KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Local UAW members began voting to approve or reject a new labor contract with General Motors on Monday.
After six weeks of nationwide strikes, UAW negotiators reached a tentative agreement with GM at the end of October. Now, it’s up to employees across the country to decide if the offer is enough.
“I know it’s been a long time coming trying to get back what we lost,” a maintenance worker at the GM Fairfax Plant, Tim Hill, said.
He’s worked at the Kansas City, Kansas, plant for nearly 3 decades and says workers and their families deserve more than what they’ve been getting.
“I’ve been at GM for 26 years, and I know that working on the line is not easy,” Hill said. “And I’ve always just felt like they should be making more money than they were making.”
The union did not call workers at the Fairfax Plant to strike, but many employees were laid off in September due to strikes causing a shortage of parts.
The tentative agreement includes a 25 percent pay raise over the next four years and an immediate 11 percent raise in 2023.
The contract also includes cost of living adjustments and 391 million dollars to update the Fairfax Plant to allow for electric vehicle production.
“This is what we fought for,” Local UAW 31 President Dontay Wilson said. “You work for someone for 30 years with the hopes of retirement.”
“You know, your body’s broken up, and your hope is that you can make that 30-year process as safe and as tolerable as humanly possible, right? You give someone that much time and energy and it takes a toll on your body.”
Wilson says the Local UAW 31 will know the results from Monday’s vote within a day or two, while the final vote across the country might take longer.
If a majority of UAW members don’t vote to pass the contract, negotiations and strikes could resume.