November 10 Tentative labor agreement between United Auto Workers and General Motors includes jobs and significant wage increases for the General Motors Components Holdings plant.
According to an information package detailing the tentative agreement and published by the UAW, “sufficient work” has been secured at the GMCH plant to “employ at least 150 people.” According to the information package, this level of employment will start within one year of ratification and for the entire duration of the employment contract.
The plant employed less than 100 workers before the strike and has seen a steady decline in employment for decades.
The type of work is not detailed, but the GMCH plant, located at 2603 S. Goyer Road, produces a variety of automotive electronic components, including engine control modules, body control modules, transmission control modules and airbag sensor diagnostic modules. GMCH is a subsidiary of General Motors and was established in 2009 as part of the bankruptcy proceedings of both Delphi Automotive and General Motors.
In addition to more work, the agreement also provides for significant pay increases for GMCH employees, and all GMCH employees will be covered by the UAW master contract.
“We brought CCA (customer vehicles and aftersales), GMCH, Subsystems and Brownstown (Brownstown battery assembly plant) to the main field,” UAW president Shawn Fain said in a YouTube video showing the tentative agreement with GM.
Fain said some GMCH employees will receive an immediate 89% pay increase upon ratification.
According to the union, starting wages at GMCH plants, which include the Kokomo plant; Grand Rapids, Michigan; and Lockport and Rochester, New York will increase from $16.25 per hour to $25.12 per hour, a 55% increase.
The time it takes for an employee to achieve top pay will also be reduced from eight to three years. The top wage also increased to $35.88 per hour. The deal also includes a $5,000 signing bonus and an annual cost-of-living raise.
UAW retirees and surviving spouses will receive $500 annually for the life of the contract.
“This contract will change the lives of thousands of people overnight,” Fain said.
A message seeking comment left for UAW Local 292, which represents workers at the GMCH plant in Kokomo, was not returned Thursday. On Thursday evening, Local 292 posted on its Facebook page that its members had voted to ratify the labor agreement by a 77% to 23% vote.
General Motors, through its subsidiary Delco Electronics Corporation, was once one of Howard County’s largest employers, employing tens of thousands of people manufacturing car radios and other dashboard electronics.
Earlier this year, Fain, a Kokomo native whose grandparents were hired to work for GM in the 1940s, visited the GMCH plant in Kokomo. In a video posted on the UAW’s official YouTube channel, Fain criticized GM for the decline in employment and work in Kokomo.
“This is just another example in a long list of failures by GM and the Big Three companies that show how little they care about workers and the communities in which we live,” he said.
Tyler Juranovich can be reached at 765-454-8577, by email at email@example.com or on Twitter at @tylerjuranovich.
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