.

"It's a good agreement," one UAW local leader said last week. "No, they couldn't get guaranteed product, but you can't always get guarantees because the market is going to dip. If they don't ratify it, they're foolish."

Here are manufacturing wins listed in the agreement:

-- Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant: Electric truck and van assembly, including assembly of battery modules. It is approximately a $3 billion investment and 2,225 new jobs at full volume.

-- Warren, Mich., Tech Center: A new vehicle program, $200 million investment and retention of approximately 75 jobs.


-- Lansing (Mich.) Delta and Spring Hill, Tenn., assembly plants: Next generation midsize SUV assembly; $1 billion, 5,000 jobs.

-- $2 billion investment in U.S. plant refurbishment

Even though the union lost its effort to keep Lordstown Assembly Plant in Ohio open, labor experts said Detroit-Hamtramck staying open is a big win for the UAW. Those plants were targeted for shutdown in a GM announcement in November, along with a Toronto-area factory and transmission plants in Warren and Baltimore.

"To have your technological work on advanced vehicles being so close to the GM Tech Center in Warren, absent the UAW that wouldn't happen," said Harley Shaiken, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley who specializes in labor. "GM is putting as much as $3 billion into Detroit-Hamtramck. That's a major gain."


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