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The union’s four-year contract expired Saturday at 11:59 p.m., and UAW leadership said 49,200 workers would begin striking Sunday night.
“We presented a strong offer that improves wages, benefits and grows U.S. jobs in substantive ways and it is disappointing that the UAW leadership has chosen to strike at midnight tonight,” GM said in a statement Sunday. “We have negotiated in good faith and with a sense of urgency. Our goal remains to build a strong future for our employees and our business.”
The automaker said it offered a deal that included wage or lump sum increases in all four years and improved profit-sharing formula. It says it offered to build battery cells at a site with UAW members, and invest in eight facilities in four states.
The offer included a ratification payment of $8,000 and new health insurance coverage for autism therapy, chiropractic care and allergy testing, according to GM.
Wages for U.S. auto manufacturing workers have fallen 2.1% since September 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“The most senior UAW workers have had only two 3 percent wage increases in that period – in 2015 and 2017,” according to the Center for Automotive Research.
The decision to strike comes as UAW signed indefinite contract extensions with Fiat Chrysler and Ford.
“UAW helped rebuild General Motors when they were near extinction, now they’ve reached record level profits,” the union said in a statement. “If GM refuses to give even an inch to help hard-working UAW members and their families then we’ll see them on the picket lines tonight.”