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GM employees in Hudson, Wisconsin react to tentative deal

Updated: October 18, 2019 05:22 PM

A deal is now on the table for General Motors workers across the country who have been on strike for more than a month. It's the longest national strike against GM in nearly 50 years.

The nearly 50,000 employees who walked off the job say the company has been raking in record profits and they want to see changes with how employees are treated. That includes higher pay, affordable health care and giving temporary employees a path to full-time work.

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The contract deal approved by union leaders Thursday will now go up for a vote to all of its members.

The tentative agreement allows GM to proceed with factory closures in Ohio, Michigan and Maryland, while giving 3% pay raises to employees and allowing temporary workers to go full-time within three years.

GM and union reach tentative deal that could end strike

"A lot of people seem dissatisfied with it, that it's still not what we want," said Lisa Bazille, who works at the distribution center in Hudson, Wisconsin.

Coworker Roberta Wood added, "We all do the same job and everybody should be paid the same and have the same benefits. That isn't happening."

Other unions, from teachers to transit workers, joined the picket lines in Hudson Friday to show their support.

"It's really important they get what they need," said Twaya McIntosh, a retired driver for Metro Transit. "They have families, too."

Wages, pensions, plant investments still issues in GM strike

Local union representatives, like Jennifer Grabczyk, told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS it was a hard-fought battle with GM and she believes the current contract is still lacking.

Workers will keep striking until a deal is finalized.

"It's not just for us right now," Grabczyk said. "It's for the future of anybody that gets a job like this."

The next step is for the nearly 50,000 union members who are on strike to vote on the contract. Those ballots will be counted next Friday.

The strikes have crippled production at nearly 50 GM facilities across the country and are estimated to have cost the company about $2 billion so far.

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Alex Jokich

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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