Government Motors will award union members a $5,000 signing bonus as part of a new four-year contract. The car company is still part-owned by the US Treasury. In fact, the U.S. Treasury still owns about 26% of GM’s shares.
The AP reported:
The United Auto Workers union won $5,000 signing bonuses and the possibility of sweeter profit-sharing checks as part of a new four-year contract with General Motors Co., two people briefed on the talks said Saturday.
The deal, which was reached late Friday, also includes a $2- to $3-per-hour pay raise for entry-level workers over the life of the contract and guarantees more union jobs, the people said. Both persons asked to remain anonymous because the details of the contract haven’t been reviewed by all local union leaders.
The GM deal will serve as a template for contracts that still must be negotiated with Chrysler Group LLC and Ford Motor Co. It would set the pay and benefits for 112,500 U.S. auto workers. It also sets the bar for pay and benefits at nonunion auto companies and other industries across the country.
The contract is the first since GM and Chrysler received government bailouts to make it through bankruptcy protection in 2009. GM earned $4.7 billion last year. Workers have to approve the deal before it can take effect. A vote is expected within 10 days…
…The union hoped to show that it can work cooperatively with auto companies as it tries to unionize U.S. factories owned by Nissan Motor Co., Volkswagen AG and other foreign automakers. King said the union remains committed to organizing those plants.
“As long as unionized workers are being forced to compete with nonunion workers who in most cases receive lower pay and benefits — many in temporary jobs — there will continue to be a downward pressure on the wages and benefits of all auto workers,” he said in a statement. Also watching closely is the White House.
GM received a $49.5 billion government bailout two years ago and is still part-owned by the U.S. Treasury. An agreement that is favorable to GM could help the company’s stock rise, which would get the Treasury closer to making back the money it is owed when it sells its remaining shares.