By on September 16, 2019

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.

[Image: General Motors]

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24 Comments on “Contract Talks Restart; UAW Says GM Took Its Sweet Time Coming Up With Something Half Decent...”


  • avatar
    indi500fan

    I’ve not looked at GM’s inventory lately but I assume they could be down for six weeks before the supply was really tight. And of course all the non-US stuff keeps coming.

    • 0 avatar
      honda1

      CNBC just said they have about 70 odd days on inventory on cars and cuv/suv and 90 of days of the ugly trucks. But you know what, who gives a $hit, screw you UAW, you are nothing but crooks. I would never buy a current gm pos, but I would like for Mary to tell you to gfys.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        Nothing like hating on fellow citizens?
        Remember that it was good blue collar jobs that fueled the economy in the USA for decades. Your President remembers, because he has mentioned trying to create a trade agreement that the unions will approve of.

        • 0 avatar
          honda1

          Unions were needed back in the day, but not today IMO. Who the hell do they think they are DEMANDING stuff. Tell me they ARE NOT corrupt. The time has come. GM, Ford, and FCA can provide good blue collar jobs. Honda as been doing it for 40 years in the US. The time has come.

          • 0 avatar

            Honda and Toyota don’t need unions because they make rational decisions that benefit both the workers and management. GM and Ford essentially just listen to the short sellers on Wall Street resulting in poor quality and labor unrest.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            In fairness, we don’t know how they would conduct themselves in a world without UAW. I’m not saying it would turn into “The Jungle” overnight but they may not be as benevolent.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            Unions serve as a check and/or balance on management. They can demand anything but can only get what management agrees to in negotiations.

            We have seen what the working relationship is like when unions are weak or do not exist and it is not ‘pretty’. Studies of the employment relationship are based on the ‘power struggle’ inherent in the relationship.

            Research into social mobility, work/life balance, standards of living and the ‘happiness’ of citizens demonstrate that in the ‘western world’ each of these correlate with union density levels.

            Honda and Toyota management have demonstrated over the past 4 decades that they generally make better decisions than does the management of the D3.

            As for corruption, who is the more corrupt, the one taking the bribe or the one offering the bribe?

          • 0 avatar
            redgolf

            Yeah, you tell em honda1, who the he__ needs a pension and health care, everyone enjoys working for $10-$15/hr, mom and dad don’t care helping to pay for you and the grandchildren, after all it’s the American way right – take care of your own!

        • 0 avatar

          UAW members are not good citizen, they voted for Mr.T.

        • 0 avatar
          conundrum

          Arthur, Terry here. These anti-union blockheads don’t know any history, and furthermore couldn’t care less. They know it all just by existing.

          • 0 avatar
            ttiguy

            Correcto Terry! Most of them (like Honda1) are inconsequential nobodies who just come here (and other similar sites) to spew their frustrations.

            I’m union neutral (never been in one, no need for one) but I can’t help but to think that the UAW is screwing it’s membership on this one. The offer GM has out there currently is darn good but leadership knows the membership won’t ratify anything without a strike. So here we go……

  • avatar
    blockmachining

    The UAW should be identified as a domestic terrorist organization.

  • avatar
    honda1

    Correcto!

  • avatar
    redapple

    Unions have outlived their usefulness. They add cost, restrictive work rules and protect problem workers. This hurts the end product.

    Back when Northwest Airlines was around, was it better than Delta? Hell no.

    Is a GM car better than its Honda counterpart? Hell no.

    In these examples the inferior product is the UNION PRODUCT. More examples are not readily available. Because other firms are too smart to have unions around.

    After all, most union members are GOVERNMENT workers (no free market competition)

  • avatar
    tomLU86

    Yes, Honda and Toyota make better labor/management decisions…

    I think many of the criticisms leveled at the UAW here are valid. Some don’t go far enough.

    However, without the UAW, workers would work more less–perhaps much less.

    And yet, the CEO of a bailed out company can take home over $20 million….

    Back to the Japanese transplants. Yes, they have a “good labor relationship”.

    Do their workers make more? No. But they labor under the umbrella provided by the UAW. If the transplant automakers pay too low, they risk letting a union in.

    Do their workers have lower job injury rates? Well, given that they are generally YOUNGER and work in NEWER plant, the answer should be yes. Yet the Detroit three have lower job injury rates.

    Also, as far as Detroit’s competitors, if one digs into some of them, Subaru comes to mind, they might not be as benevolent as we think.

    • 0 avatar
      redgolf

      I live here in Nissan land (Smyrna Tn.)one of the largest if not the largest assembly plants in the country,I know plenty of workers who retired, quit, were fired, the plant is packed with workers with a known very, very high turn over rate of employees!They still manage to keep the UAW out because of a threat of moving to Mexico despite the fact they are over worked and under paid, with low pensions and health benefits, most retirees I know have to get a “retirement job” just to keep food on the table and health benefits! Mom/Dad, can we come live with you? ;-(

  • avatar
    1500cc

    At least this will give GM another excuse as to why its new trucks are losing market share to Ram.

  • avatar

    Day 2

    GM
    Mary Barra
    What a disgrace!

  • avatar

    Day 3
    What a disgrace.

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