GM workers ratify new deal narrowly; analyst expects less drama with Ford, Stellantis

The votes are in - UAW members approved a new contract with GM-- making the automaker the first to get a ratified deal.

But it was a closer-than-expected vote -- what does it mean for Ford Motor Company and Stellantis?

"It was really closer than it should’ve been," said Mike Martinez.

Nevertheless, General Motors workers voted to ratify the UAW contract - with nearly 55 percent of the membership voting yes.

"This wasn’t pretty, there was a 46-day strike," said Martinez. "They got chippy."

Martinez is a reporter for the Automotive News and followed the negotiations and vote. Early Thursday morning he predicted that roughly 35,000 GM workers were ratifying - by just 3,000 votes. 

"A lot of longer-term workers who may be retiring soon, and they want a better retirement benefits and they wanted more of a raise," Marinez said.

GM, like Ford and Stellantis UAW workers, will get a 25 percent raise over the life of the four-year contract, and a $5,000 signing bonus. Newer workers will get more benefits.  

But what pushed the GM vote over the edge?

"What pushed it over the edge was battery plants and a lot of the smaller parts depots where workers make less money now, but will make a ton a lot more money after this goes into effect," Martinez said.

All right, one down two to go.

FOX 2: "Next up, Ford?"

"That’ll pass," he said.

FOX 2: "Give me a number."

"Sixty-five percent. It's good."

FOX 2 also spoke to Howard, a UAW member, about the deal and if it is a good one for Stellantis.

"In my heart, yes," Howard said. "I think it is the best deal we have had in a long time. Because, my personal opinion, is that this contract here, ensures the young workers a future."

FOX 2 spoke to Martinez about his prediction for a Stellantis ratification vote.

"It’ll pass," he said. "Maybe not as high as Ford, but still by a nice, 60-ish percent, if I was guessing."

By Friday we should know more about Stellantis and Ford - although it looks like both will pass.