FILE PHOTO: General Motors Assembly Workers and their Supporters Gather to Stack Outside the General Motors Bowling Green Plant at United Auto Workers (UAW) National Strike in Bowling Green, Kentucky, USA, September 20, 201
DETROIT (Reuters) – As the United States strike of the United Auto Workers Union v General Motors Co ( GM.N ) approaches three weeks, the main remaining questions in the negotiations have narrowed to pay and retirement, said a person familiar with the calls Saturday.
The GM strike began on September 16 with the 48,000 members of the UAW who wanted higher wages, greater job security, a greater share of the leading US carmaker's profits and health care protection. The sides met daily and negotiations continued on Saturday, and representatives from both sides declined to discuss details.
One of the key remaining questions includes the UAW's desire to reduce the time it takes for newer hires to earn the top pay scale of around $ 31 an hour from the current eight-year period, the source said, which asked not to be identified because the talks are ongoing.
Another case is a request from the union for a higher pension payment, which means an improved formula for those members who were hired before 2007 who would be covered by a pension, and a higher contribution to the 401 (k) plans for members employed after 2007, the source said.
UAW said late Friday that it had made "good progress" in the negotiations on such issues as health care and status as temporary workers.
The focus on fewer questions indicates that the talks may be approaching a resolution as the dispute charges a fee for both the carmaker and striking UAW workers, whose $ 250-a-week individual compensation from the Union strike fund is a fraction of their normal pay.
Analysts estimate that the strike has cost GM over a billion dollars, while LMC Automotive on Thursday estimated GM lost production of 118,000 vehicles through October 2.
Reporting by Ben Klayman; Editing by Chris Reese