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GM workers to get $11,000 ratification bonuses after painful strike

Evie Fordham

Hourly General Motors autoworkers will see a significant infusion of cash into their bank accounts on Friday thanks to ratification bonuses included in the United Auto Workers-GM contract agreement that was sealed in October.

UAW members were promised hefty sums to offset the cost of the recent 40-day strike: $11,000 for permanent GM employees and $4,500 for temporary workers.

Union dues and taxes will eat into those amounts, however.

UAW members did not collect paychecks during the strike. Instead, they received $250 a week in strike pay from the union until the UAW board bumped it up to $275 a week.

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Michigan-based consulting firm Anderson Economic Group tallied up UAW members' lost wages during the strike, estimating that skilled trade workers lost $9,240, in-progression workers lost $6,240 and temporary workers lost $5,280. For the latter group, the ratification bonus is less than the estimated lost wages.

The ratification bonuses are unusually large but accompany a deal that worries many GM employees: Three U.S. plants will stay closed after some hoped a union-GM deal could mean reallocation.

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