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UAW Local 933, Allison Transmission reach tentative contract agreement

A metal United Auto Workers logo
FILE PHOTO: Adam Yahya Rayes
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IPB News
A local auto workers union and Allison Transmission in Indianapolis have reached a tentative agreement following calls by the union for a potential strike.

A local auto workers union and Allison Transmission in Indianapolis have reached a tentative agreement following calls by the union for a potential strike.

George Freeman is the bargaining chairperson for United Auto Workers Local 933 at Allison Transmission. He said the agreement's “historic” wage gains will ensure all UAW members have a starting salary of more than $20 an hour.

“And they’re happy, too, because now they have a living wage, and that way they can support their family,” he said. “Then, they don't need to be on the government assistance as well.

Freeman said Allison Transmission produces transmissions for larger vehicles, such as school buses, fire trucks and waste disposal trucks. He said the transmission plant’s status in creating high-quality products made these wage increases much more necessary.

“And for us to be the world leader in transmission and propulsion systems, and we were paying poverty wages, that was just unacceptable,” he said.

He said “core workers” at the factory, including assemblage and fabrication machining specialists, make the transmission parts in the factory. Freeman said some of these roles had starting wages of $14.72 an hour. He said with the tentative agreement changes, various roles will now start at between $20 and $21 an hour and over the course of the four-year contract, will see wages increases up to between $35 and $36 an hour.

Freeman said the changes to the tentative agreement also include an increase in the company’s 401(k) match.

“We asked how could we incentivize the 401(k),” he said. “And they actually went up 2 percent on the 401(k) which I think is great.”

The company will now match employee contributions at 8 percent.

He said another part of the agreement ends the company’s wage tier system.

“Getting everybody on the same page is a beautiful thing because it creates division – tiers create that division – to where we people tend to look down on other people,” he said. “So now guess what? We all the same.”

READ MORE: Fort Wayne UAW leaders 'pumped up' as General Motors strike ends with tentative agreement

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The union also negotiated Juneteenth as a paid holiday.

The union’s initial labor contract expired in November 2023. The workers have attempted negotiations with Allison Transmission since then, but Freeman said they wanted more, especially after rejecting their first tentative agreement.

“The first tentative agreement, as we brought to the membership, the membership overwhelmingly voted that down by 96 percent,” he said. “Members said ‘No, you all go back to the table and get more.’”

Freeman said he is satisfied with this tentative agreement.

“Is there more to get? I'm sure quite naturally there’s going to be more to get as time changes,” he said. “But with this current agreement we have, I am very pleased with it.”

The ratification vote for the agreement is set to take place next Tuesday.

Violet is our daily news reporter. Contact her at vcomberwilen@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @ComberWilen.

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