UAW on strike: 'Vehicles GM sells here should be built here'

American workers' job security among 'top agenda items' for UAW

UAW strike sign in front of the General Motors world headquarters in Detroit. (WDIV)

DETROIT – In a statement released Wednesday, United Auto Workers (UAW) union leaders said General Motors is showing a lack of job security for its American workers during contract negotiations.

Terry Dittes, UAW vice president and director, wrote "we have made it clear that there is no job security for us when GM products are made in other countries for the purpose of selling them here in the U.S.A."

The UAW's national strike against GM is in its fourth week. The letter notes that the issue of job security is a top agenda item and there has been little progress to report.

Here is Dittes' full letter to union members:

Dear Union Brothers and Sisters:

Each of you are aware of the UAW's core values when we enter a set of negotiations. Issues like wages, healthcare, pension, health and safety, etc. have been part of the UAW fabric for over 80 years! All of us here, in this set of negotiations, are very concerned about the issue of job security. Job security impacts you, your families, and the communities where we live and work.

On day 23 of our strike, this still remains as one of our top agenda items with little progress to report. Economic gains in this Agreement will mean nothing without job security. Collectively, we are fighting for a middle-class way of life.

The lack of commitment by GM to our UAW-GM locations has weighed heavily on all of us trying to get the best contract for you and your families. We have openly told GM that we do not see a solid commitment to this talented and skilled workforce that has made them billions of dollars in profits. We have made it clear that there is no job security for us when GM products are made in other countries for the purpose of selling them here in the U.S.A. We believe that the vehicles GM sells here should be built here. We don't understand GM's opposition to this proposition. We are willing to discuss other ways to ensure real job security during the term of this Agreement, but building more world-class vehicles at our UAW-GM locations is the best solution for our Members, our families, our communities and GM.

We will continue to negotiate to reach a Tentative Agreement, but we wanted to clarify our stance on real job security for all of you.

Thank you for standing strong as one and making us proud to represent you.

In solidarity,
Terry Dittes
Vice President and Director
UAW General Motors Department

The strike began on Sept. 15 and, by the next day, nearly 50,000 union members had stopped reporting to work. The strike has resulted in the shutting down of 33 manufacturing plants and 22 part distribution facilities nationwide.

About the Author:

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.