Union workers prepare to vote on tentative agreement

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)– Union workers at General Motors have less than a week before they vote on a contract that could end the strike.

Members had a few days to look over a tentative agreement that the United Auto Workers-General Motors council reached last week. And now they just have a couple of days to make up their minds before they vote on Friday.

The meeting was closed to everyone except union members. Inside, leaders explained what the new contract would mean for different workers–salary versus hourly, permanent versus temporary.

Some workers were satisfied.

“I thought it was pretty good,” says GM employee Anwar Scott. “We had heard initial rumors about losing healthcare and some of our other benefits. It sounds like a lot of that stuff is going to stay the same. I just feel like as long as we’re not losing in the long run, it’s definitely a gain.”

But not everyone is on board. Many who came to meeting for a better understanding of the contract say they still plan to vote against it.

“I kind of felt it was a little gray area for us,” GM employee Darius Burton says, “because we’re not gonna progress where we should progress or get raises when we should get raises.”

Workers at the Delta Township and Grand River plants will vote in just a few days. Some in the meeting say they think the vote will be close. They want to get back to work and they’re ready to decide as a unit if the contract is right for them. But they’re also prepared to keep going if the full membership does not vote to approve the contract.

“As long as we’ve gotta strike, I’ll strike,” Burton says. “If we gotta do it until the first of the year, then I’m gonna do it until the first of the year. I’m okay with it. I don’t have a problem. I just want equal, equal opportunity no matter what the case may be.”

“If we gotta wait it out, we’ll wait it out. But you know, it’s a lot of us not making any money right now,” Scott says, “so hopefully we can get this thing ironed out as fast as possible and get back to it.”

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