UAW reaches agreement with Baltimore GM plant Ratification vote set for Sunday

September 15, 1993|By Ted Shelsby | Ted Shelsby,Staff Writer

Local 239 of the United Auto Workers union has reached a tentative contract agreement with the General Motors Corp. assembly plant in Southeast Baltimore, reducing the chances of a strike at the city's largest manufacturing employer this year.

Rodney A. Trump, president of the local, which represents 3,200 hourly workers at the van assembly plant, said the agreement was reached yesterday morning following extensive negotiations.

Rank-and-file members are scheduled to meet at the UAW hall on Oldham Street for their ratification vote at 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

Mr. Trump declined to disclose terms of the settlement because workers will not be given those details until Sunday. He noted, however, that the local contract traditionally covers such issues as local seniority, job classification, shift preference and overtime agreements.

Issues involving wages, fringe benefits and job security are negotiated by General Motors and the United Auto Workers as part of a national contract.

The UAW selected Ford Motor Co. to negotiate with first. That agreement will probably serve as a model for contracts with General Motors and Chrysler Corp.

Another issue still to be settled at the Baltimore plant is the company's plans to increase the hourly production rate of Chevrolet Astro and GMC Safari vans made at the Broening Highway complex.

A similar issue involving production line speed and safety at the plant resulted in a four-week strike in the summer of 1991.

Mr. Trump said the assembly line production rate was not addressed in the agreement reached yesterday, "because they haven't increased the line speed yet. We can't address that until they do it."

Linda A. Cook, a spokeswoman for the plant, said GM was happy with the tentative settlement.

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