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UAW 'Squeezes Every Last Dime' Out of GM in Strike Talks

Oct. 30, 2023
Record pay raises, equal pay across GM and its subsidiaries, even retiree payments are part of tentative agreement.

The United AutoWorkers and General Motors confirmed late Monday that they reached a tentative agreement that includes record pay increases, a labyrinthine wage tier system replaced with equal wages across the board, equal pay and benefits for workers at GM electric vehicle subsidiaries and even retiree payments and pay raises for salaried workers.

“We were relentless in our fight to win a record contract, and that is exactly what we have accomplished,” said UAW President Shawn Fain in a Facebook Live speech on Monday afternoon. He later added: “We are bringing this tentative agreement to you because we wholeheartedly believe that our strike squeezed every last dime out of General Motors.”

The GM and the UAW agreement suspends a six-week strike that most recently included a walkout at GM's Spring Hill, Tennessee, plant on Sunday. Ford Motor Co. and Stellantis were also part of the "Stand-up Strike" that targeted select plants at all three automakers, but reached tentative agreements with the union a few days earlier.  

Earlier UAW negotiations coverage:

Of the Detroit 3, differences in wage tiers were the most dramatic at GM, with different divisions of the company and a few outlying plants under different union contracts. Paychecks at the historically lower-paid GM divisions will increase by as much as 89% on ratification. Temporary workers will convert to full-time seniority workers after 90 days of work, and will see immediate raises of 51% to 115%, depending on their years of service.

“I don’t care if you build combustion engines or electric vehicle batteries,” said Fain. “These workers make these vehicles and this company run. And they will be recognized and compensated justly for it.”

More UAW negotiations coverage:

In a statement issued late Thursday afternoon, GM Chair and CEO Mary Barra said, “GM is pleased to have reached a tentative agreement with the UAW that reflects the contributions of the team while enabling us to continue to invest in our future and provide good jobs in the U.S. We are looking forward to having everyone back to work across all of our operations, delivering great products for our customers and winning as one team.

Provisions in the new GM contract, which UAW workers will vote on in the coming weeks, include:

  • A 25% increase in base wages through April 2028
  • A 33% increase in the top wage with cost-of-living adjustments, to over $42 per hour
  • A 70% increase in starting wages with COLA, to over $30 per hour
  • GM salaried workers receive a general wage increase equivalent to hourly workers—a practice not seen since the 1990s.
  • UAW workers at Ultium Cells and GM Subsystems will be under the same master contract and receive the same wages and benefits as GM production workers.
  • Current retirees and surviving spouses each receive $2,500, spread over five payments.

“They underestimated us,” Fain told the rank-and-file.  “They underestimated you. These corporations had no idea what was coming for them. And they have no idea what’s next.” 

Main photo: UAW President Shawn Fain, left, and UAW Vice President for General Motors Mike Booth spoke to UAW members on Facebook Live on Monday after reaching a tentative agreement with GM.

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About the Author

Laura Putre | Senior Editor, IndustryWeek

I work with IndustryWeek's contributors and report on leadership and the automotive industry as they relate to manufacturing. Got a story idea? Reach out to me at [email protected]


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