United Auto Workers is reporting some progress in negotiations as its strike against General Motors stretches into its fifth day, but UAW leaders say many issues remain unresolved. Nearly 50,000
UAW workers went on strike last Sunday morning as the clock struck midnight, upset over wages, health care benefits and job security issues. I’ve seen a number of strikes in my career and, frankly, it never seems to serve either side.
How long will it last? No way of knowing. The last strike lasted only two days, but before that, it lasted almost two months.
Is there any concern for consumers? Not for a while. The GM dealers had an average of around 65 days worth of vehicles on hand, so selection will be good for another month or so.
After that, supplies will dwindle, and likely so will incentives since there is no urgency to sell what is on the lot.
In a statement Thursday, the UAW said:
Dear Union Brothers and Sisters:
Today we enter the 4th day of our National Strike with General Motors. I can report to you that as of today, some progress has been made, but there are still many of our Memberships’ issues that remain unresolved. Your elected Bargaining Committee and the UAW International Staff have been working long hours each day for weeks negotiating on our Members’ behalf. The process of meeting in subcommittees and main tables will continue this weekend and beyond, if a Tentative Agreement is not reached.
I want to take this opportunity to thank you and the entire Membership for their loyal and passionate support as we take on their most crucial issues in this set of negotiations. It is the hard work, craftsmanship and dedication of our Members that has put General Motors in the position to become most profitable Auto Company in the U.S. and do not ever forget that!
This strike is for all the right reasons: to raise the standard of living of our Members and their families and for workers across this country, to achieve true job security, our fair share of the profits, affordable health care and a path to permanent seniority for temporary members.
On behalf of the entire staff of the UAW General Motors Department, “it is an honor to represent our Members and their families.” - Thursday, September 19.
In a statement Tuesday GM said:
“Negotiations have resumed. Our goal remains to reach an agreement that builds a stronger future for our employees and our business.” - GM Statement, Tuesday September 18
According to the Associated Press
, striking workers shut down 33 plants in nine states. Here is the viewpoint of the United Auto Workers
on Sunday when announcing the decision to strike:
Local Union leaders from across the nation met Sunday morning after the 2015 General Motors collective bargaining agreement expired Saturday night and opted to strike at midnight on Sunday.
The autoworkers are calling on the Big 3 automaker to recognize the contributions and sacrifices that the company’s UAW members have made to create a healthy, profitable, industry.
“We stood up for General Motors when they needed us most. Now we are standing together in unity and solidarity for our Members, their families and the communities where we work and live,” said UAW Vice President Terry Dittes.
Following a formal meeting of the GM Council consisting of local union leaders, the UAW announced the membership would strike at midnight Sunday to secure:
- Fair Wages
- Affordable Healthcare
- Our Share of Profits
- Job Security
- A Defined Path to Permanent Seniority for Temps
The decision to strike comes a day after UAW Vice President Terry Dittes notified General Motors leadership that the Union would not agree to extend the Collective Bargaining Agreements.
“We told UAW GM members that we would stand up for them and their future,” said Gary Jones, President of the UAW.
National Bargaining Committee Chair Ted Krumm of UAW Local 652 said “We have been clear at the table about what GM members have indicated we will accept. We are standing up for what is right. We as local unions will sacrifice to stand up for what we deserve.”
“Our members have spoken; we have taken action; and this is a decision we did not make lightly. We are committed to a strong contract at GM that recognizes our UAW members, who make some of the greatest products in the world and make GM so profitable.” - UAW Statement, Sunday, September 15
Sunday, GM said its latest offer to the UAW included more than $7 billion in investment, creation or retention of 5,400 jobs and solutions for two of its four "unallocated plants." The UAW, however, showed displeasure that the proposal came with less than two hours left before the strike deadline, cementing its decision to call the first national strike against an automaker since the financial crisis.