(BEDFORD) - Union members at Bedford's GM Powertrain joined co-workers across the nation in approving a new four-year contract with the company.
The new pact has profit-sharing instead of pay raises for most workers and promises thousands of new jobs.
Members of UAW Local 440 in Bedford voted Monday and 53 percent were in favor of ratification.
GM was the first company to reach a deal with the union, which is now negotiating with Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group LLC.
Under the deal, which runs through September 2015, most workers won't get annual pay raises. But they will get $5,000 signing bonuses, profit-sharing checks and other payments that total at least $11,500 during the next four years. GM also promised to add at least 5,100 jobs and reopen an assembly plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee.
Entry-level workers who now make a base wage of around $15.78 per hour will get 22 percent raises to $19.28.
UAW President Bob King said in a statement that the union stopped GM from getting any more concessions and was able to improve health care benefits in the contract.
The deal also includes offers for older employees to leave so it can hire new ones at entry-level wage. Eligible workers can get up to $10,000 if they retire within the next two years. There's also a $65,000 bonus for skilled-trades workers if they retire or leave the company between November 1 and March 31.
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