General Motors reached a provisional settlement with the United Auto Workers Union on Wednesday for a new four-year worker deal, moving closer to ending a costly month-long strike that shut down GM’s most profitable plants in a test of wills over the future of U.S. auto industry jobs.
Neither the UAW nor GM revealed details of the agreement, which is subject to ratification by UAW members, a process that might last as long as two weeks. A brand new contract is expected to include commitments by the auto manufacturer to invest billions in U.S. automobile factories to build new generations of electric autos, as well as U.S. electric automobile battery plants. Union leaders fear that a shift to electric autos could cost thousands of jobs at engine and transmission plants.
The longest nationwide strike against a Detroit auto manufacturer since 1970 became a political event. Democratic presidential candidates joined UAW picket lines, eager to win union votes in Midwest swing states. For his part, U.S. President Donald Trump put a strain on GM Chief Executive Mary Barra before the strike to preserve jobs at an automobile plant in Lordstown, Ohio, that she had targeted for closure.
Trump spoke with Barra and UAW President Gary Jones on Wednesday, spokesmen for GM and the union affirmed. The White House refused to touch upon the talks.