by Richard Ward
After five weeks of intense negotiations, today in an official announcement in Detroit, the UAW GM national negotiators and UAW GM Vice President Terry Dittes announced the achievement of a proposed tentative agreement with General Motors.
The elected national negotiators voted to recommend the UAW GM National Council accept the proposed tentative agreement as the agreement represents major gains for UAW workers.
Details of the tentative agreement were not disclosed. The strike was called just one month and a day ago on Sept, 15. UAW Local 31 members have maintained a strike line around the clock since then.
The striking workers at the Fairfax Assembly Plant have received encouragement and support from several local politicians and civic groups. Strike benefits were recently increased from $250 a week to $275.
“The number one priority of the national negotiation team has been to secure a strong and fair contract that our members deserve,” said UAW Vice President Terry Dittes, director of the UAW GM Department. “Out of respect for our members, we will refrain from commenting on the details until the UAW GM leaders gather together and receive all details.
“We are extremely grateful to the thousands of Americans who donated goods and helped our striking workers and their families. As we await the council’s decision, please know that the outpouring of community and national support will be etched in the memories of all of us at the UAW for years to come,” Dittes said.
“The dignity, grace, and solidarity demonstrated by our members during the last few weeks are prime examples of what this union is all about — supporting one another in the good and bad times and never giving up,” UAW President Gary Jones said.
“Our more than 48,000 members standing their ground have captured the hearts and minds of people across this country. I could not be prouder of our brothers and sisters, our national negotiators, and the National Council as they continue to fight one day longer to secure the best deal for our members,” Jones said.
On Sept. 15, the UAW GM National Council voted to strike. The UAW GM National Council will meet and review details on Oct. 17, 2019, in a private meeting, at which time they will vote on whether to recommend it to the full UAW-GM membership for ratification.
According to the UAW statement, until the council reviews and votes to approve the proposed tentative agreement the strike will continue. During the Oct. 17 meeting, the council will decide whether to continue the strike until ratification concludes or to stop the strike at the time of the council’s approval of the agreement.
Once the UAW National GM Council votes to approve the proposed tentative agreement, the contract language will become a tentative agreement and shared with the full membership.
Ultimately, the agreement will not be ratified until UAW-GM membership across the U.S. votes to approve it.