After a brief two-day strike in late September, United Auto Workers (UAW) negotiators signed a preliminary agreement with General Motors. In early October, members began voting on the proposed contract on the field in order to meet an October 10 deadline. The Rank-and-Filers, who are concerned about many of the givebacks listed below, have launched a no-vote campaign. National Auto Strike Leaves Lingering Questions, October 2007. VIEWPOINT: Former UAW leaders say no to GM-UAW agreement, October 2007 Web Exclusive. Car manufacturers push the VEBA solution to the crisis in the sector, September 2007. • Cost-of-living wage increases (COLA) are diverted to cover the inflation costs of health care for working workers. • Another round of early retirement offers and buybacks could take place. This would further flush out senior executives, who still make up the majority of GM`s workforce. • the creation of a health fund or a voluntary agreement on workers` benefits (VEBA). The company will launch the $29.9 billion fund and hand it over to the union in 2010. Opponents note that veba may be underfunded, as it was created for UAW members at Caterpillar and Detroit Diesel.
• Minor increases in benefits for retirees, including lump sum premiums for each of the four years of contract. However, the increase in supplements in the health sector could eliminate it. UAW officials claim to have made profits in certain areas: • More than 3,000 GM temporary workers get tenure at the company and receive traditional salaries. • A wage freeze on the four years of contract. • New hires have access to a 401(k) instead of traditional pension benefits, higher health care supplements, and access to other traditional benefits acquired in previous contracts, such as for example. B a paid fourth week of July. • Two-tier wages and benefits for new hires in what the company and union define as “non-essential” jobs – those that often offer on the line after injuries or workers with more seniority after years. The category includes most of the unassembled workforce. New hires start between $14 and $14.61. • Up to 20 backstop payments of $165 million to VEBA by GM if the fund “should not be sufficient to provide the current level of performance for at least 25 years” from the required payment.
• a commitment to “job security” and a “moratorium” on outsourcing and plant closures. . . .