2003 Uaw-Gm National Agreement
NEW YORK (CNN/Money) – General Motors Corp. and united Auto Workers announced a new labor contract Thursday morning, concluding three new interim labor pacts for the country`s major automakers. Details of the new pact were not immediately available. The old four-year contract expired Sunday, but GM employees remained in service as the world`s largest automaker and the union continued discussions. There are 115,000 active UAW members at GM and 340,000 retirees and surviving family members who are covered by the labor pacts, making it one of the largest employment contracts in the country. The UAW agreements authorize the closure or sale of more than a dozen U.S. plants and thousands of job cuts. But the union has earned moderate gains on wages and benefits, according to a summary of the Chrysler contract obtained by Reuters, which is expected to reflect financial conditions for the GM and Ford contracts. The agreements were reached in a difficult environment for the U.S. auto industry, with buyers demanding greater incentives to purchase, overcapacity in global auto production and increased market share gains for Asian automakers, which are increasingly producing vehicles in non-unionized U.S.
plants. The union had received 17% of pension benefits during the duration of its four-year contracts. But the stock market`s decline and the low-interest environment have since led to multi-billion-euro deficits in pension plans and hurt carmakers` profits. “I think companies are coming out with a contract they can live with, but not with a bigger reduction in their employment costs,” said Analyst David Healy of Burnham Securities. “Over the past five days, we have completed negotiations with five of the world`s largest automakers,” UAW President Ron Gettelfinger said at a news conference on Thursday. “That`s five out of five. What they do and how they do it affects everyone in one way or another in the world. The Chrysler Pact would also increase a significant pension benefit by about 9 percent over the next four years, less than some Wall Street analysts had predicted. UAW negotiators agreed on Monday on number 2 Ford Motor Co.
(F: Research, Estimates) and No. 3 Chrysler Group, the North American unit of DaimlerChrysler AG (DCX: Research, Estimates), as well as parts supplier Visteon Corp. (VC: Research, Estimates), a former Ford unit. Chrysler`s contract summary shows that the salary package for active employees includes a $3,000 signing bonus, a lump sum payment for the second year and salary increases of between 2 and 3 percent for the third and fourth years. Contracts with the five automotive groups, all subject to rank and file authorization, involve approximately 760,000 active and retired workers and their spouses.