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GM workers ratify new contract without support from Bowling Green's Corvette plant

Lisa Autry

Union workers at the Corvette Assembly Plant in Bowling Green have narrowly voted against a new, four-year contract with General Motors, despite the deal receiving ratification by a majority of unionized employees nationwide.

Corvette workers narrowly voted down the contract 50.7% to 49.3%, but Local 2164 President Brian Ferret called it one of the best deals in his 30 years with GM.

“Everybody’s getting a 25% wage increase through 2028," Ferret said. "It will bring production people to over $40 an hour, skilled trades, close to $50 an hour.”

The deal also includes higher pension contributions and cost of living cost of living increases tied to inflation.

Ratification of the deal was in doubt after seven of GM’s 11 U.S. assembly plantsrejected the pact, including the Corvette Assembly Plant. Ford's Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville also voted against the pact.

Union workers at the Corvette plant and other operations that rejected the deal will still be covered by the new deal, despite voting against it.

“I felt it was a pretty good contract," said Ferret. "For my needs at retirement, I wish some things could have been better, but as far agreements, it’s probably one of the better agreements.”

The national union didn’t win everything on its wish list, including a 32-hour work week.

According to the UAW’s vote tracker, the contract was supported by more than 54% of the nearly 36,000 autoworkers at GM who voted.

GM declined to comment on the results until they’ve been finalized, which would end six weeks of targeted strikes. The Corvette plant wasn't involved in the walkouts.

Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.