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UAW GM strike: UAW goes on strike against GM




The union's 46,000 hourly workers went to 31 GM factories and 21 other facilities, spread across nine states, mostly in the center of the country. It is the biggest strike by any union against any business since the last strike at GM in 2007.

The strike started at 11:59 pm Sunday night. The two sides did not formally meet Sunday after the union declared their intention to strike at a press conference in the morning, although union spokesman Brian Rothenberg said the dialogue between the two sides was ongoing. A new meeting between the two sides is set for 10 am Monday.

The union said GM put profits in front of employees who helped turn the company over when it went through bankruptcy and federal bailout a decade ago.

The company said it made a significant offer that includes improved pay and profit sharing for union members, along with investments to create new jobs. It also promised a "solution" for two of the four facilities currently planned for closure: one in Detroit and another in Lordstown, Ohio.

The company did not say what the solution would be. But a person familiar with GM's offerings said it included a promise to build a new electric truck at Detroit Hamtramck, and to build new batteries for electric cars in Lordstown. This work would not start immediately, so the plants are likely to remain dark for some time. Work would begin once in the next four years if the offer is accepted.

A source close to the UAW with direct knowledge of negotiations said that most of the proposals the company made public on Sunday came very late in the negotiations on Saturday.

GM announced plans in November 201[ads1]8 to shut down assembly plants in Detroit and Lordstown, along with transmission facilities in Baltimore and Warren, Michigan. The UAW has promised that keeping the plants open would be an important negotiation request. Late Saturday said that while there had been progress in the talks, there were still "significant differences between the parties regarding wages, health care, temporary staff, job security and profit sharing."

GM states that the average hourly worker earns around $ 90,000 per year, not including benefits. But the number of hourly workers at GM has dropped sharply in recent decades, due to a combination of automation, lost market share and outsourcing. But GM is still building the overwhelming majority of cars it sells in the US market in North America. And it has far more factories in the United States than in Mexico or Canada.

If the union goes on strike, it will be the largest of any unions against any US business since the last time UAW members beat GM in 2007.

The union had previously extended the contracts of two other US automakers with UAW contracts, Ford ( F ) and Fiat Chrysler ( FCAU ) as it targeted GM in an effort to reach an agreement that would set a pattern for the industry. The union announced late Saturday that membership would work past the original 12:01 ET contract expired early Sunday, there would be no long-term extension of the contract at GM if the two sides failed to reach an agreement on Sunday.
All three automakers are dealing with slower sales and the need to make huge multi-billion dollar investments in developing electric and self-driving vehicles that have more long-term potential than today's market demand.
There was a need to save money for the effort GM stopped operating at three US factories – including the Lordstown assembly line, and announced plans to close the Hamtramck plant, its last Detroit plant, early next year.
But the negotiations come when the trade union is hit by a scandal involving the misuse of union funds, and in some cases trade unions accept bribes from officials at Fiat Chrysler. Nine people affiliated with the union or Fiat Chrysler have already pleaded guilty to federal charges.
Last week, Detroit News reported that the union's president, Gary Jones, was the unnamed union identified in the latest indictment as "UAW Official A." The union did not respond to a request for comment on that report.
  Fed's search of UAW president, seize documents

Experts say the scandal will make it harder to get rankings and archive union members with car manufacturers to ratify any tentative agreement reached by union management. Four years ago, all the agreements went only by narrow margins, although there was no scandal at the time.

The last strike 12 years ago lasted only three days, but some strikes against GM have expanded for several months in the past. For many of the employees employed since 2007, this is their first work stoppage.

CNN's Scott McLean contributed to this report.



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