GM Strike, Day 17: Work Halts At 30 Factories, Cost Exceeds $1 Billion

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In this Sept. 23, 2019, file photo a sign is posted during a demonstration outside a General Motors facility in Langhorne, Pa. (Matt Rourke, File/AP)
In this Sept. 23, 2019, file photo a sign is posted during a demonstration outside a General Motors facility in Langhorne, Pa. (Matt Rourke, File/AP)

With Meghna Chakrabarti

The strike against General Motors is now in its third week. We touch down to see where things stand.


Kalea Hall, automotive reporter for the Detroit News who has been covering the General Motors strike. Former business reporter for the Youngstown Vindicator, where she covered the Lordstown GM plant. (@bykaleahall)

Bill Reed, UAW Local 602 president in Lansing, Michigan.

From The Reading List

Statement From General Motors

"We continue to talk and our goal remains to reach an agreement that builds a stronger future for our employees, our company and the communities in which we do business."

Wall Street Journal: "GM Strike, Now in Its Third Week, Wears on Both Sides" — "The United Auto Workers strike at General Motors Co. is in its third week with workers on the picket lines fighting fatigue and the company feeling the financial strains of lost factory production.

"GM and UAW bargainers worked through the weekend and Monday trying to negotiate a new labor agreement for the company’s 46,000 full-time factory workers.

"Top negotiators are trying to resolve differences on key economic issues, such as wages and use of temporary workers, but the two sides still remain at odds and no agreement is expected Monday night, according to people close to the talks.

"The nationwide strike is the longest at the company since 1970.

"Factory workers at GM say the union had warned for months a walkout was possible, and in March, UAW leaders increased the weekly strike pay from $200 to $250 per employee. The strike pay is intended to offer picketing workers some financial assistance to offset the loss of a company paycheck during a work stoppage but it doesn’t cover their full wages."

Detroit Free Press: "Aide to former UAW VP, GM board member charged in corruption scandal" — "A former aide to ex-UAW Vice President and former General Motors board member Joe Ashton is the latest person charged in the ongoing union corruption scandal that has grown to include FBI raids on the homes of the current and former presidents of the union.

"The new charges alleging a scheme involving kickbacks and bribes for former high-ranking UAW officials comes as tens of thousands of rank-and-file union members remain on strike nationwide against General Motors after the UAW contract with the automaker expired last weekend.

"Jeffery Pietrzyk was charged Friday with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. The charges were filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit as an information, meaning Pietrzyk is likely to plead guilty.

"Pietrzyk was not only a senior official in the union's GM Department, but also a co-director of the UAW-GM Center for Human Resources, a jointly run training center, according to the documents filed Friday. He retired from his union post in June 2014."

CNBC: "Auto workers strike has cost GM over $1 billion, JP Morgan estimates" — "The continuing strike by General Motors union workers has now cost the automaker more than $1 billion during the third quarter, J.P. Morgan estimates, with GM’s slowed production continuing longer than the firm expected.

"'GM’s US production stopped immediately when the UAW [United Auto Workers] walked off the job on September 16 and we estimate its Canadian and Mexican facilities became progressively impacted throughout the first week,' J.P. Morgan analyst Ryan Brinkman said in a note to investors on Monday.

"The UAW strike is now in its third week, which Brinkman said is longer than J.P. Morgan expected. About 48,000 UAW members have been picketing since Sept. 1, with workers receiving a fraction of their weekly compensation, made up in strike payments from UAW."

Detroit News: "GM strike, day 15: Temps a sticking point as talks continue" — "The United Auto Workers and General Motors Co. were back in negotiations Monday on day 15 of a national strike against the Detroit automaker — and a major sticking point for the negotiations seems to be the automaker's use of temporary workers.

"UAW Region 1A Director Chuck Browning told members picketing outside GM's powertrain plant in Romulus on Sunday afternoon that negotiators are 'dealing with the same thing' they were dealing with more than two weeks ago.

"'We’ve been telling the company you got temporary workers and they’re working full-time for years, they need to be full-time employees,' Browning told a group gathered outside the plant. 'You need to give us language that prevents that from happening from this point going on.'

"A UAW member posted a video of Browning's nine-minute appearance on Facebook.

"The UAW and GM have said for months that temporary workers would be a contentious issue in the 2019 negotiations. The UAW argues that the Detroit Three misuse line workers with that 'temporary' designation by using them as though they are full-time employees."

Allison Pohle produced this hour for broadcast.

This program aired on October 2, 2019.



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