- the united auto workers, as it had announced, went out on strike at midnight sunday against general motors.
- the unanimous vote to let the existing contract expire means around 50,000 workers at gm's u.s. plants will stop work, likely idling production nationwide.
- gm said it plans to introduce electric trucks and additional vehicles to fill the empty space at its idled detroit plant.
update 9/16/19: uaw workers walked off the job at general motors facilities at 11:59 p.m. sunday night. with talks between the union and gm set to start again this morning, the teamsters union has said it will support the strike by refusing to deliver gm vehicles to dealers, according to an automotive news report.
without a signed contract, nearly 50,000 hourly employees at general motors will go on strike by midnight sunday, according to statements from the united auto workers.
the union, which on friday waived deadlines with ford and chrysler as it negotiates new four-year contracts, refused to extend gm any extra time and is readying picket lines that will affect gm's 33 running manufacturing plants in the u.s. if both sides cannot agree tonight, monday's shifts will be halted indefinitely.
"we are standing up for what is right," said bargaining chairman ted krumm in a statement. "we as local unions will sacrifice to stand up for what we deserve."
the uaw claims gm isn't paying its fair share of wages, profit-sharing bonuses, or health-care benefits. the union also wants clauses for job security and more protections for temporary workers. gm announced last fall that it would idle five plants in north america by the end of 2019 and announced buyouts and layoffs of more than 14,000 hourly and salaried u.s. employees. thousands of uaw workers have been laid off despite gm offering to place them in other facilities. the lordstown, ohio, assembly plant, which had made the chevrolet cruze sedan, is shut down. so is the baltimore transmission and electric motor plant. the detroit plant building the cadillac ct6 and chevrolet impala was supposed to be shut down by year's end.
gm now says it has "solutions" for the michigan and ohio plants, in addition to investing $7 billion in its u.s. manufacturing over the next four years. it also has promised uaw members they would be part of the country's "first union-represented battery cell manufacturing plant" to be built in ohio. in a knock to ford and rivian, gm said it would introduce new electric trucks separately from the startup automaker that plans to buy the lordstown plant to build plug-in hybrid pickups.
"we have negotiated in good faith and with a sense of urgency," gm said in a statement. "our goal remains to build a strong future for our employees and our business."
gm says it agreed to "wage or lump sum increases" for each year of the new contract, an $8000 per worker bonus for ratifying the contract, additional healthcare coverage for autism therapy, and an "improved" profit-sharing bonus. in february, gm paid more than 46,500 eligible hourly workers a bonus worth up to $10,750 for profit-sharing in 2018. however, the uaw, along with president trump, is blaming gm for investing heavily in mexico while closing down u.s. plants and firing american workers.
uaw vice president terry dittes last year railed against gm for importing cars to the u.s. from mexico and said gm's record profits were in part a result of its $49.5 billion bailout in 2009. the union says that gm is unfairly hurting u.s. workers when it booked $35 billion in profits within north america over three years.
"general motors' loyalty to the american worker, to the american taxpayer, has to be questioned every day," dittes said.