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GM Strike Ends

BACK TO WORK General Motors employees in Flint, Michigan, celebrate on October 25, the final day of the autoworker strike. JAKE MAY—MLIVE.COM/THE FLINT JOURNAL/AP

General Motors (GM) workers approved a new contract with the company on October 26. This ended a 40-day autoworker strike.

When employees have a dispute with their employer, they may go on strike. They protest by refusing to work. The strike at GM was organized by United Automobile Workers (UAW). The union protects workers’ rights. Every four years, UAW meets with GM to sign a new contract. This time, the two could not reach an agreement.

On September 15, some 49,000 workers walked off the job. More than 50 auto factories and warehouses stopped work. GM and UAW spent weeks bargaining bargaining MARTIN-DM—GETTY IMAGES the act of discussing the terms of a deal in order to come to an agreement (noun) Jane spent an hour bargaining with the salesman over the price of the car. . In the end, GM increased wages wage BEN-SCHONEWILLE—GETTY IMAGES the amount of money a worker is paid (noun) Mowing lawns, Twyla's hourly wage is $22. . It also agreed to pay newer employees a higher wage. The wage is closer to what longtime employees earn. All workers will also get an $11,000 bonus. But GM will still close three factories.

Mary Barra is the head of GM. She says the contract “recognizes employees for the important contributions they make.”

Stop and Think! Why did TFK choose to cover the GM strike now? If TFK had published an article about the strike when it began, how might the story have been different?