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New United Motors, UAW settlement.

New United Motors Manufacturing Inc. and the Auto Workers (UAW) extended their peaceful collective bargaining relationship, but the contract settlement was clouded when General Motors Corp. (GM) later announced it would cease producing its Nova cars at the Fremont, CA, plant, which is jointly owned by GM and Toyota Motors Corp. GM Said that the decision was forced by slow sales of the Nova car model. The company indicated it was satisfied with the improvements in product quality and productivity resulting from the joint venture, which utilizes Toyota's personnel and production approaches. GM also indicated that it was planning to begin manufacturing its new Geo Prism model in the plant. Toyota indicated that it would continue manufacturing its own models in the plant.

The new 3 -year contract provides for only one specified wage increase-3 percent-in July 1990, but the 2,200 employees will continue to be the highest paid in the industry, according to the union. After the increase, the nearly 2,000 assemblers will be paid $15.46 an hour, and the 200 skilled trades workers will be paid $18.39, including an 85-cent-an-hour cost-of-living allowance and 88 cents resulting from a change in the lunch period. By comparison, UAW members at one GM plant in Detroit currently make $14.39 an hour, according to the union.

Other pay provisions include continuation of quarterly cost-of-living pay reviews, using the same formula as in GM'S wholly owned plants; an immediate $750 payment for signing the contract, followed in July 1989 by a payment equal to 3 percent of the employee's earnings during the preceding 12 months; and a 10-cent-an-hour increase in the 50-cent premium paid to production team leaders, effective in July 1989.

Other terms included

* Continuation of the policy adopted in the initial con

tract (negotiated in 1985) of guaranteeing jobs for the employees, except in severe economic downturns.

* A shift to a pension plan providing defined benefits,

from a plan providing for a defined company payment.

* Improved health and dental benefits.

* Establishment of a joint committee to determine if a

child care plan is needed, and if so, to negotiate the types of services to be provided.
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Title Annotation:Developments in Industrial Relations
Author:Ruben, George
Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Date:Oct 1, 1988
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