GM, union reach tentative deal

The United Auto Workers union and General Motors have reached a tentative agreement on a new four-year contract, avoiding a strike for now.

The UAW said the deal was reached at 11:43 p.m. Sunday, 16 minutes before the deadline it had set to either reach a deal or call a strike at GM’s U.S. plants.

Details of the proposed contract weren’t immediately available. The UAW said local union leaders will meet Wednesday in Detroit to vote on the tentative pact. If they approve it, GM’s U.S. hourly workers will vote on it.

The agreement covers 52,600 U.S. auto workers at 63 GM facilities in the United States.

UAW President Dennis Williams said the proposed deal will provide “long-term, significant wage gains and job security benefits now and in the future.” The union also hinted that this agreement — like a contract passed last week by Fiat Chrysler workers — gradually will eliminate a much-hated two-tier wage system in the plants.

GM said in a statement that the agreement benefits employees but still provides flexibility to the company. The company said it would not comment further until the agreement is ratified.

On Thursday, union members at Fiat Chrysler voted to approve a four-year contract that includes pay raises and phases out the two-tier wage system over eight years. Williams indicated that the union wanted even better deals from GM and Ford because they are more profitable. The UAW hasn’t yet reached a tentative agreement with Ford.

— Associated Press

Study finds age discrimination

Age discrimination is pervasive in the United States, despite laws that prohibit it. And the older you are, the more discrimination you face, according to a National Bureau of Economic Research study released Monday. Older women have it particularly tough.

Three economists — David Neumark and Ian Burn of the University of California at Irvine and Patrick Button of Tulane University — designed a field experiment to try to document how widespread discrimination is, particularly among workers nearing retirement age. Using more than 40,000 job applications, they responded to job ads with similar fictional resumes for workers purported to be ages 29-31, 49-51 and 64-66. The study looked at a dozen cities, including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Boston.

Whether the jobs were for administrative, sales, security positions or janitors, the rates of callbacks — either by phone or e-mail — were much higher for younger workers than for older ones.

Discrimination, rather than lack of skills, may help explain why older workers have longer periods of unemployment duration. What’s more, the bias worsens when gender is considered.

“We find robust evidence of age discrimination in hiring against older women,” the economists wrote, citing data on callbacks for sales jobs. “There is evidence of stronger age discrimination for women than for men in sales.”

— Bloomberg News

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