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Published: Friday, 3/19/2010

UAW OKs severance pact

ASSOCIATED PRESS

FREMONT, Calif. - The union that represents workers at the New United Motor Manufacturing Inc., known as NUMMI, have voted in favor of a proposed severance package for the 4,600 workers about to lose their jobs when the plant closes, according to a United Auto Workers official.

The UAW said in a statement yesterday that 90 percent of the workers who voted were in favor of the package. The union's headquarters in Detroit would not say how many members voted or release details of the pact.

Before Wednesday's vote, leaders of the UAW local at the plant said they urged members to ratify the agreement despite being disappointed at aspects of the deal.

They wouldn't discuss the proposal in detail, but Javier Contreras, chairman of the bargaining committee, said the union was able to add $28 million to the severance package during negotiations, bringing the total to more than $200 million. He said each worker would get a minimum payout of $21,175.

NUMMI, a joint venture between General Motors Co. and Toyota Motor Corp., is to close on April 1. Union leaders reached the severance deal with NUMMI on March 15.



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