LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — After nearly two months, the United Auto Workers strike against the Detroit Three automakers is over and many workers have laid down their picket signs and are returning to their jobs.
Workers went back to the General Motors stamping facility in Lansing on Thursday. They had been laid off temporarily after the UAW called a strike at the nearby Delta Assembly plant. Workers at Delta Assembly and the GM Central Distribution Center, where there was also a strike, returned to the line Wednesday.
Workers at the distribution center are represented by UAW Local 1753. The chapter’s president told WLNS, WOOD TV8’s Lansing sister station, that members were happy to be back on the job and with the tentative deal struck by union negotiators and the automakers, particularly GM.
The biggest win the local president says was the elimination of tiers of employment. They also received a 25% wage increase and a return of the cost of living adjustment, or COLA, in pay schedules.
“They gave the welcome speech and then the safety overview,” Anthony Graham, who is represented by 1753 and works at the distribution center, said. “They said, ‘Everybody, we know this is your first day back, everybody relax. Stretch a little. We’re taking this nice and slow. There’s no mandatory overtime. We’re just going to work our way into this.'”
“I was glad we stood for what we stood for but at the end of the day we have work to do, so let’s go back to work,” Graham added.
While workers are returning to the job, the deal is tentative. A vote by UAW members still has to happen before a contract can be signed.
But signs indicate that is on the way. Some 3,300 employees at a Ford plant near Detroit just voted on the deal with Ford and more than 80% gave the deal a thumbs up. The Ford deal is similar to the one being offered by GM.