The United Auto Workers announced Sunday that local union leaders from across the country voted to go on strike after its collective bargaining agreement with General Motors expired Saturday night.
It’s the first national UAW strike since 2007, and means that roughly 46,000 national GM workers represented by the union won’t be showing up for work starting Sunday at midnight.
According to The Detroit Free Press, the strike announcement followed a Sunday morning meeting at the Marriott hotel in Detroit. Nearly 175 local union leaders on UAW’s National Council voted unanimously to strike.
During contract negotiations, GM said it offered UAW more than $7 billion in U.S. investments over the course of the new four-year agreement, 5,400 new jobs, higher pay, and improved benefits, the company said in a press release.
“We presented a strong offer that improves wages, benefits and grows U.S. jobs in substantive ways and it is disappointing that the UAW leadership has chosen to strike at midnight tonight,” the company said. “We have negotiated in good faith and with a sense of urgency. Our goal remains to build a strong future for our employees and our business.”
UAW, however, said in a press release that it wants a share of GM profits, job security, and a clearer path “to permanent seniority for temps.”
“We stood up for General Motors when they needed us most. Now we are standing together in unity and solidarity for our members, their families and the communities where we work and live,” said UAW Vice President Terry Dittes.
National Bargaining Committee Chair Ted Krumm said UAW was “clear at the table” about what it would accept.
“We are standing up for what is right. We as local unions will sacrifice to stand up for what we deserve,” he added.
“Our members have spoken; we have taken action; and this is a decision we did not make lightly. We are committed to a strong contract at GM that recognizes our UAW members, who make some of the greatest products in the world and make GM so profitable.” Krumm concluded.
The strike will cost GM an estimated $400 million a day, while UAW workers will only receive $250 a week in strike wages.
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