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5,000+ members of UAW Local 598 vote on proposed GM contract



FLINT (WJRT) (10/23/2019) – The largest group of United Auto Workers voted on the proposed General Motors contract on Wednesday.

More than 5,000 members of UAW Local 598 voted on proposed GM contract at Union City Fields in Flint.

The more than 5,000 members of the largest local UAW Local 598 in Flint voted yes or no to the tentative agreement at Union City Fields. The vote was completed at 6 pm

UAW requires a simple majority to approve the contract. Each local has one vote and forwards the results to the UAW International office, which combines all the totals.

The votes of local 598 members may have a significant impact on the national total for all UAW members at GM facilities. Finance Secretary Chad Fabbro said the membership in Local 598 is about the size of three or four other GM facilities combined.

"The company, everyone looks at us today and what we do and how it's going to affect tomorrow and the results on Friday," he said. "I'm pretty confident right now with the way we've rolled out this and the feedback we've received."

Members did not show much emotion as they came and departed from the ballot boxes.

Some workers said they were insecure, some said they are for it and some are against it. Some union members thought the deal was good for temporary workers while others disagreed.

For RJ Hamilton, he said the vote was a no-brainer. He voted "yes" because to him there is much to give and not necessarily much to take from GM's part ̵

1; and as the saying goes, money talks.

"That's exactly what they knew most people would say yes to is a lot of money, especially after going to work for a month," Hamilton said. "They did a great job of getting an idea for the temps and how long they will be temps and for the actual employment status of General Motors."

He is also pleased to hear that the profit-sharing height has now been raised.

"If we have $ 32 billion a year, we get a $ 32,000 check. I don't see that happening anytime soon, but it's possible," Hamilton said. "And in the next four years, if that happens, we will reap the benefits."

He also liked the lack of changes in workers' health insurance benefits, although costs continue to rise nationally.

"It's always going to be more expensive for us and the fact that we managed to keep the same and keep the same coverage, actually added a few more things to it, that's a small gain in itself," Hamilton said.

If the proposed contract passes, he is also looking forward to the $ 11,000 ratification bonus to replace lost revenue during the 38 days of the strike.

"It's very loud because we've been in work for so long, so they tried to negate all the money we lost with it," Hamilton said.

Having been part of the negotiations for the past 12 years, Fabbro knows that the tentative agreement will not please everyone. He said the negotiation process is a lot to give and take, but he wants his members to be as informed as possible.

Local 598 learned about the details of the proposed contract during three information meetings at The Whiting on Tuesday.

"We have spent a lot of time dissecting the negotiations and explaining things as best we can, because these people have to live with the contract for the next four years, so it affects many people's lives – not just the lives here, but also the lives of the community ours, "said Fabbro.

The UAW has set a deadline until 1 p.m. 16 Friday to complete all voting. So far, the proposed contract has had mixed results around the country.

Local 1853 from Spring Hill, Tenn., Assembly facility, one of the UAW's largest with more than 3,000 members, voted rather to reject the contract at 51% to 49%.

Local 160, which represents workers at the Warren Technical Center in Macomb County, supported the overwhelming agreement with 84% of members who voted "yes."

However, Local 1097 in Rochester, NY, overwhelmingly overcame the agreement with 83% of members who voted "no."


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