The United Auto Workers union and General Motors (GM) have been unable to reach a viable solution to their issues, even as thousands of workers are on strike. The two parties met for discussing a new four-year labor contract which was rejected by the UAW. However, the talks haven’t broken down yet, and the two are still looking for suitable options.
What did General Motors offer?
General Motors reportedly made an offer similar to the one that the union had rejected previously. UAW Vice President handling GM department, Terry Dittes, wrote a letter to the union members saying,
“These negotiations have taken a turn for the worse. We, in this union, could not be more disappointed with General Motors. The company has shown an unwillingness to fairly compensate … the UAW.”
The UAW offer, which was proposed on Saturday, covered issues like job security, signing bonuses, profit sharing and wages of the workers. However, GM presented a counter-offer on Sunday that Dittes said contributed nothing to a wide variety of issues faced by the workers.
GM later issues a statement saying that it is negotiating with the union “around the clock” to ensure that they reach a deal. The company also noted that their negotiation offers are being made in good faith, and they want to benefit employees to create stronger prospects in the future.
Historic strikes affect GM
About 48,000 UAW union workers went on a strike on September 16 and demanded higher pay from the employer. They also wanted better job security and appealed to the employer to pay them a higher share of its profits. They also wanted adequate healthcare benefits as part of a new deal. The workers suggest that they supported the company through tough times, i.e. the 2008 financial crisis and now it is time for the company to support them. The two parties have been meeting every day to discuss a new plan, but the prospects of a new and better deal have remained bleak till date.
One of the issues that union workers have is related to an assembly. The union wants GM to make commitments about products built in the future in a variety of plants, over and above what is being offered at the moment. The Detroit-based automaker believes that it is paying the highest labor rates in the industry and it needs some wiggle room to ensure that it builds some products in different markets. Doing this helps in keeping the costs of the operation low.