DETROIT – UAW officials have launched a national strike against General Motors.
This is the nation's first auto strike in more than a decade. Workers are demanding a fair contract. The media briefing was held in Detroit's Marriott Renaissance Hotel. It took place after a private meeting between the UAW and GM.
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- 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 49,000 members would be on strike.
- 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" and that it "is disappointing that the UAW leadership has chosen to strike at midnight tonight."
GM statement on bargaining
GM issued a statement after the national strike was announced. The company noted that its offer to the UAW included over $7 billion in U.S. investments, more than 5,400 jobs, higher pay, improved benefits and more.
“We presented a strong offer that improves wages, benefits and grows U.S. jobs in substantive ways and it is disappointing that the UAW leadership has chosen to strike at midnight tonight. We have negotiated in good faith and with a sense of urgency. Our goal remains to build a strong future for our employees and our business,” GM said in the statement.
Sunday's private meeting was held after General Motors let the UAW contract expire Saturday.
UAW announces strike
As of Sunday morning, 850 employees across Michigan and Ohio had already walked off the job. Just after midnight, UAW members who work for Aramark, a facility maintenance contractor, began to go on strike.
The autoworkers are calling on the Big 3 automaker to recognize the contributions and sacrifices that the company’s UAW members have made to create a healthy, profitable, industry.
“We stood up for General Motors when they needed us most. Now we are standing together in unity and solidarity for our members, their families and the communities where we work and live,” said UAW Vice President Terry Dittes.
The UAW says its roughly 49,000 members are on strike.
Members who picket will be paid $250 a week. GM is estimated to lose $250 million dollars a day while the strike is ongoing.
Negotiations are set to resume Monday morning while the strike is ongoing.
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.”
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.
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Local 4 and ClickOnDetroit will be following this developing story.