Contract Talks Restart; UAW Says GM Took Its Sweet Time Coming Up With Something Half Decent

The United Auto Workers claims General Motors waited almost literally till the eleventh hour to toss out a halfway decent offer, but by that time it was too late to bang out an agreement before an 11:59 p.m. Sunday strike deadline.

As talks get underway after GM auto workers hit the streets last night, the level of disagreement between the two sides remains in dispute. What is clear is that GM faces losses of 50 to 90 million dollars a day if the strike continues.

According to the Associated Press (via the Los Angeles Times), a letter sent from UAW Vice President Terry Dittes to GM VP of labor relations Scott Sandefur doesn’t jibe with a comment made by a union spokesperson.

In the Sunday letter, Dittes said GM waited until 2 hours before making the offer posted to the automaker’s corporate website (now deleted). That offer dialed back certain concessions GM sought from the union negotiating team. “Had we received this proposal earlier in the process, it may have been possible to reach a tentative agreement and avoid a strike,” Dittes wrote.

However, this statement is at odds with a remark made Monday by UAW flack Brian Rothenberg, who claimed the two sides agreed on only 2 percent of the labor agreement by the time the clock ran out.

We outlined GM’s offer earlier today. What the automaker proposed earlier in the day, Automotive News reports, was for workers to pay 15 percent of their healthcare tab, up from 3 or 4 percent in the just-expired contract. That deal was soon off the table. Up for grabs in the revised offer were pay increases of 2 percent and a similar hike in lump sum payments, though Mike Warchuck, president of UAW Local 653, claims there was no movement on the effort to gain better benefits for temporary employees — many of which have been with the company for years.

shared from TTAC