UAW workers approved the contract their union representatives hammered out with General Motors Corporation earlier today. This approval ends the strike that has shut down dozens of factories throughout the Midwest and the so-called Rust Belt since the beginning of September. The United Auto Workers used their UAW website to make the announcement this morning, bypassing the standard press conference or press release. When asked by reporters why the news was posted online without any previous warning, union officials said that it was deemed the best and quickest way to let members know that the strike was over and that they should expect to be back on their jobs by the beginning of next week. Of the approximately forty-one thousand union members who cast their vote, a fifty-seven percent majority voted in favor of the agreement.
The new contract guarantees full-time workers a top wage of thirty-two dollars an hour after four years of continuous employment and also updates and improves the ability of part-time workers to go full-time if they so wish, after a probationary period that is still to be determined between the union and GM management.
Health care benefits were not a major issue this time around, and so they were for the most part left unchanged. Union workers in American auto plants are already pegged as having the highest standard of health insurance available to workers nationwide.