The United Auto Workers union submitted a counteroffer to General Motors on Monday as its members faced a new wave of layoffs in Ohio and Illinois.
Out of all its talks with Detroit-Three automakers, the union’s negotiations with GM have been particularly contentious. Although the UAW has previously applauded Ford and Stellantis for their willingness to compromise on various demands, it has awarded no such praise to General Motors. GM executives have also been some of the most vocal in criticizing United Auto Workers leadership for their ambitious terms and have frequently expressed frustration with the ongoing strike. Although details of the new proposal have yet to be made public, a company spokesperson has already cast doubts on its acceptance, noting “significant gaps remain.”
The offer comes just days after United Auto Workers president Shawn Fain called on 4,000 workers at two General Motors and Ford plants to join the union’s strike, sparing Stellantis from further action due to a last-second concession on several key demands. This new round of walkouts prompted additional layoffs at the two companies on Monday, with Ford cutting 330 employees at its Chicago Heights stamping plant and GM letting 130 workers go at the Parma Metal Center.
The UAW strike is nearing the end of its third week, with little end in sight as negotiations progress slowly. The United Auto Workers union is compensating members who joined a picket line or were let go from their jobs, but its cash reserves can only last so long. However, OEM finances are also subject to risk; as production slows, so do sales, resulting in lower earnings and declining share prices. With both sides facing a prolonged battle, it remains to see which side will blink first.