UAW to let GM contract lapse, raising likelihood of strike

UAW logo (WDIV)
UAW logo (WDIV)

DETROIT – The United Auto Workers union is letting its contract with General Motors expire at 11:59 p.m., increasing the likelihood of a strike as early as Sunday night.

Citing significant differences with the company on wages, health care and other issues, union Vice President Terry Dittes tells local union officials in a letter that a decision on whether to strike will be made Sunday.

The union says in a letter to GM that union members will report for regular shifts on Sunday.

Both letters were obtained Saturday by The Associated Press.

Dittes says in the letter to union officials that they'll be working until the deadline in an effort to reach an agreement.

But he says they're also far apart on use of temporary employees, job security and profit sharing.

"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," Dittes said. "We are united in our efforts to get an agreement our members and their families deserve."

Dittes said workers are expected to continue working under the same terms and conditions once the contract expires. 

GM released the following statement Saturday evening:

"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 UAW has a meeting scheduled at midnight Saturday to make a final decision.