Oct. 25 (UPI) -- Workers at General Motors ended a six-week strike Friday when United Auto Workers members ratified a new four-year contract.
"General Motors members have spoken," UAW Vice President Terry Dittes said.
"We are all so incredibly proud of UAW-GM members who captured the hearts and minds of a nation. Their sacrifice and courageous stand addressed the two-tier wages structure and permanent temporary worker classification that has plagued working-class Americans," Dittes said.
The contract, which ended the longest automotive strike in 50 years, passed 57 percent (23,389 members) to 43 percent (17,501), the Detroit Free Press reported.
Workers agreed to report to work as directed by GM. Under the agreement, each UAW member will receive an $11,000 signing bonus, along with performance bonuses, two annual 3 percent salary increases, two 4 percent lump-sum payments -- and no change to health care costs.
"We delivered a contract that recognizes our employees for the important contributions they make to the overall success of the company, with a strong wage and benefit package and additional investment and job growth in our U.S. operations," GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra said.
"GM is proud to provide good-paying jobs to tens of thousands of employees in America and to grow our substantial investment in the U.S. As one team, we can move forward and stay focused on our priorities of safety and building high-quality cars, trucks and crossovers for our customers."
Some GM workers could return to work as soon as Saturday, with production beginning as soon as Monday in some locations, The New York Times reported.
Under the agreement, three plants will be closed, including one in Lordstown, Ohio, that union members fought to save.
The strike is estimated to have cost GM more than $2 billion and caused widespread layoffs among suppliers, CNBC reported.
The company said it plans to invest $7.7 billion in the United States, including plans to manufacture an electric pickup truck at its Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant, add more than $4 billion for vehicle programs nationwide and bring battery cell production in Ohio.