GM strike affects about 150,000 auto industry workers

Cornelia Mascio
Ottobre 9, 2019

The strike at the No.1 US carmaker began on September 16, with its 48,000 members of the United Auto Workers (UAW) union seeking higher pay, greater job security, a bigger share of the automaker's profit and protection of healthcare benefits.

The United Autoworkers (UAW) strike against Aramark, which started a day before the union's national strike against General Motors, is carrying on while contract negotiations remain hung up on wages and healthcare.

Terry Dittes, vice president and director of the UAW General Motors Department, said in a letter to local union presidents and other officials that the Aramark strike has researched its 24th day with negotiators still unable to have reach agreement on key issues such as wages and health care. "We believe that the vehicles GM sells here should be built here".

In the latest round of negotiations the union released a letter stating there's "little to report" on their top agenda items.

A New York Times article highlights the personal costs of the strike, and provides more numbers to illustrate the costs. Talks are set to resume Wednesday morning and the sides have exchanged numerous proposals since the strike began. 1,200 truckers and production workers from suppliers in Flint, Michigan lost their jobs.

GM announced in November 2018 it would close four US factories, including two assembly plants, and cut 15,000 jobs in North America.

"We have made it clear that there is no job security for us when GM products are made in other countries for the goal of selling them here in the U.S.A.", Dittes said.

About 5,000 workers at MI auto suppliers have filed for unemployment benefits as a result of the strike, the state's Unemployment Insurance Agency said on Tuesday.

AEG estimates that the strike has resulted in a $660 million (540.6 million pounds) profit hit for GM and more than $412 million in direct wage losses for all employees through the third week of the strike.

GM's share price dropped by 2.5% on Tuesday as broader indexes fell.

It has also led to $155 million in lost federal income and payroll tax revenue and $9.1 million in lost MI income tax revenue.

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