GM Defiance, UAW Finalize Labor Agreement

May 14, 2008
Four-year contract seen supporting new opportunities

General Motors Corp. and the United Auto Workers union have reached a four-year labor agreement for workers at the GM Powertrain operation in Defiance, OH, according to local news reports. The new contract is said to be important to the automaker’s future investment plans at the metalcasting operation.

About 1,500 workers are employed at GM Defiance, which casts gray iron cylinder blocks and heads for GM’s Vortec 4.8-liter, 5.3-liter, and 6.0-liter V-8 engines. Those engines are installed in GM’s full-size SUVs and light-duty pickups. GM Defiance also produces Duramax 6.6-liter V-8 diesel blocks in iron, for Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD pickups.

Also at Defiance, GM produces aluminum blocks and cylinder heads for the 3.0-liter in-line four-cylinder and 3.7-liter five-cylinder engines. These are installed in Chevy Colorado, GMC Canyon, and Hummer H3 SUVs.

The UAW and GM reached a nationwide agreement last September covering wages, employee benefits, and pensions, but local unions administer contracts that define issues relating to work rules and practices. Reportedly, UAW members in Defiance endorsed the new contract with a 63% majority.

Local union officials said the new agreement will be important to GM Powertrain Defiance as it seeks new production programs. "There were some exciting new opportunities identified during negotiations that we hope to announce in the near future."UAW Local 211 shop committee chairman Grant Muncy told the Defiance (OH) Crescent-News.