The future of the Nexteer Automotive plant in Buena Vista Township was in the hands of 2,100 UAW workers Tuesday, who moved to approve a new contract about two weeks after initially voting it down.
Members of UAW Local 699, the union representing hourly workers at Nexteer, voted 72.5 percent in favor of the contract, which meant wage cuts for some members, but a big increase in permanent jobs going forward.
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The revised contract includes family health care benefits for all workers and a flat rate performance compensation of $2,500.
Union officials said 50 new hires will begin work on Thursday as a result of Tuesday's contract vote. In all, the plant will hire 200 people and move more than 300 temporary employees to full-time status.
The deal also could save jobs and give the union a say in who buys the electric power steering manufacturer from Nexteer's parent company, General Motors Co.
We are pleased that the UAW membership has ratified the Nexteer Automotive agreement, which is a major step in retaining sustainable manufacturing in Michigan, said Mike Gannon, Nexteer Automotive vice president of business strategy and human resource. We appreciate our employees support as well as the trust they've placed in our ability to jointly create a strong future for the Saginaw site."
Union members rejected the original contract proposal on June 17. About 80 workers received layoff notices shortly afterward. Officials said talks continue to bring those employees back to work.
The plant was formerly part of Delphi.