UAW-GM strike: Negotiations underway Monday as workers picket

Picket lines form outside sveral GM plants

Video shows UAW workers striking outside the GM Lake Orion plant on Monday morning.

LAKE ORION, Mich. – Video shows UAW workers picketing outside the General Motors Lake Orion Assembly plant on Monday morning.

LATEST50,000 union workers walk off jobs across country

  • The UAW strike against GM began at 11:59 p.m. Sunday. Picket lines have formed outside of plants Monday morning.
  • The UAW says its roughly 50,000 members would be on strike
  • Workers have shut down 33 manufacturing plants in nine states and 22 parts distribution warehouses.
  • UAW members who show up at the picket line will get $250 a week.
  • As of Sunday morning, 850 employees across Michigan and Ohio had already walked off the job.
  • The UAW said workers are striking to secure fair wages, affordable healthcare, their share of profits, job security and a defined path to permanent seniority for temp workers.
  • GM said it presented "a strong offer that improves wages, benefits and grows U.S. jobs in substantive ways"

The union workers went on strike Sunday night after negotiations broke down with the automaker. A couple dozen union workers formed a picket line outside the Lake Orion plant Monday morning, blocking the vehicles of other workers who were reporting to their jobs.

Eventually, the vehicles were allowed to enter the plant parking lot, but not before some back-and-forth with the picketers.

UAW on strike against General Motors -- watch:

UAW officials have launched a national strike against General Motors.

Negotiations Monday

Negotiations will get underway again by 10 a.m. Monday. The UAW announced this national strike Sunday morning because they felt they only had about 2 percent of the contract negotiated with General Motors. Then GM put out what it was that they were offering -- read that statement here.

Workers form a picket line outside GM's Hamtramck Assembly plant on Sept. 16, 2019. (WDIV)

Now the talks will be in earnest on Monday. It appears the logjam between the two sides has been broken after the strike announcement and subsequent GM statement on negotiations.

The automaker is expected to lose $250 million a day at its assembly plants. UAW members who show up at the picket line will get $250 a week.

This is the largest strike against any U.S. business since 2007.

Workers form a picket line outside GM's Hamtramck Assembly plant on Sept. 16, 2019. (WDIV)

UAW says GM should have made latest offer sooner

A top United Auto Workers official is telling General Motors that if the company had made its latest offer earlier, the union may not have gone on strike.

The letter from UAW Vice President Terry Dittes (DIT-ez) to GM's chief bargainer says the company waited to make the offer until two hours before the contract expired Friday night. He says it would have been possible to reach an agreement and avoid a strike if the company moved sooner.

Union demands

Workers are going on strike to secure:

•    Fair Wages
•    Affordable Healthcare
•    Our Share of Profits
•    Job Security
•    A Defined Path to Permanent Seniority for Temps

The decision to strike comes a day after UAW Vice President Terry Dittes notified General Motors leadership that the Union would not agree to extend the Collective Bargaining Agreements.

"We have been clear at the table about what GM members have indicated we will accept. We are standing up for what is right. We as local unions will sacrifice to stand up for what we deserve," said National Bargaining Committee Chair Ted Krumm of UAW Local 652.  

"Our members have spoken; we have taken action; and this is a decision we did not make lightly. We are committed to a strong contract at GM that recognizes our UAW members, who make some of the greatest products in the world and make GM so profitable."

Workers form a picket line outside GM's Hamtramck Assembly plant on Sept. 16, 2019. (WDIV)

Ford, FCA contracts extended

The UAW said Friday that it was allowing its contracts with Ford and FCA to extend past the Saturday night deadline while the union focused on bargaining with GM. The UAW had announced earlier this month that GM would be the focus of bargaining. 

Ford and FCA union leaders will wait to see what kind of deal comes out of the GM bargaining.


Local 4 and ClickOnDetroit will be following this developing story.




About the Authors:

Rod Meloni is an Emmy Award-winning Business Editor on Local 4 News and a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional.