GM Strike Update: Automaker And UAW Could Be Close To A Deal

GM Strike Update: Automaker And UAW Could Be Close To A Deal
[Photos: United Auto Workers]
  • GM and UAW negotiators continue to talk in efforts to reach a deal to end the ongoing strike.
  • Negotiators have met daily since the strike began on September 16.
  • Talks have intensified within the past 48 hours and unsettled proposals are at the “Main Table”, signaling a possible end to the strike.

Talks have intensified as the strike nears its third week.

The United Auto Workers Union has been in talks with General Motors, negotiating new terms for workers in the wake of a strike that began on September 16. According to recent reports, the two parties could be closing in on a tentative agreement that would end the strike. Negotiators are expected to continue bargaining into Friday, according to a CNBC piece.

48,000 workers picketed outside GM’s U.S. plants on the strike’s tenth day. On Wednesday, a letter from UAW president Terry Dittes said progress had been made this week.

According to Dittes, all unsettled proposals are now “at the Main Table and have been presented to General Motors and we are awaiting their responses. [The] back and forth will continue until negotiations are complete.” GM responded in kind, saying its negotiators “continue to meet and our goal remains to reach an agreement that builds a stronger future for our employees and our business.”

GM Strike Update: Automaker And UAW Could Be Close To A Deal

The strike has already had consequences, even outside the United States. While the workers have to get by on strike pay through the UAW — amounting to $250 per week — GM made the decision to temporarily layoff 1,200 employees at its Oshawa plant in Ontario, Canada. The layoffs came from a lack of parts to build the last-generation Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra light duty trucks, effectively ending their production run.

According to multiple reports, analysts believe the strike is losing General Motors between $50-100 million every day.

As it stands, no official deal has been reached. It’s unconfirmed whether the UAW and GM will strike an agreement within hours or days, but we will keep an eye on the negotiations. Even when they do reach a deal, workers may not return to work immediately. Any deal needs to be presented to a council comprising GM and UAW officials, then approved by members. As losses from the strike continue to deepen, GM has reversed course on some issues. For instance, the company agreed to provide health benefits to striking workers.

According to a letter from Scott Sandefur, GM’s North American Vice President of Labor Relations, “GM has chosen to work with our providers to keep all benefits fully in place for striking hourly employees, so they have no disruption to their medical care, including vision, prescription and dental coverage.”

This has been the first national work stoppage since a two-day stroke in 2007. It has been the longest national strike since the 1970s.