Cleveland, Ohio – Late Monday, General Motors officials passed a comprehensive proposal to the United Auto Workers, spelling out a new four-year agreement that would end a strike that has entered its third week.
UAW officials say the offer was not sufficient to get workers back on the assembly line and countered with its version of a new four-year deal on Tuesday.
“This proposal that the company provided to us on day 15 of the strike did not satisfy your contract demands or needs,” UAW-GM Vice President Terry Dittes says in a letter to UAW members. “There were many areas that came up short like health care, wages, temporary employees, skilled trades, and job security to name a few.”
With the strike dragging on, both sides are suffering. Workers are now earning $250 per week from the UAW strike fund, and GM has had to close facilities throughout North America as UAW-made parts are no longer flowing to Canada or Mexico.
The back-and-forth proposal stage can mean just about anything – that sides are close enough on most issues to start sending finished proposals or that sides are so far apart that face-to-face negotiations are no longer bearing fruit.
Company and union officials say they have come to terms on most issues but the side remain far apart on the issues Dittes spells out in his letter.
About the author: Robert Schoenberger is the editor of Today's Motor Vehicles and a contributor to Today's Medical Developments and Aerospace Manufacturing and Design. He has written about the automotive industry for more than 19 years at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio; The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Kentucky; and The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi.