The deadline for General Motors to reach a deal with the United Auto Workers union is approaching fast and with negotiations still ongoing, experts believe a strike is more likely than not, according to The Detroit News.
A strike was always a strong possibility amid the GM-UAW contract negotiations, with GM determined to reduce how much it spends on hourly wages and healthcare benefits and the UAW eager to grab a share of the significant profits its employer has made in recent years.
GM currently has the highest hourly labor costs of the Detroit Big Three and also pays unionized employees $13 more on average than a non-unionized production worker in the US. Ford pay its employees $11 more per hour than the non-unionized average, while Fiat Chrysler pays $5 more.
The UAW previously voted overwhelmingly in favor of a strike, with 96.4% of UAW GM workers voting ‘yes’ on the strike approval. FCA worekrs voted 96% in favor of a strike, while Ford workers were 95.98% in favor.
UAW negotiatiors and GM representatives have until midnight on Saturday to ratify a tentative deal, otherwise workers will likely walk off the job. The union can also call for an extension to the deadline instead of striking.
Clouding the negotiations is the FBI and IRS investigation into the UAW, which has so far resulted in nine people being charged – eight of which were accused of misusing funds allocated to the UAW-FCA training center. Another UAW member was also charged after taking kickbacks for awarding UAW apparell contracts to associates of his. Last week, the FBI raided the home of UAW president Gary Jones as part of the ongoing probe.
Once a deal is ratified with GM, the UAW will turn its attention to Ford and FCA to attempt to ink a deal with those two as well.
Stay tuned for more information on the UAW-GM contract negotiations as more news surfaces in the coming days and be sure to subscribe to GM Authority for around-the-clock GM news coverage.
Source: The Detroit News