General Motors

Disruption and scandal set backdrop to auto talks

GM CEO Mary Barra and UAW President Gary Jones open the 2019 GM-UAW contract talks with the traditional ceremonial handshake.
GM CEO Mary Barra and UAW President Gary Jones open the 2019 GM-UAW contract talks. Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Detroit automakers are kicking off negotiations with the United Auto Workers union on new labor contracts this week.

Why it matters: Auto talks are always contentious over issues such as wages and health care benefits, but this year's bargaining is colored by unusual factors and disruptive forces roiling the industry, notes Bloomberg.

Exclusive: GM CEO Mary Barra on the painful jobs transition

GM CEO Mary Barra says the company will need to relocate workers to keep them in the family as part of its long-term vision for an electric, self-driving future. "I want to make sure this company is not around for the next five years but the next 50 and beyond," Barra tells "Axios on HBO."

Why it matters: With contentious labor talks looming this summer, Barra's challenge is to convince longtime autoworkers that her plan to divert resources toward unproven future technologies won't put their livelihoods at risk.