46,000 GM Autoworkers Begin Nationwide Strike

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Thousands of General Motors workers have gone on strike, marking the first nationwide strike at GM since 2007.

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A four-year labor deal between GM and the United Automobile Workers (UAW) union expired over the weekend, with the parties unable to reach an agreement to extend it. The strike of 46,000 workers impacts 31 GM plants.

“While we are fighting for better wages, affordable quality health care, and job security, GM refuses to put hard-working Americans ahead of their record profits of $35 billion in North America over the last three years,” UAW Vice President Terry Dittes said in a prepared statement. “We are united in our efforts to get an agreement our members and their families deserve.”

Union members opted to strike, effective as of midnight on Sunday, Sept. 15. Among its stated goals, the union said it is lobbying for: fair wages, affordable healthcare, its “share of the profits,” job security and “a defined path to permanent seniority for temps.”

Meanwhile, GM said the deal it offered to UAW includes “improved wages and health care benefits.”

“The offer we presented to the UAW prioritizes employees, communities and builds a stronger future for all,” the automaker said. “It includes improved wages and health care benefits, over $7B in U.S. investments and 5,400 jobs. Let’s come together and secure our shared future.”

GM released a brief statement Monday.

“Negotiations have resumed,” the automaker said. “Our goal remains to reach an agreement that builds a stronger future for our employees and our business.”

GM was the first of the Detroit Big 3 to make the move to quarterly sales reports, deviating from the industry standard monthly reports (since then, Ford and Fiat Chrysler have followed suit). As such, the automaker did not release August sales results; however, U.S. automotive sales surged in August, as J.D. Power and LMC Automotive forecast a 5% year-over-year sales increase for the month.

President Donald Trump, who has often criticized GM over the past year, weighed in on Sunday.

“Here we go again with General Motors and the United Auto Workers,” Trump wrote in a tweet. “Get together and make a deal!”

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GM shares closed down over 4% on Monday.

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