GM President Reuss Addresses UAW Strike, Demands

GM President Mark Reuss has issued a new statement addressing the ongoing UAW labor strike and some of the union’s demands. The UAW is currently employing a targeted strike strategy wherein UAW members are staging walkouts at select facilities, rather than at every facility all at once. The UAW strike is now in its sixth day, with walkouts called following the expiration of the previous labor contract at 11:59 p.m. last Thursday. Further walkouts are expected by the end of the week if an agreement is not found.

Per a report from The Detroit News, GM says that the UAW’s targeted strike at the GM Wentzville plant in Missouri has already impacted production at the GM Fairfax plant in Kansas. The GM Wentzville plant produces the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon pickups, as well as the Chevy Express and GMC Savana full-size vans, while the GM Wentzville’s stamping operation provide stamped parts to the GM Fairfax facility, where the Chevy Malibu and Cadillac XT4 are produced.

“It is unfortunate that the UAW leadership’s decision to call a strike at Wentzville Assembly has already had a negative ripple effect, with GM’s Fairfax Assembly plant in Kansas being idled today and most of its represented team members leaving the plant as there is no work available,” GM said in a statement.

GM is offering the UAW a 20-percent wage hike, an increase that GM President Reuss characterizes as a “record offer.” UAW President Shawn Fain, however, says 20 percent is not enough. Reuss also stated that the UAW was spreading “myths” over what GM could afford and what UAW members earn at GM.

GM President Mark Reuss in 2019

Reuss said that GM’s current offer would bring 85 percent of UAW members’ base wage to roughly $82,000 annually, with some entry-level employees given a maximum rate of $39.24 per hour by the end of a new contract, an increase of 141 percent for some.

The UAW originally requested a 40-percent wage increase, but has since dropped its demand to 36 percent. The UAW is also calling for an end to wage tiers, while GM is proposing a cut to the time it takes to reach the top tier from eight years to four.

The UAW recently published a video denouncing corporate greed and justifying its demands, claiming that GM has increased CEO pay and stock buybacks significantly, while worker pay has more or less stagnated. Reuss, however, says that GM’s net income profit in 2022 was $9.9 billion, while its capital spending in 2023 will be between $11 billion and $12 billion.

“If we don’t continue to invest, we will lose ground – quickly,” Reuss states. “Our competitors across the country and around the world, most of whom are non-union, will waste no time seizing the opportunity we would be handing them.”

In total there are roughly 146,000 autoworkers represented by the UAW, 46,000 of which work at GM. The UAW previously conducted a walkout at GM facilities in 2019.

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Jonathan Lopez: Jonathan is an automotive journalist based out of Southern California. He loves anything and everything on four wheels.

View Comments (45)

  • My big fear is that they will strike at an EV plant next, imagine the horrific impact to the car-buying public if that happens...

  • The problem appears to be EVs. Unions will be impacted by job losses. Auto manufacturers are worried they don't have enough money to invest in them. The consumer is worried they won't have the range and charging infrastructure required to make road trips.

    All of these concerns would be resolved if we just slowed down the transition process. If everyone pushes too hard and the economy falters, then nobody will be enjoying EVs.

    • You are spot on...everyone is in a rush to transition to EV's by the 2030's, but at the rate we are going, widespread adoption won't likely be ready until the 2040's or 2050's. For me, when you can charge a battery in the same time it takes to fill a car up with gas, you will have my attention. Currently, I can fill my truck up with gas and get 500 miles of highway range in less than 10 minutes...can't do that with any of the other EV trucks out on the market. The other issue is trying to find enough raw materials to mine in order to keep up with manufacturing millions of batteries per year. None of those processes are green. While there might not be any emissions coming from the tailpipes, the damage that mining nickel and lithium brings is much more harmful to the earth. Biden keeps cutting off oil exploration leases but at the same time, his administration is handing out millions upon millions of dollars to dig for battery raw materials. They just gave $20m to a mining company to explore the 400,000 acres of woodlands in Minnesota and Upper Michigan for potential nickel mines. Even if they find nickel or lithium deposits, it will still be many years before any product is pulled from the ground due to red tape.

      • Good points Tim. Nobody seems to want to admit it (or even knows it), but the national power grid is not up to the challenge for all of the electric cars either (fine for now, but for how long). We will need to upgrade power generation, power transmission and power distribution, not to mention that many folks will need to upgrade their residential and commercial service panels...especially when you consider that they are going to be pushing/forcing us to switch over to electric heat, electric stoves, electric hot water heaters etc. (gas equivalents of these appliances will be very hard to get after 2030). Also, it is not exactly the best strategy to be pushing solar/wind as the only sources of carbon-free power, since they only work intermittently. While we are doing all of this, spending literally TRILLIONS of dollars, China/India will still be adding copious amounts of coal power plants, far exceeding all of the greenhouse emissions that the US/EU combined will be cutting over the next 10 years. So tell me what we are achieving by rushing all of this into existence???

    • It appears that GM has moved towards EVs being non-union workforce, or a higher percentage of non-union. Can you blame them? UAW is just getting desperate because their days are numbered.

    • @Midnight Rider
      I would imagine that strategically the Union wants to stretch their Strike Fund for a as long as possible if they Strike goes on for the long hual hence they are not going All In as of yet.

    • That's where the union's money is also. if you don't collect the dues, you can't pay the strikers. You have to keep the money coming from somewhere.

    • Some people don’t care about the collateral damage. The strike hurts a lot people without a strike fund to cover them in the short term.

      • and whose fault is that?

        canadas union reached a deal with ford btw. so it is possible to resolve it fast. but if neither side will learn anything from this then let them both do nothing. i think they (oem, distributors/dealers) are still betting people will spend over msrp on 8 year old junk with 150k on it like 2 years ago. they really THINK that. THAT needs to be sorted and if it takes a prolonged stalemate to show that the market is done for, so be it.

        this is way beyond uaw tbh. this is about gauging the consumer and uaw is very correct in saying that much. their demands notwithstanding which is another issue

        • I’ve worked in dealerships for 45 years. Your ignorance is showing. You know nothing about the car business. I know nothing about manufacturing but I do know how to move product when I get it. Car dealer’s didn’t create the market environment over the last three years. They’ve just tried to navigate their way through it and stay profitable. I’ve seen huge profits and huge losses on individual vehicles. Everyone talks about the over MSRP deals. No one talks about the losses. A few years ago, a two or three thousand dollar loser was an occasional problem. I have seen some $10,000 losers over the last couple of years, in the used car department. Plus, a lot of break even deals. Every dealer currently has a share of inventory just waiting to bleed red ink. This thing is far from being over. If you don’t want to be in the market price stay out of it. Do you really think the laid off clerical worker cares about what happened in Canada? They have no say so about settling a strike. You worry about the consumer being gouged? Consumers shared in the profits. Anyone that sold or traded a vehicle over the last three years gouged someone. If you want someone to blame, look at CarMax and Carvana. They ran the market up. Another thing, no dealer has had their overhead go down over the last three years. If you get one vehicle instead of five. How do you survive without marking up the hot stuff? Obviously, you slept through economics.

          • Some car dealers had much bigger increases than other car dealers. My local volume dealer went from Big discounts to either small discounts or MSRP but I never saw them over MSRP on anything that wasn't the collectors type vehicle.

            So yes some were just navigating, and playing the long game. Others try to make a quick buck and I probably going to deal with the aftermath for a while of losing customers.

        • Yup just saw a 11 year old C class in shop with broken subframe- rotted apart.. getting older vehicles starting to be like 1975 all over again.

      • The workers are choosing to be in the union and choosing to be on strike. They can't have their cake and eat it too

  • Soooo many people would LOVE to make as much as $82,000 a year, especially with benefits like eighteen paid vacation days and five weeks of vacation and profit sharing and much more. People in harder jobs, more physically demanding jobs, who work longer hours would love that, yet here they are calling that insulting! Greed does not look good on you. Meanwhile, your union president is laughing all the way to the bank while leaving you hung out to dry with no contract and some of you no pay because there's no work for you because other people decided to strike.

  • How much has the union president earned in the last few years and what has his pay increases looked like?
    Why do they continue to go after the big Detroit 3 , what about all of the other manufacturers, Honda, Toyota, Hyundai, KIA, Nissan , etc etc that all operate without a union.
    Its sad what the union president is trying to do , these big pay increases will only force GM to manufacture more vehicles outside of the US. What he is doing will not result in the auto workers being better off, some may be but more will be out of work!!

    • I believe that the last president earned 267K last year. Fain is trying to make his mark, at the expense of all the out of work UAW members. Their measly weekly UAW pittance isn't enough to support their family. It is VERY sad indeed, for everyone this strike effects.

  • Typical UAW, let's follow the same tactics and thinking that bankrupt the automakers twenty years ago. There's no way that can happen again....

    • That 82k is 4.5 years away, current is 65k orso- and was 60k in 2006. Everything has gone up-in 06 McDonalds was paying about 15-20k/yr now 35+, everything has gone up 20-30%, houses have gone up 150% since 06, that is ok if you have not had to move. Some have had to move 3x, to keep working and maintain healthcare for their families. It is not all about greed.

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