General Motors Union Members Approve New Contract

Members of the United Automobile Workers union at General Motors have ratified a tentative contract in a closely contested vote. The contract had the support of 55 percent of the nearly 36,000 members voting. However, majorities at several large G.M. factories voted against the agreement. Tentative agreements with Ford and Stellantis appear headed for approval by wider margins, nearly complete results there show.

The agreements are similar across the three automakers and raise the top wage for production workers 25 percent, to more than $40 over four and a half years, from $32. They were reached last month after a six-week wave of strikes that hobbled the companies — a strategy spearheaded by the union’s new president, Shawn Fain.

The votes suggest greater opposition to the deals than workers have expressed in votes that ended prominent contract fights in other industries this year. Members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters recently approved a new contract at United Parcel Service with 86 percent support, while a new contract between the Writers Guild of America and Hollywood studios passed with 99 percent support.

Across the three automakers, opposition to the agreements arose in large part from veteran workers who felt that the proposed contracts did not go far enough to compensate them for years of concessions and weak wage growth, even as the contracts brought strong gains for newer workers.

Several longtime employees of the Big Three automakers said that even after the large gains of the new contract, they would not be making more than when they started their careers.

Curtis March, who works at Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant, said he made about $18 an hour once he reached the top wage for production workers at the company in 1990, equivalent to more than $41 today after adjusting for inflation. He will make about $36 in the first year of the new contract.

Mr. March said the deal was likely to pass at Ford because it placated more recent employees who outnumber veterans like him.

Sophia Lada contributed reporting.

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