The strike organized by the United Auto Workers became the longest in several decades. The ongoing strike is a serious challenge for the U.S. automobile industry. Thousands of General Motors employees are protesting since September 16. The UAW and its members have several demands, such as health coverage, as well as salaries, profit sharing, etc. The most important one without a doubt is job security.
Every strike is a huge problem for the company. However, this strike is not only the longest one in history but one of the costliest as well. According to Anderson Economic Group, General Motors Company already lost more than $600 million, to be more precise $600 million. This amount of money underlines that this strike became a big issue. Next week it will be a month since strike initiated by the UAW started, but it is hard to tell when it will end.
In 24 days after the beginning of the strike, the main question remains to be answered what will happen to U.S. jobs. The United Auto Workers is a powerful organization. However, even for AUW, it will be difficult to persuade the GM to relocate plants back to the U.S. This topic is a make or break point in the negotiations process. Both sides have different ideas about how to solve this problem.
At the moment, nearly 50,000 UAW members are on strike, and as mentioned above, every single day of strike is a serious financial loss for GM. The problems are not only the thousands of employees who don’t go to work. Another issue which derived from this strike is that 100,000 non-UAW employee and its suppliers have nothing to do. This is the consequence of the strike.
The UAW’s primary demand is job security. They are not ready to end this strike without solving this issue. Every time, when the company decides to close the plant, this creates problems as people are left without jobs. However, in the case of GM situation is even worse as it plans to close four U.S. plants.
The plants in Lordstown, Ohio, as well as the ones in Michigan and Baltimore, are already closed. Moreover, GM plans to close another plant in Detroit in 2020. By closing four plants GM created additional pressure for the employees in other plants. Workers elsewhere in the U.S. want to know what will happen to the jobs in the future.
In this situation, it is not surprising that for UAW job security is the number one priority. However, they went even further and demanded that GM plants, which are in Mexico to close them. According to Terry Dittes who is a UAW’s chief negotiator GM should relocate these factors back to the U.S.
The GM stated that its current offer, it is ready to invest $7 billion in U.S. plants. As a result, GM will create or protect about 5,400 jobs. The company’s position is that most cars are manufactured in the U.S. as they have 29 plants in the country. It is essential to mention that GM only operates four plants in Mexico. Even after closing four plants in U.S., GM will have 29 plants.