I don’t know what team Obama plans to do to get re-elected, but this should be front and center:
The United Auto Workers union won $5,000 signing bonuses for its workers and a promise to reopen an assembly plant in Tennessee as part of its tentative new contract with General Motors, according to people briefed on the negotiations.
In what is being viewed as a landmark deal, the union also preserved health care and pensions and improved profit-sharing for its roughly 48,000 members who work at G.M.
The U.A.W.’s tentative, four-year agreement with G.M., announced late Friday, also opens the door for the automaker to bring back laid-off workers and move jobs back into the United States.
G.M. is the first of Detroit’s Big Three to reach a deal with the union. Details of the agreement were being withheld until the union can inform members, who will vote on ratification over the next two weeks.
The union’s president, Bob King, said in a statement that union members would get a larger share of the profits from G.M.’s comeback from its federal bailout and bankruptcy in 2009.
“When G.M. was struggling, our members shared in the sacrifice,” Mr. King said. “Now that the company is posting profits again, our members want to share in the success.”
G.M.’s lead negotiator, Cathy Clegg, said the agreement allows G.M. to continue adding jobs as it increases market share in the United States.
“We worked hard on a contract that recognizes the realities of today’s marketplace, enabling G.M. to continue to invest in U.S. manufacturing,” she said.
Industry analysts said the union achieved its goals of balancing economic gains in the agreement with solidifying G.M.’s cost structure for future growth.
“I think the U.A.W. went way beyond holding the line here,” said Harley Shaiken, a labor professor at the University of California, Berkeley. “The union made some real gains in the contract in the context of where G.M. becomes a more competitive company.”
If the Republicans had their way, every single person associated with GM, from suppliers to the dealerships, would be without a job. They pitched a fit when the government was involved out of necessity.