LORDSTOWN - Members of United Auto Workers Local 1714 here approved the national contract proposal with GM Saturday with 57 percent of the vote.
"I'm glad it passed," UAW Local 1714 President Dave Green, said. "I'm particularly pleased with the fact that GM is bringing jobs back to the United States from Mexico, that our younger, second tier workers are getting wage increases and our members are getting unlimited doctor visits with $25 payments when they have to go to the doctor."
Local 1714 represents about 1,450 workers at the GM Lordstown West Metal Center, which along with East assembly plant makes the Chevrolet Cruze.
Earlier this month, General Motors Co. and the UAW reached a tentative four-year contract agreement. The deal promises news jobs and car production in the U.S., a top union concern. It also offers buyouts for more expensive, longtime union workers.
Under the deal, GM's union workers get a $5,000 signing bonus and profit-sharing checks that will likely exceed the $4,300 workers received this year. Longtime workers won't get a pay raise, helping GM contain costs. But entry-level workers will get raises of up to 24 percent during the contract's four years.
The proposal did not sit well with Jim Killebrew.
"I voted against the contract," Killebrew said. "I felt if they got this, the negotiators could have gotten more."
Killebrew said the incentives for eligible production workers to retire could have been better.
"Incentives for production workers are about $10,000, while the incentives for skilled trade workers are up $65,000," he said.
James Pitzer, a 30-year employee at the plant, said the contract is better than he expected.
"We will get through this one and, hopefully, we will be able to get a better one next time," Pitzer said.
Robert Morales, vice president of Local 1714, called the national contract fair.
"General Motors is profitable and has gotten a lot from its workers and now it is giving some back to us," he said. "We are gaining some benefits."
Nick Waun was parked on the entrance of the union hall, passing out a document expressing members they should not support the national contract proposal.
"It does not do enough to reverse the Tier II separation," Waun said about the pay gap between newer and older workers. "It does nothing to give them a way to graduate to the top tier."
He also was concerned that the contract does not restore the cost of living adjustment, saying every year the C.O.L.A. is not restored, workers lose money.
Waun, a member of UAW Local 1112, is also part of the Detroit-based organization called the Autoworker Caravan, which is opposed to the contract.
Members of United Auto Workers Local 1112 at the GM Lordstown Complex East assembly plant will get details of the national labor agreement at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. today at the Metroplex Hotel and Conference Center in Liberty, according to the union website.
Local contract informational meetings will be held at 7:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday at the union hall in Jackson.
Ratification voting for both contracts will be held from 5 a.m. Tuesday until 5 a.m. Wednesday in the GM assembly plant at the Welcome Center, C-36 Team Center, A-4 Team Center and the paint shop. Voting will also take place at the union hall from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday.
Ballots will be counted immediately after polls close.