Tuesday, 12 November, 2019

Here's what's on the negotiation table — GM strike

GM CEO Barra joins bargaining table in bid to end UAW strike sources Reports say a settlement could be coming in strike between GM and UAW
Russell Knight | 17 October, 2019, 17:07

UAW Vice President Terry Dittes said there would be a tentative agreement if GM accepted it.

A UAW spokesman declined to comment.

A union demand that all vehicles sold in the U.S.be built here apparently has been resolved, but terms are unknown.

The union has been seeking to have some of the vehicles that GM is now building in Mexico shift back to the United States factories. If they approve it, then this group would also decide if workers would put down picket signs and go back to work. GM in September said its initial offer would support 5,400 jobs - and a majority of those would be new jobs. Workers could stay on strike until after all members vote on the contract.

Both sides also have agreed on a path for temporary workers to get permanent jobs.

The strike has halted work at 31 GM factories and 21 other facilities spread across nine states, mostly in the center of the country. No tentative deal has been announced, but sources say the meeting is a very good sign that one may be close.

General Motors Co has missed out on about US$2 billion of earnings as a result of the United Auto Workers walkout, which will cost striking workers about US$2,000 of profit sharing, analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch estimated. The union also went on a brief two-day strike against General Motors in 2007.

GM declined to comment on the involvement of its top two executives in the negotiations.

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UAW and GM reach proposed tentative agreement to end strike
General Motors CEO Mary Barra joined negotiators at the bargaining table on Tuesday before announcing a tentative agreement. GM Union worker Matthew Sleeman said he was ready to get back to work and hopes the deal passes the majority vote.

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Meanwhile, on Monday, UAW members began protesting outside of GM dealerships.

Three days after that statement, Barra met face-to-face with union officials for the first time since the start of the strike in an effort to move talks towards an agreement.

One of the most contentious issues that was standing the way of a deal involved the treatment of temporary workers, some of whom have worked at GM for as long as four years. GM initially offered an $8,000 bonus to workers to sign the contract, but sweetened that to $9,000. A group affiliated with electric truck maker Workhorse Group had proposed acquiring the Lordstown plant. The union also sought sweeter retirement benefits.

These proposals could have changed or been dropped in the final days of the talks.

General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra speaks during the opening of their contract talks with the United Auto Workers in Detroit.

This year's talks have been overshadowed by a widening federal investigation into corruption at the union. GM had proposed that they become permanent after three uninterrupted years of work, but that was shortened.

The two sides appear to be getting close to a deal. Several Democrats have slammed companies like GM for not paying their fair share in taxes. Inflation-adjusted wages for all US auto workers have fallen 16% since 2010, and UAW workers at the Detroit Three have received only two base wage increases of 3% in the past nine years, according to vehicle. High absenteeism and rich health benefits add to the cost burdens at a time when US vehicle sales are projected to decline and automakers are funding investments in electric vehicles.

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