Several thousand UAW union members at five General Motors plants in three states were scheduled to vote Monday on a new national contract.
Workers in Michigan, Texas and Ohio were scheduled to vote throughout the day on a proposed four-year agreement.
UAW leaders are hoping those workers will provide momentum for ratification after workers at two plants delivered mixed results over the weekend.
A majority of workers at UAW Local 31 in Kansas City, Kan., voted to reject the contract over the weekend. Meanwhile, workers at UAW Local 652 in Lansing, Mich., voted in favor of the agreement, as did members of UAW Local 174, a customer care and parts center in Ypsilanti, Mich., where 76 percent of workers voted in favor of the deal.
To be ratified, a majority of 52,700 workers must vote yes. Voting ends Friday.
UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada held a conference call Saturday afternoon with top local officials, urging them to encourage members to support the deal.
Estrada and other UAW leaders encouraged elected UAW local officials to use social media and walk through their plants to talk about the contract’s $8,000 signing bonuses, raises for all workers and improved health care for workers hired over the last eight years, according to a source familiar with the phone call who was not authorized to speak about it.
Barry Campbell, chairman of UAW Local 598 in Flint, Mich., told his members, who build heavy duty pickup trucks, to vote in favor of the agreement in a Facebook post.
“GM had several demands, also your bargaining team had some very tough decisions to make to secure our investment for job security, and also to make economic gains for all members,” Campbell said. “Was it everything we wanted ? No, but I’m very confident we took GM to the edge with a long and tiring fight.”
While union leaders are hopeful of passage, officials are also concerned about complaints that workers at four component plants will not see their wages rise to parity with workers at assembly, powertrain and stamping plants. Some skilled trades workers have expressed unhappiness that they may not be eligible for a $60,000 retirement incentive.
GM employs more than 4,000 at its Arlington Assembly Plant, where the company announced plans for another expansion this summer.
If the new contract is ratified, all workers would receive an $8,000 signing bonus and a raise. Entry level production workers currently paid between $15.78 and $19.28 per hour would see their wages increase to between $17 and $22.50 per hour and would eventually earn about $29 per hour.
Workers hired before 2007 would receive 3 percent raises in the first and third years of the contract and 4 percent lump sum bonuses in the second and fourth years of the agreement.