United Auto Workers at General Motors’ Spring Hill plant narrowly defeated by 51 percent-49 percent a proposed national agreement for a new contract, the UAW Chapter 1853 announced Monday.
The workers have been on strike for more than one month, The Tennessee Journal: On the Hill reported. The vote was 1,673 against and 1,666 in favor. The ratification will be determined by the total UAW membership around the nation, with voting expected to be finished by Friday.
UAW members nationwide are demanding job security, more healthcare benefits and a path to permanency for temporary workers, Williamson Home Page said. On October 16, UAW and GM leaders reached a tentative agreement to remove profit-sharing payout caps, provide a path to permanency for temporary workers and wage increases. Healthcare coverage changes were not included.
Chapter 1853’s vote is a setback for GM, Bloomberg reported. Arndt Ellinghorst, an analyst at Evercore ISI, wrote that there is now some doubt over whether the deal can be approved by Friday despite it offering 3 percent raises and $11,000 signing bonuses.
While the UAW also managed to keep their generous health-care benefits intact and secure commitments for the company to invest $7.7 billion in U.S. plants, some workers are upset GM intends to follow through with plans to close three factories at a time when it’s earning near-record profits.
As the strike rolls on, union members report feeling a financial pinch.
Chapter 1853 said President Tim Stannard received a call on Saturday, October 12 from the International UAW that UAW GM workers’ strike pay will increase to $275 per week. Also, the United Way planned a job fair for striking workers.
Meanwhile, tragedy struck the striking workers on Tuesday.
A UAW worker was hit and killed crossing the street outside the plant, News Channel 5 reported. UAW International and Columbia Police identified the member as 55-year-old Roy A. McCombs, of Columbia. Police say McCombs was not actively picketing at the actual moment of the crash and was attempting to cross the roadway near the picket line.
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