UAW-GM strike in 4th week: Here's what's going on

Negotiations continue, but what's the real holdup?

This could force Michigan into a state recession.

DETROIT – Two paychecks gone.

The $250 weekly strike pay not covering nearly enough for United Autoworkers who enter a fourth week of picketing. Meanwhile, General Motors is losing hundreds of millions of dollars. Economist Patrick Anderson saying Michigan is staring down the barrel of a one-state recession.

"You also have a lot of people who have reduced hours, and all of a sudden no overtime, or they're not working 40 hours, or they're not getting called in. A lot of the gig economy is affected now, people doing part-time design work, things like that," said Anderson.

The gambit to strike is costly and the delicate dance to a deal is complicated. Former GM negotiator Dr. Arthur Schwartz says this strike is complicated by the UAW leadership's legal problems. The union put Region 5 director Vance Pearson on leave Friday because of his embezzlement problems.

"The leadership is a little bit nervous about being able to ratify and so everything is taking longer. You don't have the leadership leading, they're looking over their shoulder at the membership all the time wondering if the is gonna fly," said Anderson.

Center for Automotive Research analyst Kristin Dziczek said despite all of the concern about it taking so long, this could solve quickly.

"It always comes down to the things that are the economics, the core economics -- base wage increases, how many employees, what are the product guarantees, what's healthcare going to be -- the things that cost a lot of money. You can't solve one of them until you solve all of them," she said.


'Negotiations have taken a turn for the worse'

After significant progress, UAW says negotiations with GM have taken a turn for the worse.

The UAW said it sent an extensive proposal to GM on Saturday, which included at least 35 proposals for hourly workers and three proposals for salaried workers.

GM countered Sunday morning. In a statement released by the UAW, the union said GM "reverted back to their last rejected proposal and made little change. It did nothing to provide job security during the term of this agreement."

In a statement released by GM, the automaker said it will "continue to negotiate in good faith with very good proposals that benefit employees today and builds a stronger future for all of us."

This turn for the worse comes less than 48 hours after a UAW regional director was placed on leave. Vance Pearson is accused of embezzling union funds, money laundering and wire fraud.

About the Author:

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