General Motors strike could have local impact

UAW Votes For Nationwide Strike To Begin Before Midnight Sunday

Talks are set to resume Monday, but plants that makes cars and parts in nine states will be closed with almost 50,000 workers off the job.

Temporary plant worker Shanuel Merevith, of Edmonson County, Ky., carries a sign and walks the picket line outside the as General Motors assembly plant in Bowling Green, Ky, Monday, Sept. 16, 2019. The metal center employees approximately 1100 workers. As plants close, workers are sometimes forced to move repeatedly in order to keep their jobs.

The last UAW strike at General Motors came in 2007.

"A lot of folks are getting kind of nervous about their future and they're thinking about transferring out to other GM plants or taking on some other positions in non-automotive facilities", said Maloney.

About 2,200 workers at GM's Oshawa assembly plant build the Chevrolet Impala and models of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra.

"Every business that sells products to those workers takes a hit". "That's the big issue".

More than 49,000 GM workers nationwide are now off the job, and even though strike assistance pay is available after the fifteenth day of the strike, it's not much to live on. If the sale happens, Lordstown Motors officials have told local officials they want production to begin as early as late 2020.

But in the weeks leading up to the strike, GM took steps that could minimize the impact on its customers, at least if the strike doesn't drag on for long. "This is not about us". Two of GM Canada's plants - Oshawa and St. Catharines - rely on parts from the US and could see jobs being hit as early as this week, said Jerry Dias, national president for Unifor, the Canadian union.

Experts say the scandal will make it more hard to get rank and file union members at the automakers to ratify any tentative deal reached by union leadership.

And workers feel they are entitled to share in the corporation's profits, which have been buoyed by cost-cutting measures.

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GM shot back on social media stating its proposal would create 5400 new jobs across the country, improve the profit sharing formula, and add "autism therapy care, chiropractic care and allergy testing" to its healthcare plan.

GM said Sunday it offered pay raises and US$7 billion worth of USA factory investments resulting in 5,400 new positions, a minority of which would be filled by existing employees. The Chrysler UAW workers outnumbered GM workers on Monday evening.

GM's offer includes lump sum pay increases for workers in each of the next four years, continued health care benefits and $8,000 payments upon ratification of the deal, according to information provided by the company.

The UAW told Roadshow it does not comment publicly about negotiations but shared a letter from Terry Dittes, Vice President of the UAW General Motors Department. The length "depends on how far apart they really are and where the lines in the sand are drawn", she said. Any agreement reached with GM will serve as a template for talks with the other two companies.

On Sunday, about 200 plant-level leaders voted unanimously to strike against GM if no deal could be reached by Sunday night.

All three automakers are dealing with slower sales and the need to make huge multi-billion-dollar investments in developing electric and self-driving vehicles that have more long-term potential than current market demand.

Hutchinson says many of their "temporary" employees have been working at the plant for years, making less money and having none of the benefits as the person working next to them.

The United Auto Workers union said the fight for fair wages and job security are among the issues behind the strike - its first one against GM in 12 years - which could cost GM about US$50 million per day.

It's happening in nine states: Michigan, Ohio, New York, Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas, Missouri, Indiana, and Kansas.

"We are disappointed that the company waited until just two hours before the contract expired to make what we regard as its first serious offer", Dittes wrote in the letter to Scott Sandefur, GM's vice president of labor relations.

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