Clouds Still Loom Over GM Labour Situation

The United Auto Workers strike will continue through at least Friday as members vote on the union’s tentative deal with General Motors (NYSE:GM), but there’s no guarantee the work stoppage will end once all the votes have been tallied.

If the proposal to GM is rejected, the union’s roughly 48,000 workers would be expected to remain on picket lines, adding to the automaker’s roughly $2 billion in losses over the work stoppage and increasing the financial burden on workers.

The UAW won several financial gains for members, including annual lump-sum bonuses or raises and $11,000 ratification bonuses, but it also agreed to not block the company’s plans to close four U.S. facilities, including three plants and a parts distribution center.

Thousands of members of those affected facilities are somewhat cool to the deal, adding to what was already expected to be a contentious vote amid a federal investigation into union corruption and the more than month-long strike.

But experts on both sides of the labour fence have expressed confidence the workers will accept the pact. Said Bank of America Merrill Lynch's John Murphy, "considering the length of the strike, the hard stances between the parties, and the substantial back-and-forth during the negotiation process, we believe ratification is likely in the next week or so.”

But, as heretofore mentioned, adding to the tension is an ongoing federal investigation into corruption of the UAW that has targeted its highest-ranking officials, including former union President Dennis Williams and current President Gary Jones. Neither has been charged with a crime; however, federal agents raided both their homes in August.