General Motor’s four-year deal will now be used as a template in bargaining with crosstown rival Ford Motor, the union’s choice for the next round of bargaining, followed by Fiat Chrysler.
“We can confirm the UAW today notified Ford it plans to negotiate with us next,” Ford said in a statement. “As America’s No. 1 producer of vehicles and largest employer of UAW-represented autoworkers, we look forward to reaching a fair agreement that helps Ford enhance its competitiveness and preserve and protect good-paying manufacturing jobs.”
A contentious 40-day strike that crippled GM’s U.S. production came to an end Friday as workers approved a new contract with the company.
|GM||GENERAL MOTORS COMPANY||36.74||+0.92||+2.57%|
|F||FORD MOTOR COMPANY||8.72||+0.12||+1.40%|
|FCAU||FIAT CHRYSLER AUTOMOBILES N.V.||13.13||-0.04||-0.30%|
GM workers voted 57.2 percent in favor of the pact, passing it with a vote of 23,389 to 17,501, the union said in a statement.
Many voted against the deal because it still has several different pay scales for workers doing the same jobs.
Temporary workers can get permanent jobs after two or three years depending on their start dates, but they start at the bottom of a pay scale, so people doing the same work can end up at different pay rates.
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The deal also includes a mix of wage increases and lump-sum payments and an $11,000 signing bonus. But it allows GM to close three U.S. factories, a point of contention for many of the 42.8 percent of workers who voted no.
The new contract is expected to add roughly $350 million in annual labor costs by the end of the contract according to a note from Barclays analyst Brian Johnson reported by the Wall Street Journal.
That kind of labor-cost inflation may be tougher for Ford and Fiat Chrysler to absorb.
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Although GM dealers had stocked up on vehicles before the strike and many still have decent supplies, analysts say GM won’t be able to make up for the lost production. Had the strike been shorter, GM could have increased assembly line speeds and worked the plants on overtime to catch up and refill its stock.
But many of the plants that make popular SUVs and pickup trucks already were working around the clock to keep up with demand before the strike began.
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Also, companies that supply parts to the factories and halted production during the strike will need time to restart, although GM has some parts in stock.
FOX Business‘ Evie Fordham, Thomas Barrabi and the Associated Press contributed to this article.