‘Nothing in there for us’: Many UAW members unhappy with GM’s contract

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Union members will be voting on the contract next week and Barry Brown says it'll be a "no" from him

LORDSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Members of the United Auto Workers union begin meeting around the nation Saturday to learn about a tentative contract with General Motors. They must vote on the deal by next Friday.

It was Day 33 of the UAW strike and members have been walking some lonely miles on the picket line.

“I was just shocked,” Barry Brown said. “I cannot believe they brought this package back.”

Brown worked for 15 years at Delphi and has been with GM since. He’s not buying the terms put on paper.

“Even if you’re a temp out there, and you’re looking at this contract and you’re going to get a $4,500 signing bonus, if you look at the fine print, you got to have continuous service to get hired,” he said. “Up to the last year, you get laid off for 30 days, you gotta start all over again.”

Frank Sarna started as a temp before being hired by GM. He’s doesn’t think this is a good deal either as he walked the strike line Friday in front of a plant that’s been closed after 53 years of solid production.

“We gave them everything they wanted. Everything,” he said. “This is what they done to us. Never will I vote for this contract.”

Brown was forced to transfer to Missouri, 638 miles away from Lordstown — where he wants to be. Next week, he’ll return to Missouri to cast his vote on this deal.

“Absolutely, definitely ‘no’ vote,” Brown said. “If I can persuade anybody else — you better read the contract, come to the informational meetings because there ain’t nothing in there for us.”

“If these people sign it, they’re nuts,” Sarna said. “What’s going to happen when they start shutting down more plants?”

Other UAW members we talked to wanted to hear more details before making a decision. Many had specific questions about buyouts, service and retirement. They wanted to better understand how the language handled those before voting on the contract next week.

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