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Parma UAW Workers Narrowly Ratify New Deal with GM, Await National Tally

The sun begins to set in the early afternoon behind the General Motors Metal Fabrication Division in Parma, Ohio Tuesday, Sep. 17, 2019.
Carter Adams
/
WKSU
The sun begins to set in the early afternoon behind the General Motors Metal Fabrication Division in Parma, Ohio Tuesday, Sep. 17, 2019.

United Auto Workers members in Parma voted to ratify a new contract with General Motors today.

Nearly 90% of the plant’s 950 workers voted. 52 percent approved the deal while 48 percent did not. 

UAW Local 1005 President Mike Caldwell says this narrow decision has to do with how the contract affects each worker. 

“It was a very close vote. But a lot of people– a lot of different portions of the contract apply to them differently," said Caldwell.  "Everybody has different lifestyles, different families, different needs and different portions of the contract were important to them.” 

While Parma has voted to approve the deal it is not known yet whether it will win national approval

Across the country between 25,000 and 30,000 votes are still uncast or yet to be counted. 

A final count is expected late tomorrow.

The proposed contract meets many of the union’s demands, including healthcare, better wages and pathways for temporary workers to become fulltime employees. 

However, these come with steep concessions. Three out of four shuttered GM plants will remain closed, including the Lordstown Assembly Plant. The plant, former home of the Chevy Cruze and over 1,500 workers was unallocated earlier this year

caldwell_lordstown_closure_cea_102419.mp3
UAW Local 1005 President Mike Caldwell on the GM Lordstown Assembly Plant remaining closed under the proposed UAW-GM contract.

“It’s still kind of a sad spot for everyone that that plant is still slated to close,” said Caldwell. “It’s very disappointing, with that plant closing that destroys that entire community.”