Detroit News: Marick Masters on proposed tentative agreement between GM and UAW
United Auto Workers members striking General Motors Co. felt a sense of relief when they heard Wednesday the union and the automaker had reached a proposed tentative agreement. It's been 32 days since the union decided to strike the automaker at 55 U.S. facilities across 19 states, and people are ready to get back to work. Without seeing the contract details, members say they feel confident the union has negotiated the best contract it could for them and delivered what they wanted — wage increases, retained health care coverage and a pathway for temporary employees to reach seniority. This negotiation process was more of a bottom-up approach than others, with rank-and-file members conveying their contract desires to union leadership. "And that bodes well for them getting the contract ratified," explained Marick Masters, business professor and former director of labor studies at Wayne State University. "Although it's been a difficult road to get to this point it may pay rich dividends that they involved the rank and file and the subcommittees in the negotiating process and that they paid careful attention to the wishes of the rank and file as expressed through those subcommittees," Masters said.