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UAW approves new contract with GM; Rochester among the UAW locals that opposed it

General Motors

General Motors workers have voted 57.2% in favor of a new contract with the company, ending a 40-day strike.

The United Auto Workers union said  Friday that the contract was approved 23,389 to 17,501. The vote means that workers will put down their picket signs and return to their jobs. Some will start as early as Friday night, and some production could resume on Saturday.

Skilled trades workers will begin restarting factories that were shuttered when 49,000 workers walked out on Sept. 16.

The deal includes a mix of wage increases and lump-sum payments and an $11,000 signing bonus. But GM will close three U.S. factories.

But not all workers are happy with the deal, including those in Rochester. UAW local 1097 members in Rochester had overwhelmingly voted against the contract offer.

A lot of drivers in the area of a picket line near Mount Read and Driving Park were honking their horns Friday in support of the workers who are employed by Rochester’s General Motors plant

Local 1097 President Dan Maloney says the main reason didn’t support the new contract  is that it doesn’t guarantee work for the Rochester GM facility after a few years.

“We do have enough work identified for the next 3 years or so. It’s the future that I’m worried about. It’s people in their 20s and 30s that are in this plant, it’s those children these young families have at home, they need to have a future guaranteed,” Maloney said.

Maloney says even without that guaranteed work provision in the new contract, he and other local union workers will continue to fight on the political front to try and get more work for Rochester. The local plant makes fuel systems and other parts for GM. 

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.