GM-UAW negotiations continue as strike enters 10th day

Negotiations between the United Auto Workers and General Motors continued Wednesday as the company's employees rallied for health care, temporary employment and profit-sharing improvements for a 10th consecutive day.

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Negotiations had extended late into Tuesday night, and by Wednesday morning UAW and GM subcommittees were back at it, according to people close to the talks cited by the Detroit Free Press.

Why haven't negotiations between UAW and GM made progress? Conditions for temporary workers are a sticking point for the UAW. Temp workers are union members doing the same work as permanent employees, but they get half the pay and far fewer benefits.

The union wants those workers to get a path to being permanent and get pay and benefits that more closely match their permanent counterparts, even when they're temporary.

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 25: Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) walks the picket line with striking United Auto Workers union members as they picket at the General Motors Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant on September 25, 201

GM counters that employing temporary workers is good for permanent employees because they enable the full-time staff to take time off. Hiring temps also gives the company flexibility to scale up production for new models and combat employee absenteeism.

The strike's ripple effects are being felt by adjacent industries, including auto part dealers and new car dealers, across the nation. Businesses in the communities most affected by the strike are also feeling the pinch.

Many replacement part warehouses are shut down, so dealers are beginning to run short of components to repair cars, trucks and SUVs. And companies that make auto parts are also starting to see work slow down. Dealer inventory of new vehicles is holding up but starting to get depleted on a few models.

Meanwhile, GM is losing millions of dollars a day and has been forced to close one Canadian factory and send workers home at another.

Auto parts

The biggest impact so far seems to be the lack of availability of some replacement parts for GM vehicles. The strike has shut down a parts depot in Charlotte, North Carolina, where the Southeast region normally gets its replacements, said Ed Williamson, who owns several GM dealers in the Miami area.

Dealer inventory

GM had a hefty 77-day supply of vehicles at the end of August, but big SUVs were only at about 55 days, lower than the industry average of 61. There have been no shipments since Sept. 16, so supplies are starting to drop.

GM in Canada and Mexico

Citi analyst Itay Michalei estimates GM is losing $100 million in profits a day. The strike has already caused GM to lay off 1,850 workers and shut down its assembly plant in Oshawa, Ontario, near Toronto. Another 730 workers were laid off from an engine plant in St. Catherine's, Ontario, according to Unifor, the Canadian auto workers union.

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, the independent senator from Vermont, joined striking GM employees on the picket line in Detroit on Wednesday.

"I'm here today to thank you for having the courage to stand up to corporate greed," Sanders told the crowd.


The Associated Press and FOX Business' Ken Martin contributed to this report.