GM-UAW strike: Day 3

2:00 a.m. ET, Wednesday

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The nationwide strike at General Motors enters a third day.

Reuters is reporting that the company's use of temporary workers is now a major issue as bargaining goes on.

Automakers are looking to increase the number of lower-cost temporary workers at their plants.

That would allow a company to be able to cut back on production when needed.

The union is against using temp workers in that way, arguing that those workers fill jobs that could go to full-time employees.

7:15 p.m. ET, Tuesday

General Motors has stopped covering healthcare costs for the more than 49,000 unionized employees currently on strike, FOX Business Network confirmed on Tuesday.

Impacted workers are eligible for continued health insurance cover under COBRA, which is covered by United Auto Workers' Strike and Defense Fund. The coverage extends to medical and prescription drugs, but excludes dental, vision, hearing, sick and accident.

"Our employees should be eligible for COBRA paid for by the UAW fund so that their healthcare benefits can continue," GM vice president of North America labor relations Scott Sandefur said in a letter to union leadership. "As a result, we believe that our employees, and your members, will not suffer any loss of healthcare coverage."

Reuters was first to report the change. The workers have been on strike since midnight on Monday morning.

4:45 p.m. ET, Tuesday

General Motors is experiencing a major interruption to its production capabilities while union representatives and company officials attempt to negotiate an end to the ongoing employee strike, according to a report on Tuesday.

For every day that employees remain on strike, the U.S. auto will lose production on an estimated 7,700 vehicles, according to calculations by industry analysis company LMC Automotive obtained by the Detroit News. By that measure, the estimated total of lost production will exceed 15,000 by Tuesday night and nearly 43,000 vehicles by the end of the week. The strike has also impacted shipments to plants not impacted by the walkout, further interrupting GM's supply chain.

More than 49,000 unionized GM employees are currently on strike. The company will lose anywhere from $50 million to $100 million in profit before interest and taxes for each day of lost work, according to industry analysts.

Talks on a new four-year contract were ongoing as of Tuesday afternoon, with little sign of progress.

12:45 a.m. ET, Tuesday

Talks continued into the night.

Asked about the possibility of federal mediation, President Donald Trump, said it's possible if the company and union want it.

"Hopefully they'll be able to work out the GM strike quickly," Trump said before leaving the White House for New Mexico. "Hopefully, they're going to work it out quickly and solidly."

Wall Street did not like seeing the union picketers. GM shares closed Monday down 4.2 percent to $37.21.

7:15 p.m. ET, Monday

A substantial portion of General Motors’ proposed $7 billion investment in U.S. facilities as part of negotiations to end a workers’ strike would go toward electric vehicle initiatives, according to a report on Monday night.

The investments, which GM said would create 5,400 new jobs, would fund production of electric vehicles and battery cells at factories in Michigan and Ohio, Reuters reported, citing sources familiar with the matter. GM is set to roll out at least five new electric vehicle models across its brands over the next four years, all of which would likely be built at a Michigan plant, the report said.

GM said Sunday that its offer to United Auto Workers included a pledge to introduce new electric truck models, investments in eight facilities in four states and the launch of the first union-represented battery cell manufacturing plant in the nation

5:55 p.m. ET, Monday

The tens of thousands of UAW members participating in the General Motors walkout will have to wait for their financial assistance benefits if the strike stretches beyond a few days.

Under UAW guidelines available on the union’s website, workers are eligible for weekly strike pay of $250, or $50 per day on a Monday through Friday schedule. Impacted workers must sign up to receive their paychecks, the first of which are dispersed on the 15th day of a strike.

If strikes stretch through the holidays, the UAW pays out bonuses in the week prior to Thanksgiving and Christmas. The union covers medical and prescription drug benefits, but not dental, vision, hearing or accident benefits.

Starting on Jan. 1, strike pay will rise to $275 per week.

At current levels, UAW strike pay would place workers below the national poverty line and the state minimum wage in Michigan, the Detroit Free Press notes.

5:20 p.m. ET, Monday

President Trump expressed hope for a fast resolution to the contract dispute that led more than 49,000 unionized General Motors workers to go on strike on Monday.

“I’m sad to see the strike,” Trump told reporters. “Hopefully it’s going to be a quick one.”

Trump has repeatedly criticized GM in recent months for shifting production out of the U.S. The president met with GM CEO Mary Barra on Sept. 5, days after he ripped the automaker for “moving major plants to China” amid an ongoing trade dispute between the two countries.

Trump was also a vocal critic of GM’s decision to slash its North American workforce and shutter several U.S.-based assembly plants in late 2018.

“I have a great relationship with the autoworkers. I got tremendous numbers of votes from the auto workers. I don’t want General Motors to be building plants outside of this country. As you know, they built many plants in China and Mexico and I don’t like that at all,” Trump added on Monday.

4:00 pm ET, Monday

General Motors’ first employee strike in more than a decade sent shares sharply lower on Monday as Wall Street fretted over the potential impact to the top U.S. automaker’s bottom line.

Shares fell more than 4 percent after an impasse in contract negotiations led more than 49,000 United Auto Workers members to walk off the job on Monday. The first strike against GM since 2007 brought more than 50 facilities across the country to a standstill on Monday morning, threatening the company’s supply chain.

For each day of the strike, GM could lose about $40 million to $50 million in profit before interest and taxes, RBC Capital Markets said in a note to investors. Other analysts placed the potential financial hit from delayed production at up to $100 million, the Wall Street Journal reported.

“We stood up for General Motors when they needed us most. Now we are standing together in unity and solidarity for our Members, their families and the communities where we work and live,” said UAW Vice President Terry Dittes said in a statement on Sunday.

The strike began at midnight after union leadership and GM officials failed to reach terms on a new four-year contract. Workers identified better wages, affordable healthcare and a larger share of profits as key targets in ongoing negotiations. GM’s decision to shutter four U.S. factories is also said to have roiled negotiations.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
GMGENERAL MOTORS COMPANY35.31-0.11-0.31%

UAW spokesman Brian Rothenberg said the two sides had "98 percent to go" to reach terms on a new contract.

GM shares were up 15 percent so far this year through last Friday.

GM said it has offered to make $7 billion in investments to create 5,400 new jobs at U.S. factories, increase wages and make a ratification payment of $8,000 to workers upon the deal's completion, among other perks.

"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."

GM’s operations in Mexico emerged as a major point of contention in “tense” meetings between the two sides, a source with knowledge of the situation told FOX Business Network. The automaker has reportedly balked at UAW’s request to bring some production back to the U.S.

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“We’re not going to respond to the speculation coming out of the talks on specific issues – or characterize the talks. We can say negotiations have resumed,” the company said.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.