GM ups investment plan to $8.3B in bid to end strike

A demonstrator holds a sign reading "UAW on Strike" outside the General Motors plant in Romulus, Mich., on Oct. 4, 2019. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Brittany Greeson.

General Motors’s latest offer to the United Auto Workers union included $8.3 billion of investment in U.S. plants, over $1 billion more than the carmaker proposed nearly a month ago, according to a person familiar with the matter.

GM made the offer Monday in a bid to end a strike that analysts say has cost the company more than $1 billion of lost profit. Two of the automaker’s senior executives have appealed to rank-and-file employees since then and portrayed UAW leadership as dragging their feet in responding to its proposals.

The UAW’s walkout has halted production at 34 U.S. plants and disrupted output at factories in Mexico and Canada. While GM publicly released details of its first formal offer to the union on Sept. 15 the company had until this week kept a lid on public criticism of union leaders, who themselves are dealing with a credibility crisis. GM is now upping the pressure on UAW brass in a bid to clinch an agreement.

Early Friday, GM went public with a broad outline of the offer made at the beginning of the week, saying it would boost wages and lump-sum payments while also preserving health care benefits. Gerald Johnson, GM’s executive vice president of manufacturing, wrote to employees that the company was prepared to enhance profit-sharing, including by lifting the cap on how much is paid out based on the company’s earnings.

UAW members also would receive bigger ratification bonuses than in 2015, when each worker was paid $8,000 signing bonuses. And the offer gives temporary workers a path to permanent status, Johnson said.


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