It's been nearly a month since UAW-GM workers walked off the job and took to the picket line across the US, and since then, it's been anything but a smooth ride for either side. Late Tuesday afternoon (East Coast time) there may be signs of a deal, however.
Reuters reported that GM CEO Mary Barra and GM President Mark Reuss were present at the latest round of negotiations and both sides are supposedly very close to a final agreement. There has been no public sign of a new labor agreement announcement, but Reuters cited sources close to the matter that said both GM and the union have agreed to numerous terms. Some areas left to work on include specific wording for some matters.
Wednesday, Oct. 16, will mark one month since the strike began, but both sides have remained quiet about the issues and proposals that continue to keep both sides from a tentative agreement that would send workers back to production plants. On Tuesday, the UAW acknowledged the strength of its members as negotiations continued. Strike pay has increased from $250 per week to $275. Striking workers may also take part-time work as long as they can still perform their picketing duties, the union announced.
Roadshow asked the automaker which issues remained on the table, but a representative simply said, "Talks continue with the union regarding negotiations on a new contract." There hasn't been any news until this afternoon surrounding the UAW's most recent labor contract proposal, which the union delivered on Friday. It came after the union publicly slammed the automaker for reverting to its previous proposal -- one UAW had already rejected.
GM made a public plea to its workers Friday, urging the union to negotiate a final deal and put employees back to work. The automaker publicly acknowledged a few key areas the UAW has fought for thus far and said it has effectively addressed union concerns such as wages, medical benefits, profit sharing and, most importantly, a pathway to full-time employment for temporary workers.
Issues surrounding four idled manufacturing plants in the US may have been a roadblock for negotiators. GM previously outlined a plan for electric pickup truck production and battery cell manufacturing in the US to perhaps keep the Detroit-Hamtramck facility open. The battery plant, meanwhile, could settle in Ohio.
Originally published Oct. 15, 9:09 a.m. PT.
Update, 1:03 p.m.: Adds additional reporting from Reuters on negotiations.