UAW contract with General Motors expires Saturday night

Posted at 5:05 AM, Sep 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-13 06:17:33-04

(WXYZ) — The UAW contract with General Motors is set to expire Saturday at midnight.

If a deal isn’t reached, it could be the first strike at the automaker in more than a decade.

“We’re Ready.” Those two words were on a number of banners and signs at at the Detroit Labor Day parade this year, where hundreds marched through downtown celebrating labor unions.

The UAW represents nearly 150,000 hourly workers at Ford, GM and Fiat Chrysler — workers at all three voted to authorize a strike by more than 95 percent.

Contract negotiations at General Motors are meant to be a template for other automakers.

The GM Hamtramck plant scheduled to close in January 2020 is one of many signs — times are changing and an uncertain future is what is making these contract negotiations so tricky for UAW and for GM, according to experts.

"There’s all this mobility stuff coming, there’s electrification electric cars and nobody knows if they can make money on them," said John McElroy, an Autoline Auto Analyst. "There’s all this investment in autonomy, there’s a lot of spending going on with less money coming in."

McElroy says the UAW corruption scandal could mean union workers may not be as likely to accept the deal the leadership presents to them, unless it’s just too good to turn down.