Business Briefs: GM workers approve new UAW contract

FILE - In this Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019 file photo, United Auto Worker Lindsey Higgins, exits the the UAW Local 2250 Ken Worley Hall with her two children after voting on the offer made to union workers by General Motors in Wentzville, Mo. General Motors workers voted 57.2% in favor of a new contract with the company, bringing an immediate end to a contentious a 40-day strike that paralyzed GM's U.S. factories, Friday, Oct. 25, 2019. (Laurie Skrivan/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP, File)

The United Auto Workers union approved a new contract with General Motors on Friday, ending a strike that idled tens of thousands of workers for almost six weeks.

The union announced the result of the voting by 49,000 union members on its website. It did not provide a tally, but several key locals said their members had backed the accord by wide margins.

GM could call skilled-trades workers, who maintain production machinery, back to work as soon as Saturday to begin preparing plants to resume operations, two people with knowledge of the company's plans said.

In some locations, production could resume as soon as Monday, they said. Other factories that ran short of parts during the strike may take more time to restart.

The contract gives the union's GM workers a series of wage increases and a path for temporary workers to become permanent employees.