Less than 24 hours after striking General Motors, a Canadian workers union reached a tentative contract agreement with the Detroit automaker similar to the one it signed with Ford late last month. Meanwhile in South Korea, a Kia union put a temporary hold on a strike against that company.
The signs of union progress played out against the backdrop of strikes against all three big Detroit auto brands by the United Auto Workers in the Motor City that are nearing a month in duration.
In Canada, the Unifor union reached its preliminary deal with GM that involves more than 4,000 workers across three factories. It awaited a vote by union members for ratification.
That three-year agreement includes 20% and 25% hourly wage bumps for production and skilled trade jobs, respectively, and the resumption of a cost-of-living allowance starting next December.
Unifor National President Lana Payne said GM decided to bargain when faced with the shutdown of key manufacturing facilities. “General Motors had no choice but to get serious at the table and agree to the pattern,” she said in a statement, referring to the union’s agreement with Ford.
GM called it a “record agreement” and the wage increases “significant.”
In South Korea, the Kia workers union paused a partial strike against the automaker in its home base as talks resumed, Reuters reported.
The union had planned eight-hour and three-day strikes this month, Yonhap News Agency said. But it indicated it would suspend those plans to continue negotiations, Reuters reported. Its aims include wage hikes, a retirement-age increase and a four-day work week.
The workers union of Kia parent company Hyundai forged a new agreement with that company last month that includes a pay increase, bonus and other enhancements. It had also asked for a bump in the mandatory retirement age from 60 to 64, but Hyundai resisted that change.
Originally posted on Auto Dealer Today