By TIM ROWDEN
United Auto Workers striking General Motors seemed to be making progress, but GM’s latest contract proposal not only failed to address member wages, signing bonuses, job security, pensions, skilled trades, profit sharing, transfer rights and other issues, it reverted back to the company’s previously rejected proposal with little change.
Nearly 49,000 UAW workers across the country have been on strike since contract negotiations broke down on Sept. 15.
GM has made record profits for four of the last five years, but rather than making good on its promises to workers whose concessions a decade ago during the financial crisis helped keep the company afloat, the company has pared its United States workforce, increased use of temporary workers, closed several plants and moved more work to Mexico.
“We, in this union, could not be more disappointed with General Motors who refuses to recognize the experience and talent of our members who make their world class products and billions of dollars in profits” for the company, UAW-GM Vice President Terry Dittes said in a statement.
Glenn Kage, president of UAW Local 2250, representing 4,500 workers at GM’s Wentzville Assembly Plant, said the company is playing psychological warfare with UAW members.
“It’s like a parent telling a kid, ‘If you don’t like that answer, you’re really not going to like the next answer,’” Kage said. “They did the same thing with the healthcare.
“Now, they teased us up, saying ‘We’re getting close,’ then the come out with this and say, ‘We’re going backwards.’ I think this is a way to test our resolve.
“It’s playing with the emotions of our membership, and we’re not going to stand for it. We’re going to stand together, we’re going to hold the line, and we’re not going to give up until we get what we deserve.”
YOU CAN HELP
If you would like to help the UAW strikers, you can drop off donations at any of the five entrances to the GM Wentzville Assembly Plant at 1500 Highway A in Wentzville, or mail a check made payable to UAW Local 2250 to UAW Local 2250, 1395 E. Pearce Blvd., Wentzville, Mo. 63385.
See previous stories:
- UAW/GM strike: ‘The eyes of the nation are waiting to see how this fight goes’
- UAW/GM strike – Week 2: ‘Because it’s time, we’ll hold the line’
- Labor, community, politicians rally around striking UAW Local 2250 members
- UAW forced to strike GM after auto-maker refuses workers a share of $22.6 billion profits