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GM makes public plea for union to resolve UAW strike

The automaker released a letter to the public urging the union to strike an agreement.

GM-UAW strike
The strike now approaches the four-week mark.
SOPA Images/Getty Images

On day 26 of the GM-UAW strike, General Motors has issued a public plea urging the union to negotiate a final deal to put employees back to work.

In the letter, signed by Gerald Johnson, executive vice president of global manufacturing, he references the automaker's most recent package proposal delivered to the UAW this past Monday. According to the automaker, it feels the company effectively addressed major UAW concerns such as wage increases, preservation of medical benefits, better profit-sharing programs and treatment of temporary workers. The UAW has long wanted a pathway to allow temporary workers to become full-time employees. GM said its latest proposal "would create a clear path to permanent employment and include a ratification bonus."

"We have advised the Union that it's critical that we get back to producing quality vehicles for our customers," Johnson said in the letter.

The UAW did not immediately respond to a request for comment on GM's letter. The last public update from the union came on Oct. 8 and surrounded job security. Then, Vice President and Director of the UAW General Motors Department Terry Dittes said, "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 USA."

Dittes called on GM vehicles sold in the US to be built in the US by UAW workers.

This letter is the second time GM has been forthcoming about its negotiating posture during the UAW strike. At the strike's onset, GM published light details about its initial labor contract proposal, which included battery cell production and production of an electric pickup truck -- rumored for the currently unallocated Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant. Meanwhile, the battery plant may have a home near the idled Lordstown plant in Ohio, which built the now-discontinued Chevy Cruze.

The strike has made things tough for both sides, and as the situation drags on, it only becomes more difficult. UAW members continue to live on strike pay that equals $250 per week. GM has shut down production at multiple Mexican plants as parts shortages force manufacturing to grind to a halt. The work stoppage in Mexico has affected transmission assembly and production of its ever-important pickup trucks. It's rumored the strike will also delay the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray's launch.

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