Mixed emotions from workers as UAW votes to ratify contract
(10/25/19) - While there is much relief that the strike has ended and nearly 50,000 UAW members can get back to work, some had held out hope that the tentative agreement would be voted down.
Nationally the proposed contract was approved by roughly 57-percent. In UAW Region 1D, which covers mid-Michigan, 64-percent of UAW members voted in favor of the deal.
"I don't feel like we got what we were asking for," said Amy Parker.
Parker is a full time employee at Davison Road Processing Center in Burton where there are about 500 employees. She's a member of UAW Local 651, which decided to vote down the proposed contract 571 to 340.
"People that were hired after 2015, which is me, I didn't...we didn't get anything," Parker said. "We're not going to get the raise. I mean, I'm glad they didn't touch our health care that was a big thing for me."
As news broke around 4:30 p.m. that the contract was ratified, members of Local 659 were outside Flint Engine Operations.
General Motors said the four-year agreement means a $7.7 billion dollar investment in U.S. manufacturing with 9,000 new or retained jobs.
"I would like to say congratulations to all the UAW members who voted to ratify the contract. It's been a long process," said Dejuana Matthews.
Matthews, a full time worker at the engine plant, says she voted in favor of the contract because of the health care benefits.
"Thank you to all the UAW officials who also worked hard and long hours to ratify this vote," Matthews said.
Jim Parker, a 43-year Flint Metal Center employee, said he wanted to see more in the four-year agreement for retirees.
"It's a two-edged sword. I'm glad that the strike is over. I'm glad that everybody gets back to work. I just wish there had been a few more things in the contract for seniors that have retired," Parker said.
Some GM workers could get back to work voluntarily as early as Saturday.