Automaker Union Says GM Talks Have ‘Taken a Turn for the Worse’

October 6, 2019 Updated: October 6, 2019

A top United Auto Workers (UAW) official stated that talks between striking employees and General Motors have “taken a turn for the worse,” saying the walkout will persist.

UAW Vice President Terry Dittes issued a statement to ClickonDetroit that GM’s most recent response didn’t address it’s “extensive package provided last evening.”

Sunday, Oct. 6, marks the 21st day since the union workers walked off the job.

GM has “reverted back” to its “last rejected proposal and made little change. The company’s response did nothing to advance a whole host of issues that are important to you and your families. It did nothing to provide job security during the term of this agreement,” Dittes said.

The union “could not be more disappointed with General Motors who refuse to recognize the experience and talent of our membership who make their world-class products and billions of dollars in profits,” he explained.

United Auto Workers President Gary Jones speaks at the opening of open the 2019 GM-UAW contract talks in Detroit, Mich. On July 16, 2019. (Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

On Friday, Dittes had said that the talks were making “good progress,” although he warned about issues such as health care and employment opportunities for temporary workers, according to news reports.

However, by Sunday, he said the negotiations “have taken a turn for the worse.”

“Your issues are our issues, and our strength is with you—our great membership. We will continue to negotiate on behalf of you, your families, and all workers in our country.”

According to the Detroit Free Press, some 46,000 UAW workers around the United States went on strike against the automaker on Sept. 16 after a 2015 contract expired. The union continued its contracts with Fiat Chrysler and Ford.

The GM logo is seen at the General Motors Warren Transmission Operations Plant in Warren, Michigan on Oct. 26, 2015. (Rebecca Cook/Reuters)

The strike, meanwhile, has led to GM plant shutdowns outside of the United States, layoffs, and reduced pay for striking workers. They get $250 per week from the strike fund, the Free Press noted.

The walk-off has also halted factory output at about three-dozen GM plants in the United States, according to the Wall Street Journal. Analysts have estimated that the company is losing as much as $100 million per day from lost production.

A spokesperson for GM told the Wall Street Journal that the firm is continuing “to negotiate in good faith with very good proposals that benefit employees today and build a stronger future for all of us.”

“We are committed to continuing discussions around the clock to reach a resolution,” the spokesperson added.