Contract Talks Restart; UAW Says GM Took Its Sweet Time Coming Up With Something Half Decent

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
contract talks restart uaw says gm took its sweet time coming up with something half

The United Auto Workers claims General Motors waited almost literally till the eleventh hour to toss out a halfway decent offer, but by that time it was too late to bang out an agreement before an 11:59 p.m. Sunday strike deadline.

As talks get underway after GM auto workers hit the streets last night, the level of disagreement between the two sides remains in dispute. What is clear is that GM faces losses of 50 to 90 million dollars a day if the strike continues.

According to the Associated Press (via the Los Angeles Times), a letter sent from UAW Vice President Terry Dittes to GM VP of labor relations Scott Sandefur doesn’t jibe with a comment made by a union spokesperson.

In the Sunday letter, Dittes said GM waited until 2 hours before making the offer posted to the automaker’s corporate website (now deleted). That offer dialed back certain concessions GM sought from the union negotiating team. “Had we received this proposal earlier in the process, it may have been possible to reach a tentative agreement and avoid a strike,” Dittes wrote.

However, this statement is at odds with a remark made Monday by UAW flack Brian Rothenberg, who claimed the two sides agreed on only 2 percent of the labor agreement by the time the clock ran out.

We outlined GM’s offer earlier today. What the automaker proposed earlier in the day, Automotive News reports, was for workers to pay 15 percent of their healthcare tab, up from 3 or 4 percent in the just-expired contract. That deal was soon off the table. Up for grabs in the revised offer were pay increases of 2 percent and a similar hike in lump sum payments, though Mike Warchuck, president of UAW Local 653, claims there was no movement on the effort to gain better benefits for temporary employees — many of which have been with the company for years.

Of course, as the strike consumes most of the oxygen in the room, there’s still a smoldering fire in the background of all this drama. That would be the ongoing federal probe into corruption at the highest levels of the UAW, and Monday brought news that a UAW director arrested last week and charged with fraud and conspiracy took part in Sunday’s UAW meeting in Detroit.

A little detail from the sidelines of UAW-GM meetings yesterday…

— Robert Snell (@robertsnellnews) September 16, 2019

[Image: General Motors]

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  • Marvin Im a current owner of a 2012 Golf R 2 Door with 5 grand on the odometer . Fun car to drive ! It's my summer cruiser. 2006 GLI with 33,000 . The R can be money pit if service by the dealership. For both cars I deal with Foreign car specialist , non union shop but they know their stuff !!! From what I gather the newer R's 22,23' too many electronic controls on the screen, plus the 12 is the last of the of the trouble free ones and fun to drive no on screen electronics Maze !
  • VoGhost I'm clearly in the minority here, but I think this is a smart move. Apple is getting very powerful, and has slowly been encroaching on the driving experience over the last decade. Companies like GM were on the verge of turning into mere hardware vendors to the Apple brand. "Is that a new car; what did you get?" "I don't remember. But it has the latest Apple OS, which is all I care about." Taking back the driving experience before it was too late might just be GM's smartest move in a while.
  • VoGhost Can someone Christian explain to me what this has to do with Jesus and bunnies?
  • Del My father bought GM cars in the 60's, but in 1971 he gave me a used Datsun (as they were called back then), and I'm now in my 70's and am happy to say that GM has been absent from my entire adult life. This article makes me gladder than ever.
  • TheEndlessEnigma That's right GM, just keep adding to that list of reasons why I will never buy your products. This, I think, becomes reason number 69, right after OnStar-Cannot-Be-Disabled-And-It-Comes-Standard-Whether-Or-Not-You-Want-It and Screw-You-American-Car-Buyer-We-Only-Make-Trucks-And-SUVs.