UAW-GM Strike Becomes an All-Hands-on-Deck Affair; Mary Barra Reportedly at the Table

Now in its fifth week, the strike by UAW-affiliated workers that darkened General Motors plants across the continent and reportedly cost the company $2 billion may soon achieve results.

Late Monday night, numerous media outlets reported that local union leaders were being called to Detroit for a Thursday meeting. This morning, word arose that GM CEO Mary Barra and President Mark Reuss had taken a seat at the bargaining table.

As reported by CNBC, the union leaders are heading to the Motor City for an update on the ongoing contract negotiations. Given that the present labor action long ago garnered their seal of approval, the most likely reason for their attendance would be to greenlight a tentative agreement.

The meeting is made all the more significant by reports that GM’s top executives joined bargaining teams on Tuesday morning. A source claimed that, while a deal still hasn’t been reached, bargaining is in the “home stretch.”

Reuters corroborated the report, citing two sources who claim Barra and Reuss were indeed at the table. With sticking points like worker health care and temporary employees dragging the strike out longer than many would have expected, the pressure is on to deliver a contract both sides can agree on. On Monday, the UAW upped its strike pay.

Late last week, the union sent a counterproposal to GM, though there’s been little word on how well it was received. The proposal may have provided just enough in the way of concessions to get both sides into position for a tentative agreement.

Bank of America estimates the strike has erased $2 billion in profits for the automaker. In a note to investors, BoA analyst John Murphy wrote, “A prolonged strike could burn significant cash and bring GM to its knees, but investors likely will also react negatively if management is perceived to have caved into labor’s demands and GM’s long-term competitiveness is threatened.”

shared from TTAC