GM workers launch strike seeking better pay, job security

Some 48,000 employees of General Motors (GM) in the US struck work from early Monday demanding better wages, job security and health care, creation of more jobs, reopening of “unallocated” (shuttered) factories and pay parity.

The action comes after talks between the United Auto Workers (UAW) union and the GM management broke down.

 The strike comes after GM’s four-year contract with workers expired and the management was informed on Saturday that the union would not extend its contract.

After the failure of talks, UAW leaders launched the strike at midnight on Sunday.

Terry Dittes, the union’s chief negotiator, called the workers’ action their last resort.

Some of the workers wanted President Donald Trump to stay out of the talks after he tweeted on Monday that the parties must get together and make a deal. Trump had made a similar appeal in March this year.

Although Trump backed government’s efforts to help the auto industry in late 2008, he let it go bankrupt after becoming a presidential candidate, they said.

Expressing disappointment over the strike, GM said it presented strong offers before the union including $7 billion in investments to save 5,400 jobs, reopen the “unallocated” plants in Michigan and Ohio and $8,000 bonus after workers extend the contract.

But the union demanded more benefits for workers by citing $11.8 billion profits GM posted last year.

The union, for instance, wanted all new workers to start earning $30 an hour in three years instead of waiting for eight years.  

In 2007, some 73,000 GM workers in 90 factories truck work for two days.