The United Auto Workers leaders will launch a strike against General Motors Co. at 11:59 p.m., shutting down GM’s production of cars and strikes across the United States.
The company and the union remain far apart on wages, health care benefits, the status of temporary workers and job security, Terry Dittes, UAW vice president in charge of negotiations with GM.
“We do not take this action lightly. This is our last resort,” said Dittes after a meeting in Detroit of union officers from UAW Local unions around the country. “UAW members have never faltered in the fight for what is right and what is just. We are standing up for the fundamental rights of working people in this nation.”
Dittes noted union members stood up made the sacrifices and saved this company and they go to work every day to make products that have made GM billions in profits.
Ted Krumm, chairman the local union officer serving as the chairman of union bargaining committee said GM needs to understand that we’re fighting for future of the middle class. “We’re standing up for us,” he said.
Brian Rothenberg, the UAW’s communication director, said that it does not appear that the negotiators are anywhere close to an agreement.
UAW President Gary Jones, whose home was searched last month by FBI agents investigating corruption in the union, did not appear at the press conference. Rothenberg declined to comment on whether he was participating in the negotiations. “We’re standing up for us,” he said.
After the union’s announcement, GM said it had presented the UAW with a generous offer.
“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. 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,” GM said in a statement.
It also promised more than $7 billion in investments that would save or protect 5,400 union and also address the address the contentious issue of “unallocated” assembly plants in Detroit and Lordstown, Ohio, and a promise that a new all-electric truck would be built in a U.S plant.