Oct 9, 2019

U.S. jobs are key issue as GM strike drags on

Striking GM workers at a powertrain plant in Bedford, Ind. Photo: Jeremy Hogan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The United Auto Workers (UAW) strike against GM is now 24 days old, with the UAW's chief bargainer telling members Tuesday evening that job security remains a key sticking point.

Why it matters: The economic damage is spreading. In addition to the 49,000 striking workers, another 100,000 non-UAW employees at GM and its suppliers are out of work because there's nothing for them to do, according to Anderson Economic Group.

  • GM has lost an estimated $660 million in profits, AEG says, while state and local governments have lost an estimated $164 million in tax revenue.

Between the lines: In a message to rank-and-file members, UAW vice president Terry Dittes said bargainers have made no progress on the key issue of job security.

  • "We have made it clear that there is no job security for us when GM products are made in other countries for the purpose of selling them here in the U.S.A. We believe that the vehicles GM sells here should be built here."
  • "GM in recent months has defended its track record of U.S. plant investment and job creation, saying it has poured $23 billion into its American factories over the past decade,"the Wall Street Journal reported.
  • The UAW is also pressing GM to lock in more guaranteed wage increases during the next 4-year contact, while GM prefers lump-sum bonuses that don’t raise their long-term labor costs, per WSJ.

Go deeper... Buckle up: GM, Michigan and 2020

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Auto workers union reaches tentative deal with GM to end labor strike

Workers from United Auto Workers Local 440 picket outside a General Motors plant. Photo: Jeremy Hogan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The United Auto Workers has sealed a preliminary labor deal with automaker General Motors, the union announced on Wednesday.

"Today, after five weeks of intense negotiations, the UAW GM National Negotiators and UAW GM Vice President Terry Dittes announced the achievement of a Proposed Tentative Agreement with General Motors. The elected national negotiators voted to recommend the UAW GM National Council accept the Proposed Tentative Agreement as the agreement represents major gains for UAW workers."
Go deeperArrowOct 16, 2019

GM workers will remain on strike during vote at union halls

Workers from United Auto Workers Local 440 picket at an entrance of General Motors' Bedford Powertrain factory during national labor strike against GM. Photo: SOPA Images/Contributor/Getty Images

The United Auto Workers strike against General Motors will continue for at least another week as union members vote on whether to ratify a tentative contract agreement.

Why it matters: The unusual decision by some 200 local union leaders from GM plants around the country means the economic pain for the company, its employees and suppliers will continue to mount at least through Oct. 25, when voting at local union halls is scheduled to conclude.

Go deeperArrowOct 17, 2019

Detroit's gamble on the future

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The deal between one of Detroit's biggest automakers and striking workers is a calculated bet on a vision for the auto industry that's far from certain.

The big picture: GM can afford the rich contract terms negotiated with the United Auto Workers — as long as nothing goes wrong. Higher gas prices, an economic downturn or a new president with different priorities could throw off the entire equation and put GM and other domestic automakers in a financial bind.

Go deeperArrowOct 25, 2019