Car Industry

UAW rejects latest GM proposal as strike inches toward three-week mark

The strike has now impacted GM production in Mexico.

UAW-GM strike

It's estimated the strike has cost GM $1 billion so far.

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The UAW enters day 17 of its strike against General Motors without a deal in sight. On late Monday evening, the union confirmed GM passed along a "comprehensive" proposal but declared it wasn't good enough.

The update comes via a letter from Terry Dittes, vice president and director of the UAW's General Motors department. In the letter, he said the latest proposal, of which the details were not public, didn't meet union demands or its needs. Although details weren't provided, and the UAW will not comment publicly on negotiations, the list that described where the two sides remain apart was rather lengthy.

Health care, job security, wages, skilled trades and temporary employees were all areas named as topics of issue during negotiations. This last area is of great importance to the UAW, which has long wanted to provide a quicker path for temporary workers to become full-time employees with access to benefits and higher wages.

General Motors said in a statement, "We continue to negotiate and exchange proposals, and remain committed to reaching an agreement that builds a stronger future for our employees and our company." The automaker also confirmed the strike has now impacted production in Mexico where GM builds a number of vehicles.

The company said 6,000 workers are impacted at Mexican facilities that build pickup trucks and transmissions. A parts shortage is responsible for production grinding to a halt as GM-UAW employees take to the picket line.

Dittes' letter confirmed the UAW has passed on a counterproposal to GM, though there have been no public updates on the automaker's response. As for what GM has previously offered, we know battery cell production in Ohio and efforts to build an electric pickup truck were part of an original proposal. Both offerings could potentially help keep now-idled production plants in Ohio and Michigan online, though the details are uncertain.

This Sunday will mark three weeks since the UAW walked off the job. The last time the UAW called a strike against GM was in 2007. It lasted only lasted 2 days, but in a 1998 labor dispute, the union remained on the picket line for 54 days.

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