FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — The General Motors plant in Fort Wayne employs 4,000 workers who have been feeling anxious ever since walkouts were announced Sept. 14, according to Holli Murphy, UAW Local 2209 president and local UAW bargaining chairman, Rich LeTourneau.
The plant has continued to produce the GMC Sierra during the six-week strike, but nervously watched walkouts in Tennessee, Texas, Michigan and Missouri, they said.
Last week, Ford and Stellantis reached deals with the UAW calling for 25% raises over four years and eight months with 11% kicking in right now.
GM followed Monday, the Associated Press reported, with all three companies also agreeing to add cost of living adjustments that would bring their pay increases to over 30% by the time the contracts end.
Beginning “temp” workers who earn $16.67 will see that hourly wage jump to $30 an hour with the new contract, Murphy said.
LeTourneau and Murphy will travel to Detroit this week to meet with union heads. LeTourneau expects the deal to be done in about 10 days after local union workers vote on the agreement.
“We kind of dodged the bullet, us and Flint,” LeTourneau said. “We’re high volume plants, high money makers for the corporation and neither of us were part of the strike. It’s kind of a good thing for our people because we didn’t really lose any wages, really.”
However, with the Saturday night walkout of the GM plant in Springhill, Tennessee, production could have been affected in Fort Wayne, LeTourneau said.
“What just happened to Springhill would have affected us by Tuesday or Wednesday. If Springhill doesn’t go back to work, and they stay out, it’s going to affect us by the end of the week because we get 50% of our engines from Springhill,” LeTourneau said.
But if the UAW president and vice president announce Springhill workers go back to work until there’s a vote, there won’t be a slowdown and plant production in the Summit City won’t be affected, LeTourneau said.