Union members at General Motors plants in several states have voted to reject a tentative contract between United Auto Workers (UAW) and GM.
According to the UAW’s vote tracker, union members at GM plants in Spring Hill, Tennessee and Lansing/Delta Township, Michigan voted against the proposed deal, as did workers at GM plants in Toledo, Ohio and Tonawanda, New York.
On Monday, UAW members at several plants in Kentucky rejected the tentative agreement between the union and Ford Motors.
The UAW reached its tentative deals with each of the automakers separately, so each is voted on separately. One or more could fail to pass while another is ratified; they’re not contingent on one another. The 45-day UAW strike against the Big Three began at midnight on September 15 and ended October 30 with tentative GM and Stellantis deals following a Ford deal the week prior.
According to auto industry experts and UAW members who spoke with CNBC, there are a variety of reasons driving union workers to vote against the contracts. Some workers are reportedly worried about not receiving as much as newer employees under the terms of the deals, including retirement benefits. Others distrust UAW President Shawn Fain’s expectations regarding 40% pay raises, traditional pensions and retiree healthcare, as well as a 32-hour workweek.
Fain, who spoke Tuesday during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing, has repeatedly said UAW members will ultimately decide whether the deals are ratified.
Despite the handful of rejections, the deals that the UAW secured with all of the Big Three automakers were on track to pass ratification.
However, if members at one of the Big Three automakers vote down the agreement, UAW leaders will have to decide the next steps regarding whether to return to contract negotiations, or to initiate more strikes, or both.
At Tuesday’s Senate hearing Fain told the committee, “With recent success in the Big Three, our union just showed the world what’s possible when workers unite to fight against corporate greed. Workers can win.”