CHICAGO — General Motors' new agreement with the United Automobile Workers leaves the company free to carry out its announced plant closings but bars it from phasing out more factories for three years, according to a union summary of the agreement.
The UAW last week reached agreement on a new contract covering about 370,000 active and laid-off GM workers in a settlement that avoided a strike.
Members of the UAW GM Bargaining Council overwhelmingly approved the contract Monday, paving the way for a membership vote. Both supporters and opponents of the pact predicted that rank-and-file ratification would be relatively easy. The voting should be completed in about two weeks.
The major innovation in the contract is a $1.3-billion program of "secure employment levels" designed to slow GM's ability to shrink its work force and encourage recall of laid-off workers, the UAW summary said. GM will be barred from new indefinite worker layoffs but is allowed to lay off employees if vehicle sales slump.
The contract agreement is similar to the settlement the UAW reached last month that covered 104,000 workers at Ford.