Following updates on day 31 — GM strike

Brian Kersey  General Motors via AP File

General Motors and the United Auto Workers have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract, and the union will decide Thursday whether to continue a more than month-long strike while the deal is voted on by members.

The deal was hammered out Wednesday but it won't immediately end the strike by more than 49,000 workers.

According to the union, until the UAW GM Council votes to approve the proposed tentative agreement, the strike will continue.

GM management, on the other hand, sees UAW wages as 26% higher than the average for non-union auto factories in the Southern United States.

"The word I'm hearing mostly is "finally, '" said Flavio Volpe, president of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers" Association. "Additional details will be provided at the appropriate time", the statement said.

While ratification is traditionally a given once two sides reach an agreement, Volpe and his members aren't letting their guard down yet.

The deal remains subject to approval by UAW leaders and its members. That's weighing on his mind.

The deal is a big step forward in ending the 31-day strike, but doesn't necessarily mean the labor stoppage is over.

"People are calling this a generational strike".

The longest nationwide strike against a Detroit automaker since 1970 became a political event.

The deal now will be used as a template for talks with GM's crosstown rivals, Ford and Fiat Chrysler. There were no strike-related layoffs at the CAMI plant in Ingersoll.

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"They're located in low-wage areas, and they pay well", he said.

"It could be a few hours for some places".

In past years, it's taken a minimum of three or four days and as long as several weeks for the national ratification vote. GM also proposed 3% pay raises in the second and fourth year of the four-year-contract and 3% and 4% lump sum payments in the first and fourth year respectively.

Eight other people, including five UAW officials, have been convicted over the past two years of looting a jointly run Fiat Chrysler-UAW training center for blue-collar workers.

"Everybody lost out on this". Two-thirds of the workforce at GM's St. Catharines Engine Plant was also laid off. "I just hope it gets done", he said. It wasn't clear which company the union would bargain with next, or whether there would be another strike.

The company wanted to reduce labor costs so they're closer to USA factories run by foreign automakers.

On Saturday, The United Auto Workers International Executive Board voted to increase the strike pay to $275, which took effect on Sunday. Many GM dealers reported still healthy inventories of vehicles even with the strike. Some workers on the picket lines have said they may not vote for the first offer.

The union has also been fighting to stop GM from closing vehicle assembly plants in OH and MI, which the company has said were necessary in response to a slowdown in auto sales. The UAW made a counter offer to GM on Friday.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump's trade war with China and his tariffs on imported steel and aluminum have raised costs for auto companies. A revamped North American free trade deal is stalled in Congress, raising doubts about the future of America's trade in autos and auto parts with Canada and Mexico, which past year came to $257 billion.

Workers will get enhanced health care at no extra cost.

Wages, job security and the status of temporary employees have been some of the primary issues at the center of talks on a new, four-year contract since workers walked off the job September 16.

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