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GM and UAW in an Ugly Standoff


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#1 LFC

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 12:53 PM

GM and the UAW failed to come to an agreement and now workers are out on strike. GM seems to be willing to give in some but not a ton while the strikers are demanding more. I suspect it's going to be bitter before they find a middle ground and settle. Here's the general explanation but the piece has a lot more specific details.

Quote

Nearly 50,000 GM auto workers are now on strike for the second day in a row, trying to accomplish what the president could not. From Georgia to Michigan, outside more than 50 US factories, they are picketing around the clock, venting their anger over the company’s recent decisions. They are demanding — among other things — that GM keep jobs in the US and reopen its idled factories.

“The company just started making decisions unilaterally, and it hasn't gone over well,” Art Wheaton, a labor relations professor at Cornell University, told me.

GM employees with the United Auto Workers union had been negotiating another four-year contract when talks broke down this weekend, right as the previous contract expired. The deal they are hashing out will serve as a template for the union’s new contracts with Ford and Chrysler, too. That’s why the strike is so significant: What GM workers get at the end of their strike will determine what hundreds of thousands of auto workers have to live with.

But national politics have complicated the talks. Trump keeps trying to get involved, and it’s not helping. So employees are doing this on their own.

General Motors caused an uproar in November when it announced plans to close up to five factories in the US and Canada and cut more than 14,000 jobs over the next two years.

The automaker said that consumers weren’t buying enough cars like the Chevy Cruze and that the overhaul would save the company $6 billion. GM also blamed President Donald Trump, whose tariffs on imported steel have cost the company $1 billion.

GM’s decision to cut jobs and close factories sparked a backlash from lawmakers in Canada and the United States. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) called it “corporate greed at its worst,” pointing out that GM received millions in corporate tax cuts but failed to use the money to invest in its workers. Instead, the company recently announced plans to build its new Chevy Blazer in Mexico, a decision that frustrated US labor unions that want those jobs to go to American workers.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

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#2 LFC

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 12:56 PM

GM has cut off health insurance for the striking workers which shows just how big a lever the public option would take away from business. This is more of a health insurance piece but this part is pertinent to the post.

Quote

Thousands of GM employees are on strike this week in a bid for better wages and benefits and to address concerns for temporary workers. GM dealt its employees’ union, the United Auto Workers, an incredible blow on Tuesday; Employees’ generous health care plan is being used as leverage to get workers to cross the picket line.

GM has cut off health benefits to striking employees, shifting the cost to the workers — and in turn the union. UAW has offered striking members COBRA health care, which allows them to continue medical and prescription drugs coverage, but it doesn’t include dental, vision, hearing, and accident insurance.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer





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