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Labor Relations

Developing Talented People

We respect our employees’ right to freedom of association in all countries and comply with our obligation to satisfy all local labor laws and regulations.

GM works with about 33 unions globally, representing approximately 64% of our global workforce covered by collective bargaining agreements. In 2019, GM ratified a new four-year labor agreement covering employees at 55 UAW-represented sites across the U.S. The new agreement provides GM hourly workers with a world-class wage, benefit and profit-sharing package, rewarding their hard work and supporting families and communities across the U.S.

GM’s relationships with labor unions are generally healthy and stable business partnerships. Consistent with our respect for employees and their bargaining representatives, we have worked collaboratively with our union partners to realize significant increases in performance.

We manage our labor relations regionally, with a global focus. The labor relations responsibility is held by the global manufacturing leader, with partnerships that go to the highest level of the GM organization. Regular meetings are held with our union partners, starting with quarterly meetings between our CEO and UAW leadership. Regional vice presidents of manufacturing enjoy face-to-face meetings with the unions when visiting the manufacturing sites, and plant managers around the globe discuss business issues on a daily basis with local unions. These meetings provide critical input for making business decisions in a dynamic environment where schedules, economic swings and products are ever changing. GM leadership devotes time to work productively with our union partners. This spirit of collaboration continues even during challenging times.

The way we manage labor relations is evolving as the nature of unions and our interactions with them evolve around the world. We work to share best practices and solutions among regions. As an example, our labor experts from our developed markets often mentor and advise labor personnel in emerging markets.

Worker Transitions

Our responsible employment philosophy extends to when workers are displaced because of a plant production adjustment. As an example, during GM’s workforce transition in 2018, we were able to provide job opportunities for all U.S. hourly employees impacted by the changes. Many of these new positions are at plants that are manufacturing vehicles in growth segments. We worked closely with our union partners to offer these opportunities, as well as outplacement services, including job search assistance, career counseling, resume writing and interview skills training for those who chose not to relocate within GM. For those who chose to move, we offered relocation packages to help them with expenses and allowed them to retain their seniority and benefits. In Canada, we worked with local organizations to identify thousands of open positions at other manufacturing businesses and connected affected employees with these opportunities.

UN Global Compact

GM is a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), which calls upon companies to align their strategies and operations with universal principles on such matters as labor, human rights, the environment and anticorruption. As a UNGC signatory, GM agrees to uphold the Ten Principles derived from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labour Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, and the United Nations Convention Against Corruption. GM’s participation in the UNGC underscores our confidence that we are operating in a consistent manner around the world to ensure the proper treatment of all employees.