DETROIT – The United Auto Workers officials announced a national strike against General Motors that started at 11:59 p.m. Sunday.
It is the first auto strike in more than a decade. Negotiations between the UAW and GM will continue Monday morning, but union members are still hitting the picket line.
Nearly 50,000 workers at GM plants across the country are involved. 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.
The economic impact could be massive, but neither side is backing down. Leaders from both sides say they are still far apart on big issues.
As GM workers strike, UAW members with Ford and Fiat Chrysler are keeping a close watch. Brian Keller is with Local 12-48 and he said it could only be a matter of time before workers with all of the Big Three are on the picket lines.
Union wants better wages, benefits
UAW Vice President Terry Dittes said members deserve better wages and benefits. GM countered and said its offer was fair.
"We are standing up for fair wages," Dittes said. "We are standing up for affordable quality health care. We are standing up for our share of the profits."
"Over $7 billion in new plants and product programs that also impact 5,400 jobs new or created," said Gerald Johnson with GM Global Manufacturing. "We think inside that we've also been able to handle unallocated plants in Michigan and Ohio."
Embattled UAW President Gary Jones did not announce the strike, nor did he speak with the media. Instead, Jones left the talking to Dittes.
"It's hard to trust or have faith in leadership when they sold you out for self-serving reasons," one UAW member said.
Members say they are fighting for a piece of GM's record-breaking profits.
Local 4 and ClickOnDetroit will be following this developing story.