Shortly after arriving at a preliminary agreement on a new contract with Stellantis NV, the United Auto Workers extended their walkout against General Motors.
On Saturday night, union workers left GM operations in Spring Hill, Tennessee, following the breakdown of talks with the company. At this location, the brand has an assembly plant that produces engines and metal stamps in addition to mid-size SUVs and the Cadillac Lyriq electric vehicle.
Now that the UAW has been conducting historic strikes against Detroit’s automakers over the last several months, GM is the only company that has not reached an agreement with the union. The sector has lost billions of dollars as a result of the walkouts.
On October 25, Ford was the first to achieve a provisional agreement. On Saturday, Stellantis came next, having given up on job security. The union members of the companies still have to vote on such agreements.
According to persons acquainted with the negotiations, GM has consented to a 25% wage raise for hourly workers coupled with cost-of-living allowances, just like Stellantis and Ford. However, workers claimed that differences over matters pertaining to temporary employees have stalled talks at GM.
Stellantis and GM both employ more temporary labor than Ford, which makes it difficult to resolve at the negotiating table. Up to 10% of GM’s workforce is temporary, so it would be financially detrimental to give them the 150% or greater raises that Ford and Stellantis have proposed.
In an email, General Motors stated, “We are disappointed by the UAW’s action in light of the progress we have made. We have maintained cordial negotiations with the UAW, and our objective is still to come to a swift agreement.”
Jason Spain, Local 1853’s shop committee chairman, reports that a weekend crew of over 70 workers left Spring Hill at 5 p.m. local time. Spring Hill employs roughly 3,200 union members, according to Spain. On Saturday, UAW President Shawn Fain informed the union’s regional director that a strike was necessary.
In a phone chat, Spain stated, “He said GM isn’t budging. I have no idea what they’re fixated on.”
So we finally have the breakthrough the UAW has been striving for—with Stellantis and Ford, that is. GM not yet. By the time the tentative deals were reached with Ford and Stellantis, the UAW strike had grown to include more than 45,000 workers at eight assembly plants and 38 parts distribution facilities. Let’s hope both sides can pull off something inspired to end the strike quick smart. Come on GM, try a little harder.