GM Appeals Directly to Workers in Bid to Accelerate Contract Talks

Date : 10/11/2019 @ 2:31PM
Source : Dow Jones News
Stock : General Motors Company (GM)
Quote : 36.1  0.86 (2.44%) @ 12:59AM
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GM Appeals Directly to Workers in Bid to Accelerate Contract Talks

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By Mike Colias 

General Motors Co. -- frustrated at the pace of negotiations with the United Auto Workers -- appealed directly to factory workers with details of its latest contract proposal, a bid to end a 26-day strike that is taking a financial toll on both sides.

In a letter to GM employees Friday, the company's global manufacturing chief Gerald Johnson outlined broad terms of the company's latest offer, including new details that haven't been made public before, such as a clear path to full-time status for temporary workers.

Mr. Johnson said the proposal also includes pay increases through wages and lump-sum payments in each of the contract's four years, as well as improved yearly profit-sharing payouts for hourly workers and no increase in out-of-pocket health care costs.

In this latest offer, GM boosted its planned investment in U.S. facilities to about $8.3 billion, up from the $7 billion it had included in a proposal made public just before the strike began, according to a person familiar with the proposal. The UAW this week said it is pressing GM for better job security by making a firmer commitment to build more cars in the U.S.

GM, in making its offer public, is taking the unusual step of appealing directly to rank-and-file workers, a move that is without precedent in previous years of contract talks.

The company's public letter comes as executives pressure UAW leaders to accelerate the pace of talks, while union officials press the company for a firmer commitment to creating jobs in the U.S.

In an internal back-and-forth between the UAW and GM Thursday night, the company expressed frustration that UAW bargainers hadn't responded to GM's latest proposal, which it put forward Monday. The UAW said it would wait until several bargaining subcommittees conclude their analysis before formally responding.

A UAW spokesman didn't have an immediate comment on GM's latest letter.

About 46,000 full-time GM workers have been on strike since mid-September, idling more than 30 U.S. factories and triggering shutdowns of GM plants in Canada and Mexico. The lost production and other disruption from the work stoppage has cost GM roughly $1.5 billion so far, according to an estimate Friday from Credit Suisse analyst Dan Levy.

Write to Mike Colias at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 11, 2019 10:16 ET (14:16 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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