With No Deal Reached, UAW Votes for Midnight Strike Against GM

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
with no deal reached uaw votes for midnight strike against gm

Hours after a four-year contract between the United Automobile Workers and General Motors expired without an extension, the union voted to kick off a nationwide strike against the automaker at 11:59 pm Sunday. The move would leave plants darkened and upwards of 49,000 auto workers on the picket line.

In a letter to members, UAW leadership said that while “some progress” has been made in its negotiations with GM, numerous outstanding issues remain — among them, wages, health benefits, temporary employees, job security, and profit sharing.

Given a number of looming or already completed plant closures announced by GM last fall, the union picked the automaker as its first bargaining target. UAW bargaining units for Ford and Fiat Chrysler opted to extend their deadlines.

Following a meeting of the UAW’s national council Sunday morning, the union issued the following statement to Automotive News:

UAW helped rebuild General Motors when they were near extinction, now they’ve reached record level profits. If GM refuses to give even an inch to help hard-working UAW members and their families then we’ll see them on the picket lines tonight.

Late Saturday, after the union decided to proceed without a contract pending a decision from council, UAW Vice President Terry Dittes stated, “While we are fighting for better wages, affordable quality health care, and job security, GM refuses to put hard-working Americans ahead of their record profits of $35 billion in North America over the last three years. We are united in our efforts to get an agreement our members and their families deserve.”

At the same time, GM issued the following:

We continue to work hard on solutions to some very difficult challenges. We are prepared to negotiate around the clock because there are thousands of GM families and their communities – and many thousands more at our dealerships and suppliers – counting on us for their livelihood. Our goal remains on building a strong future for our employees and our business.

The strike vote comes in the midst of a broad streamlining effort on the part of GM, which hopes to cut its capital spending by $1.5 billion per year. Last November, the automaker announced a 25-percent reduction of its executive ranks and the mothballing of five North American plants — four of them located in the United States. With this announcement came a death sentence for the Chevrolet Cruze, Volt, and Impala, the Buick LaCrosse, and the Cadillac CT6, as well as an uprooting of many Midwestern lives.

A nationwide strike would put the brakes on production of GM’s most profitable models: full-size and heavy-duty trucks. In 2007, the last time UAW workers walked out of GM plants, the automaker incurred losses of $300 million per day, CNBC reports.

In a press conference held Sunday morning in Detroit, Dittes called the strike action a “last resort,” with a union spokesman claiming that more than 200 local union leaders voted unanimously for the measure.

[Image: General Motors]

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  • Akear Akear on Sep 16, 2019

    There are so many issues on the table that I would not be surprised by a 30 day strike. I know one thing it will go far beyond the 2007 strike, which was just a few days. GM does not want a repeat of the 1974 strike.

  • Akear Akear on Sep 17, 2019

    Day two begins...…………..

  • Bullnuke Well, production cuts may be due to transport-to-market issues. The MV Fremantle Highway is in a Rotterdam shipyard undergoing repairs from the last shipment of VW products (along with BMW and others) and to adequately fireproof it. The word in the shipping community is that insurance necessary for ships moving EVs is under serious review.
  • Frank Wait until the gov't subsidies end, you aint seen nothing yet. Ive been "on the floor" when they pulled them for fuel efficient vehicles back during/after the recession and the sales of those cars stopped dead in their tracks
  • Vulpine The issue is really stupidly simple; both names can be taken the wrong way by those who enjoy abusing language. Implying a certain piece of anatomy is a sign of juvenile idiocy which is what triggered the original name-change. The problem was not caused by the company but rather by those who continuously ridiculed the original name for the purpose of VERY low-brow humor.
  • Sgeffe There's someone around where I live who has a recent WRX-STi, but the few times I've been behind this guy, he's always driving right at the underposted arbitrary numbers that some politician pulled out of their backside and slapped on a sign! With no gendarmes or schoolkids present! Haven't been behind this driver on the freeway, but my guess is that he does the left lane police thing with the best of 'em!What's the point of buying such a vehicle if you're never going to exceed a speed limit? (And I've pondered that whilst in line in the left lane at 63mph behind a couple of Accord V6s, as well as an AMG E-Klasse!)
  • Mebgardner I'm not the market for a malleable Tuner / Track model, so I dont know: If you are considering a purchase of one of these, do you consider the Insurance Cost Of Ownership aspect? Or just screw it, I'm gonna buy it no matter.The WRX is at the top of the Insurance Cost pole for tuner models, is why I ask.