ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — After six weeks of strikes nationwide, a tentative agreement was reached Monday between General Motors and the United Autoworkers Union.
It could mark the end of walkouts seen across the country. Leaders with the UAW Local 1097 based in Rochester, which represents around 700 autoworkers at Rochester’s GM plant, say they weren’t expecting the news this soon.
While local GM workers had not been tapped to take part in the strikes, UAW leaders in Rochester anticipate much of the new contract will align with what Ford has settled on in recent days.
The tentative deal from GM follows Ford’s agreement to a new contract last week, which was followed by Jeep-maker Stellantis on Saturday.
Both contracts for Ford and Stellantis will last four years and eight months, and will include 25 percent general pay raises and cost of living adjustments.
“We do pattern bargain in the UAW, so we expect it to be very similar. There’s some job security clauses in there that are very important. You can get the best contract known to man negotiated, but if the plant closes a week later, you really haven’t accomplished much,” said Dan Maloney, president of UAW Local 1097.
Montina Scott is a near 25-year veteran with the GM plant in Rochester. She agrees that job security is among the key sticking points within a new contract.
“It’s been a long time coming and we want to make sure there’s a future in the company as well as the business here on Lexington Avenue. I’ve been here 24 years, and we’ve been through contract after contract and we just want to make sure there’s something here for the future like my grandkids, my kids, and everyone elses. I’m a second-generation employee here and I want that to continue on,” said Scott.
Maloney says he will visit Detroit in the next week to review a tentative agreement and present the conditions to GM’s employees in Rochester.
A vote on the new contract is expected to take place within two weeks.