GM-UAW`s more than 48,000 employees, including 17,000 in Michigan, have been unemployed for 31 days, the longest national strike against GM since 1970. The work stoppage, which is not yet complete and could last another two weeks, likely cost automakers more than $1.5 billion in lost earnings and tens of thousands of workers affected by hundreds of millions of lost wages. About 200 local union leaders representing GM employees are expected in Detroit on Thursday for a National Council meeting to vote on the provisional agreement to join the UAW and the date of the end of the strike. The United Auto Workers` months-long strike against General Motors Co. could end after they reached a tentative deal wednesday to raise base wages, increase uncapped profit participation and other profits, although three U.S. plants are likely to be closed. The proposed interim agreement will be discussed Thursday by the National Council, nearly 200 union leaders who meet in Detroit at 10.30 .m Thursday. If they agree, an interim agreement will be formally submitted to the ratification of GM staff represented by the UAW. The Council should review all the details of the proposed preliminary agreement and then vote on whether to send the agreement to members, said Kristin Dziczek, vice president of industry, labor and economics at the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor. The Council will also decide whether members will remain on strike until a new treaty is ratified. If approved by the National Council, the proposal will officially become an interim agreement that will be subject to ratification by GM`s temporary workers.
The ratification is expected to last one to two weeks. Flint Assembly employee Tommy Wolikov said he was confident the proposed interim contract would be good, but that a key issue for him was to be able to ratify it if he guaranteed a new Mexican product. “It`s more painful, but perhaps more prudent to continue the strike, only in case it doesn`t ratify,” she said. “If members are not thought to vote by an overwhelming majority, they maintain their influence in the event of a strike while considering the provisional agreement.” The strike began at 12:01 p.m. .m 16 September; the proposed interim agreement was concluded on the 31st day of the strike. The strike is not over – the union`s GM National Council will vote on the proposal on Thursday and decide whether workers will be left on strike until they vote in favour of ratifying the agreement. The interim agreement comes after GM Chief Mary Barra and President Mark Reuss negotiated for the first time at the negotiating table on Tuesday morning. After more than a month on picket lines and pickets, many UAW members say their paperbacks hurt, they`re tired and they`re ready to go back to work, but they`re also determined to get a fair share of the billions GM has earned in recent years. The union and its members stated that health care, wages, job security and ensuring a way for temporary workers to achieve a permanent seniority unit are among their top priorities. Former lordstown Assembly employees showed up at the Renaissance Center on Thursday to express their displeasure with the proposed closure of the Ohio plant. About 200 local union officials voted on Thursday to end the strike after ratification. The UAW intends to have ballot papers on union premises by October 25.
The strike would have lasted 40 days. Voting will begin on Saturday. Local leaders of the UAW and the UAW National Council are expected to vote on the interim agreement on Thursday.