Striking GM Workers Ratify Settlement
BALTIMORE (AP) _ Striking workers at a General Motors Corp. minivan plant overwhelmingly ratified an agreement Saturday to end a 26-day walkout over safety issues.
Sunny Biedrzycki, a spokesman for United Auto Workers Local 239, said more than 99 percent of the plant’s about 3,200 workers approved the agreement.
Strikers charged that several hundred layoffs had made the plant unsafe.
The company agreed to hire 46 more workers and stop using outside contractors in place of union workers, Biedrzycki said. Those workers include UAW plumbers, electricians, welders and pipefitters.
Workers were to return to their jobs Sunday night, said Terry Youngerman, the plant’s personnel director.
″We’re absolutely delighted and I’m sure the local unon is delighted,″ Youngerman said. ″We’re glad this thing is behind us and we can move forward.″
Union members walked off the job June 24, charging that the layoffs left remaining workers facing dangerous conditions as they scrambled to maintain production levels.
GM laid off about 400 workers in February, but later hired many of them back to replace those who had retired or were on vacation, the company said.