One minute before midnight Sunday 48,000 United Auto Workers(UAW) nationwide went on strike against General Motors(GM). UAW leadership voted unanimously to begin the strike as the union’s previous contract expired. Union leaders stated that only a small percentage of their contractural demands had been met.
Outstanding demands and concerns included healthcare, job security, profit-sharing, gap differences in wages for temporary vs permanent employees and gap differences for employees hired after 2007 vs before 2007.
GM presented an offer only a few hours before the strike began which included “Over $7 billion in investments and more than 5,400 Jobs” and “Best-in-Class Wages and Benefits”.
According to UAW Vice President Terry Dittes, the strike could have been averted if the offer had not been presented at the last minute. Although rank and file workers knew there were still more demands that needed to be met, a more timely management offer would have given the union enough reason to hold off on the strike while negotiations continued.
According to VP Kristin Dziczek, from the Center for Automotive Research, the strike could end up costing GM as much as $400 million a day.
This is the first national UAW strike since 2007.