UAW-GM strike enters fifth week with no clear path forward

Negotiations continue between United Auto Workers, General Motors

DETROIT – The United Automobile Workers strike against General Motors is entering its fifth week with no clear end in sight.

Negotiations continue Monday at the Renaissance Center in Downtown Detroit, but on the picket lines, UAW employees have a renewed incentive to keep up the fight after strike pay was raised over the weekend.

Negotiators went back to the table around 8 a.m. Monday after wrapping up around 10 p.m. Sunday. The two sides gained some traction Sunday, but that might not mean much in the grand scheme of the negotiations.

Workers continue to picket with slightly increased strike pay, but they're anxious for the walkout to end.

"It's just morale," Detroit-Hamtramck strike captain Simon Dandu said. "Opportunity to thank the community for its support, for giving us food and helping. It's a boost."

Monday is the 29th day of the strike, and workers are now receiving $275 per week in strike pay.

Dandu said he'd like to see a settlement this week. Labor expert Arthur Schwartz told Local 4 it would come after marathon talks we've yet to see.

"That's the way it usually goes when you settle," Schwartz said. "You go to the main table, and there aren't 30 people in the room, either, when you do this. There's a limited number of people so you can actually negotiate and get it done, and you go around the clock until you get it done."

Experts said General Motors has lost more than $1 billion in profits, while line workers have lost nearly $750 million in income. Feds and the state of Michigan are losing tax dollars.

There's a growing sentiment that something has to change soon.

"The company's hurting," Dandu said. "The workers on strike are hurting. The communities are hurting. We need to get this thing done."

"I'm hoping they resolve the problem because either way you look, everybody's losing," Schwartz said.

It came as welcome news to workers on the line that GM has offered to put an electric pickup truck on the line here, and the information coming out about what's in the deal is encouraging, workers said. They don't know for sure what they're getting until there's a deal, though, and so far, that's proving elusive.

About the Authors:

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

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.