UAW's GM strike rumored to extend until rank-and-file members approve tentative agreement

United Auto Workers members may reportedly remain on the picket line against General Motors until they OK a tentative agreement, which could add at least another week to the work stoppage.

When it called the strike, the UAW GM council voted that employees would not work until the group of local leaders voted to end the work stoppage, according to the Detroit Free Press, citing three people familiar with the union’s thinking. However, two UAW local leaders who are on the council told the Free Press that even after the vote, workers could stay on strike until membership ratification.

Usually, once a tentative agreement is reached workers head back on the job while the ratification vote happens in the coming weeks.

The strike against GM entered its second week on Monday as negotiations continued over the weekend at the automaker’s headquarters in Detroit.

"They're still talking," United Auto Workers union spokesman Brian Rothenberg said.

The strike by 49,000 auto workers started last Monday morning after their four-year contract expired.

They're seeking a bigger slice of GM's profits, new products to manufacturing plants GM wants to close, a path to permanent jobs for temporary workers and other items.

GM wants to lower labor costs so they're closer to rates of compensation for workers at U.S. factories owned by foreign automakers.

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GM GENERAL MOTORS CO. 59.86 -0.31 -0.52%

Most UAW production workers make about $30 per hour. GM's labor cost including benefits is $63 per hour while foreign companies pay about $50, according to industry think tank the Center for Automotive Research.

In the past week, GM stopped covering healthcare costs for the striking workers.

Also, some union protesters were arrested outside GM's Tennessee plant.

GM plants in other countries have had to layoff some workers due to a shortage of parts.


Workers at suppliers are also feeling the pinch.

There are reports that some Democratic presidential candidates will be visiting picket lines in the coming days.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.