Wednesday, 16 October, 2019

Costs of strike mounting for GM workers and GM alike

Talks between UAW and GM take 'turn for the worse': union official Talks to end GM strike take 'turn for the worse,' UAW says
Ginger Lawrence | 08 October, 2019, 22:02

In a letter sent to union workers on Sunday morning, UAW leaders say they are disappointed with GM's response to it's latest proposal and negotiations have a taken a turn for the worse.

In an email to union members, UAW Vice President Terry Dittes casts doubt on whether there will be a settlement soon in a dispute that's led to a 21-day strike by 49,000 union members.

Dittes' letter said the union presented a proposal to the company Saturday.

But Dittes said that management's response to the Saturday proposals offered little change from those that the union had previously rejected.

Dittes said that after making progress on key issues "a couple days ago, the company has shown an unwillingness to fairly compensate the great workforce of the UAW".

The Detroit News is reporting that in a statement responding to the Dittes letter, GM said: "We continue to negotiate in good faith with very good proposals that benefit employees today and builds a stronger future for all of us. And if we go into a fourth week, it's gonna get worse", says Anderson.

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Union workers walked off their jobs on September 16 and formed picket lines, 24 hours after the workers' four-year labor contract expired. The union continued contracts with Ford and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, following the customary plan to negotiate a deal with one company to use as a template for the other two.

"During your response" on Sunday, "you didn't even have a professional courtesy to explain why you could not accept or why you rejected our package proposal for each item we addressed", he wrote. "The law and basic decency require no less".

The company also said it is committed to talking around the clock to resolve the dispute.

GM officials said they have offered to invest more than $7 billion in the United States, add more than 5,400 jobs and improve benefits. On Monday, GM shut down V8 engine and continuously variable transmission assembly lines at its Ramos Arizpe plant in Mexico, idling about 415 workers.

Wages and pensions are among the issues that remained unsettled. Workers earn $250 per week in strike pay while they're on the picket lines, about one-fifth of what they normally make. Connoisseurs estimate that the actions have already cost GM more than 1 billion dollars and a production loss of almost 120,000 vehicles until 2 October.