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UAW says strike could have been avoided, claims GM's last-minute contract proposal came a 'little too late'

Posted: 12:59 PM, Sep 16, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-19 16:41:53-04
UAW

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Sources are confirming to 7 Action News that GM tried to avert a strike with two hours before the contract expired by putting on the table plans to address two major plant closings in Michigan and Ohio.

The company proposed building a new union-represented electric vehicle battery plant near the now-closed Lordstown, Ohio plant and build an all-electric truck at the Detroit Hamtramck plant that is set to close in January.

The union says in effect it was too little too late it did not address other major issues.

UAW Vice President Terry Dittes wrote to the company: "We are disappointed that the Company waited until just two hours before the contract expired to make what we regard as its first serious offer. Had we received this proposal earlier in the process, it may have been possible to reach a tentative agreement and avoid a strike."

The following letter was addressed to Scott Sandefur, Vice President GMNA Labor Relations from the UAW:

Dear Mr. Sandefur:

Earlier today, the UAW-GM National Council voted to begin a strike at 11:59 p.m. this evening. Employees working at that time will exit their facilities in an orderly manner after performing any tasks necessary to prevent damage to the Company’s equipment or product. Over the last two months, we have met with GM representatives countless times in an effort to resolve the many important issues raised by our members. We are disappointed that the Company waited until just two hours before the contract expired to make what we regard as its first serious offer. Had we received this proposal earlier in the process, it may have been possible to reach a tentative agreement and avoid a strike. We have many important topics to discuss including wage increases, the wage progression for new hires, health care and prescription drug benefits, skilled trades issues, jobs security, profit-sharing and the treatment of temporary employees. We are willing to meet as frequently, and for as long as it takes, to reach an agreement that treats our members fairly. This will confirm that the parties will reconvene negotiations tomorrow, Monday, September 16, 2019.

Sincerely,
Terry Dittes Vice President and Director UAW General Motors Department

General Motors released the following statement when asked for comment on this report:

Negotiations have resumed. Our goal remains to reach an agreement that builds a stronger future for our employees and our business.