The UAW and General Motors are still far apart on at least one of the labor contract’s major sticking points: job security, a top UAW official said Tuesday.
“We have openly told GM that we do not see a solid commitment to this talented and skilled workforce that has made them billions of dollars in profits. We have made it clear that there is no job security for us when GM products are made in other countries for the purpose of selling them here in the U.S.A.,” Terry Dittes, vice president of the UAW-GM department, wrote in a letter to more than 46,000 GM workers who have been on strike over the labor contract since Sept. 16.
GM’s initial labor contract proposal included allocating an electric pickup to the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant and battery cell manufacturing in Lordstown, Ohio, according to a person familiar with the offer. Lordstown is one of three U.S. plants where GM has ended production this year, and the Detroit-Hamtramck plant is otherwise scheduled to close in January.
GM’s initial offer also included $7 billion in new U.S. investments and 5,400 new or retained jobs.
A GM spokesman declined to comment on Dittes’ latest update.
“We believe that the vehicles GM sells here should be built here. We don’t understand GM’s opposition to this proposition,” Dittes said.
UAW bargainers are willing to discuss other strategies to ensure job security, Dittes added, “but building more world-class vehicles at our UAW-GM locations is the best solution for our Members, our families, our communities and GM.”
The effect of the strike has rippled through the industry. About 75,000 employees of parts suppliers have either been temporarily laid off or have seen their wages slashed due to the decline in parts demand from GM, according a report from research and consulting firm Anderson Economic Group.
Through the third week of the strike, GM lost $660 million in profit, and employees lost more than $412 million in direct wages, according to the firm.