GM workers set to strike in U.S.

General Motors in Detroit. (Photo by Adelle Loiselle.)

Around 49,000 General Motors employees could be going on strike when the clock strikes midnight on Sunday.

Collective bargaining agreements between the United Auto Workers (UAW) and General Motors expired on Saturday night at midnight. On Sunday afternoon, the UAW announced that union leaders from across the United States met after the agreements expired, opting to strike after talks with General Motors fell through.

According to a press release by the UAW, they are striking to secure fair wages, affordable healthcare, job security and a defined path to permanent seniority for temps.

The decision to strike comes a day after UAW Vice President Terry Dittes notified General Motors leadership that the union would not agree to extend the collective bargaining agreements.

“We stood up for General Motors when they needed us most. Now we are standing together in unity and solidarity for our members, their families and the communities where we work and live,” said Dittes.

A news release by General Motors said it was “disappointing” that it had come to this point, adding that they are prepared to negotiate around the clock and urged UAW leadership to extend bargaining to prevent a strike.

“We presented a fair offer to the UAW leadership that addresses wages, benefits, investments and job security in substantive ways and builds toward our future,” read the release. “The sooner we get an agreement, the sooner we can get back to building the vehicles and components for our customers that make our investments, wages, benefits and jobs possible.”

According to the Detroit Free Press, the UAW has not had a national strike since 1982.

 

-With files from Mark Brown