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UAW says autoworkers will go on strike after talks with GM break down

Detroit skyline with GM building

Update: Sunday, September 15, 11:59 a.m.

The United Auto Workers union says its contract negotiations with General Motors have broken down and its roughly 49,000 members will go on strike just before midnight on Sunday. The union's contract with GM expired Saturday night and union officials said the two sides were far apart on economic issues.

GM issued the following statement on Sunday morning:

“We presented a strong offer that improves wages, benefits and grows U.S. jobs in substantive ways and it is disappointing that the UAW leadership has chosen to strike at midnight tonight. We have negotiated in good faith and with a sense of urgency. Our goal remains to build a strong future for our employees and our business.”

Original post: Saturday, September 14, 11 p.m.

Officials with the United Auto Workers say the union will continue working on a new four-year contract with General Motors up until the 11:59 p.m. deadline Saturday evening, but it will not extend the terms of the current contract after that.

The union's leadership has told heads of the locals, "we still have many outstanding issues remaining, including significant differences between the parties on wages, health care benefits, temporary employees, job security, and profit sharing."

The union's International Executive Board will meet at midnight, and the UAW-GM National Council will meet at 10:00 a.m. Sunday to discuss next steps, which many observers say could be a national strike against General Motors.

The UAW has informed GM that workers who have a shift on Sunday will show up to work, which means a walkout would be unlikely to happen until Monday morning.

GM issued the following statement on Saturday evening:

“We continue to work hard on solutions to some very difficult challenges. We are prepared to negotiate around the clock because there are thousands of GM families and their communities– and many thousands more at our dealerships and suppliers – counting on us for their livelihood. Our goal remains on building a strong future for our employees and our business.”

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting.