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GM strike negotiations take 'turn for the worse': Union

GM strike negotiations take 'turn for the worse': Union

FILE PHOTO: General Motors assembly workers and their supporters gather to picket outside the General Motors Bowling Green plant during the United Auto Workers (UAW) national strike in Bowling Green, Kentucky. (REUTERS/Bryan Woolston)

SAN FRANCISCO: Negotiations to resolve a three-week-old strike at General Motors for better pay, benefits and job security have taken "a turn for the worse," a top negotiator with the United Autoworkers Union said on Sunday (Oct 6).

"After making some progress on important issues a couple days ago, the company has shown an unwillingness to fairly compensate the great workforce of the UAW," union vice president Terry Dittes said in a statement.

"These negotiations have taken a turn for the worse," he said.

Nearly 50,000 GM workers walked off the job in mid-September, launching the biggest labor dispute to hit the automaker in more than a decade.

On Friday, the company let it be known that it would extend health insurance coverage for its workers for the duration of the strike.

That was seen as a sign that the sides might reach an agreement as early as the weekend, despite obstacles over pay and job security for new hires.

But Dittes said management had rebuffed a detailed package of proposals that the union submitted on Saturday.

He said the company's response offered little change from management proposals that the union had previously rejected.

The strike has shut down GM production in the United States, impacting its operations in Canada and Mexico where thousands of workers have been temporarily laid off.

GM produces the Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac and GMC brands.

Besides better pay and benefits, the union wants GM to reactivate four factories shut down in November 2018.

For its part, GM says it has proposed more than US$7 billion in new investments in US facilities, 5,400 new jobs and higher salaries.

Experts say the strike could cost the company as much as US$100 million a day.

Source: AFP/de


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