Entering their fourth week, talks between General Motors and the striking United Auto Workers turned sour, according to a union official.
In a letter to members, UAW Vice President Terry Dittes said:
“These negotiations have taken a turn for the worse.”
GM’s latest offer essentially was a repeat of a previous offer that the union rejected. On Sunday, the union kicked back the most recent offer.
While on strike, union members receive $25o per week from the union. At first, GM cut their healthcare benefits, but then relented.
The union members are striking to bring the income of second-tier workers up to that of first-tier workers, a move that GM rejects because it will dramatically increase their labor expense.
GM and the union negotiated tiers of income during the bankruptcy of the auto industry. The move allowed tens of thousands of union members to keep their jobs and their pay, as long as new workers received less income. Since then, GM has paid out bonuses based on profitability, but not closed the gap between the tiers of workers.
Union officials want to negotiate strong employment and wage benefits before the automakers move too far into electric vehicles, which are expected to dramatically cut into the profits of the automakers.