Texas GM Workers Vote In Favor Of UAW Contract

The nearly 2,700 UAW members at Arlington, Texas, plant backed tentative labor agreement; final nationwide tally expected Wednesday.

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — United Auto Workers members at General Motors' truck assembly plant have voted in support of the tentative labor agreement between their union and the company.
 
The nearly 2,700 members of UAW Local 276 are among about 74,000 hourly GM workers who are voting on the pact, with a final tally to be done by Wednesday.
 
Production workers, who make up most of the local members, backed the proposal with 63 percent of the vote. Only 53 percent of skilled tradesmen supported it. Voting concluded late Sunday.
 
Shop Chairman Dwayne Humphries said union members understood the serious challenges facing GM.
 
''They were looking at the long-term future of the plant and the viability of the business,'' Humphries said.
 
The new contract was reached last month following a two-day nationwide strike by UAW workers, including dozens who held picket signs outside the Arlington assembly plant.
 
The tentative agreement requires GM to pay out at least $35 billion for retiree health care, establishes lower wages for thousands of new employees and offers an unprecedented number of promises for future work at U.S. plants.
 
UAW officials, in a summary of the contract, touted job security pledges won in the negotiations including commitments for new products at 16 assembly plants.
 
GM officials have said both sides benefit from the agreement and that it enables GM ''to close competitive gaps in our business.''
 
As part of the contract proposal, GM has agreed that the Arlington plant would continue to build the current generation of full-size sport utility vehicles through 2012 and would be assigned a new truck or SUV product to produce beginning in 2013.
 
Local union members had a week to consider the agreement after getting details on it from union representatives. Five representatives of the union's leadership met with local members in an informational meeting Saturday afternoon before the vote.
 
Humphries said union members ''had a lot of opportunities to ask questions'' and study the plan.
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