DETROIT -- General Motors' worker Adarrey "Ace" Humphrey was blindsided Sunday. That's when his life changed.
Humphrey, 27, has been a part-time temporary worker at GM's Flint Assembly for the last three years. Sunday morning, he and about 250 of his co-workers crowded into UAW Local 598's union hall. Most thought they were there for a routine meeting.
But when the local's president stepped to the mic, the room listened in awed silence.
"He said, 'As of tomorrow, you guys are full-time seniority employees of GM,' " said Humphrey. "There was a gasp in the room for a few seconds. Some of us thought he misspoke. Then, we had to say, 'No, we heard him right!' It was amazing."
On Monday, GM made about 930 temporary workers permanent full-time employees at 30 of its 52 UAW-represented facilities in the United States. There are more to come in the months ahead, it said.
Union documents show that at Flint, where GM builds its heavy-duty pickups, 255 temps became permanent. At Lansing Delta Township, where GM builds its midsize SUVS, it hired 103 temps. At GM's smaller plants such as Bedford Casting Operations in Indiana, 17 temps are now permanent.
Ford Motor Co. also moved 592 temps to permanent full-time on Monday, the UAW said, and will do more conversions of temps next month. But Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is still working to implement its temporary worker conversions, said the UAW.
The action is in keeping with the terms struck in the 2019 four-year UAW contract that GM union members ratified in October after a 40-day nationwide strike. In it, temporary workers who gain at least three years of service will convert to permanent status starting this year. Their new wages are $21 to $24 an hour. Ford and FCA union members ratified their new contracts with similar terms.
Still, thousands remain temporary workers at GM facilities and their chance of reaching permanent status is long and uncertain.