Labor Expert: GM and UAW Both Gain in Pact

Thousands of auto workers return to their jobs after General Motors and the United Auto Workers union reach a tentative contract agreement. University of California-Berkeley professor Harley Shaiken, an expert on labor issues, says both sides found gains in the settlement.

For GM, the agreement is likely to mean lower costs, helping the company compete with other automakers, Shaiken tells Renee Montagne. For the UAW, the pact will preserve its existing 73,000 jobs at GM, he says.

"I think both sides have come out strong," Shaiken says. "There was no permanent damage as a result of the strike. It was very tough bargaining."

Mike O'Rourke, president of UAW Local 1853 in Spring Hill, Tenn., described a "very, very upbeat" mood at the local union headquarters following the agreement, especially about contract provisions dealing with health care and job security.

He predicted that the tentative pact would be approved by union members.



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