MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The nationwide General Motors strike is over after 40 days. The company and the United Auto Workers Union came to an agreement Friday afternoon on a new four-year labor contract.
Through hot Memphis days and chilly nights, with howling wind and heavy downpours dancing with excitement and fatigued but determined, for 40 days the United Auto Workers Union stayed on the picket line during one of the longest strikes in United States history.
“Been through the rain, the wind, the cold, the heat. And I think it’s time,” said Local UAW Shop Chairman Ron Conley.
The four-year labor contract between General Motors and the 48,000 union employees includes annual lump sum bonuses, add thousands of jobs and maintained their top quality healthcare.
But the deal also includes closing four U.S. facilities and no increase in the employee’s pension.
“A lot of my people are not satisfied with the contract. It may not be the total contract that we want but I don’t think we came out total losers in it either,” said Local UAW President Glinder Louis.
Conley says the union should be grateful for what they’ve got and to keep moving forward.
Saturday, Local UAW 2406 leaders were packing up the tents and signs they held for nearly six weeks. They hope their strike and eventually agreement can help other unions avoid a drawn out fight.
“This is going to help other trade unions as well. It’ll make it easier for them as to what we got. Hopefully we did some good,” said Conley.
The agreed upon contact lasts four years. Union leaders hope they won’t ever have to stand on the street again and hold signs, but they can’t rule out another strike years from now.
Conley told WMC Action News 5 that there could possibly be another strike in the future.