GM appeals directly to employees as UAW strike losses lose


DETROIT / WASHINGTON (Reuters) – General Motors Co. took the extraordinary step to appeal directly to its employees unity in a Friday blog post that set out the latest offer aimed at completing a month's strike, drawing an angry response from the trade union that the automaker was trying to "expel workers … from the picket lines."

With the emphasis on GM commitment to the collective bargaining process, the letter, signed by Gerald Johnson, executive vice president for global manufacturing, goes about the leadership of United Workers (UAW) and concerns the lack of progress on eliminating an existing conflict. it cost the company more than $ 1 billion.

The UAW strike began on 16 September, with 48,000 union members at GM seeking higher pay, more job security, a greater share of profit and protection of health benefits. Suisse Credit estimated that the loss could occur in the region of $ 1.5 billion, and the Automotive Research Center estimated the weekly costs of GM and UAW strike fund at $ 450 million and $ 12 million, respectively.

As part of its revised offer, GM added to what it intends to invest in the US to about $ 9 billion from its previous offer of $ 7 billion, a source familiar with the bid.

Of the new total, $ 7.7 billion would be invested directly in GM plants, with the remainder going to joint ventures including a potential battery plant near Tigh Togher, Ohio, a factory that is dormant, said the source.

GM stock closed up to 2.6% at $ 35.57 on Friday.

The company said that the offer includes increased compensation through wages and one-time payments, through health care interests from the industry to preserve without increasing workers costs, by sharing better profits with an unlimited ghost and bonus higher than those. $ 8,000 already offered.

For temporary workers, GM said that its offer would provide a way to permanent employment and include a bonus of ratification.

“The strike was difficult for you, your families, our communities, the company, our suppliers and our dealers,” said Johnson. “We have advised the union that it is vital that we return to producing quality vehicles for our customers.” T

The UAW said in a statement that GM was “playing games at the expense of workers” and he urged the automation “to extinguish the process objectively to expel UAW-GM workers from the picket lines.”

“At every step of the way, GM has tried to make UAW's ongoing good faith efforts to end this strike,” the union said.

PHOTO FILE: Workers union hit the picket line outside of General Truck Assembly of Flint Motors in Flint, Michigan, U., October 9, 2019. REUTERS / Brian Snyder / File Photo

Terry Dittes, UAW's chief negotiator, said that in a video issued here later, the union would market the board and not through the media. "Let me be clear: the company's half-truths strategy does not release arrangement to reach a final solution."

GM responded with a statement from Senior Communications Vice President, Tony Cervone: “The goal of our communications is to inform – but not to encourage. We will continue to provide information in a simple, factual, factual manner. ”

However, negotiations continued after this exchange and in late Friday the UAW said that it had given opposition to GM which covered five unresolved issues dealing with both sides, Dittes said in a letter. “If GM accepts these recommendations and agrees with it, we will have a trial agreement,” he said.

GM refused to comment on the new trade union proposal.


In Thursday's letter to UAW leaders, GM urged the union to agree the occasional negotiations, and urged the union in its own letter dealing with the five issues before he answered the wider proposal made with Monday union negotiators.

Mary Barra, Chief Executive Officer of GM, met on Wednesday with President UAW, Gary Jones and Dittes, to encourage a faster response from the Union to the company's final offer.

One of the five issues being discussed by the committees is the fate of four U factories that have suggested GM that they could close, according to the letter UAW. Other issues include future technological changes in the production and fate of the UAW-GM training center. Dittes said that he did not know when the issues would be resolved, suggesting that a final deal could not be closed.

UAW workers are concerned that fewer workers will require fewer workers to make larger changes to electric vehicles, and that workers in battery production plants may be smaller than those at existing transmission plants to earn.

Reuters said that GM had previously reported to UAW that it could build a new battery plant near the Lordstown factory, which was now closed, and an electric truck at its Detroit Hamtramck factory.

Moody said in a Friday report that GM must maintain flexibility in any new deal to build electric and self-driving vehicles without increasing its fixed costs. He said that annual GM costs in wages and benefits exceed $ 1 billion higher than automatic foreign costs operated by U plants.

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“We expect the long-term strategic benefits of acquiring the UAW contract … more than the costs of a long-lasting strike that could come to November,” said Moody's. .

UAW's membership is mainly in the Midwest, in potentially critical states for both sides at the November 2020 presidential election, so the strike drew the attention of Republican President Donald Trump, his competitors seeking the Democratic nomination, and US makers. They urged GM to build more vehicles in the US and carry out transfer work from Mexico.

Reporting by Ben Klayman in Detroit and David Shepardson in Washington; Additional reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Europe Europe; Edited by David Gregorio, Matthew Lewis and Daniel Wallis

Our Standards:The principles of Thomson Reuters Trust.

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