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Committees finish work in GM talks, top bargainers take over

by Ace Damon
Picketing at a GM facility in Langhorne, Pa.

Tom Krisher, Associated Press

Published Thursday, September 26, 2019 1:48

DETROIT – Negotiations between General Motors and United Auto Workers came close to reaching agreement on Wednesday, when committees finished work and sent it to key negotiators.

The move means that minor issues are largely resolved, and some negotiators on both sides will try to agree on wages, temporary worker use and other controversial issues.

UAW Vice President Terry Dittes described the development in a letter to members. He says the union has submitted material to GM and is awaiting a response.

"This goes on and on until the negotiations are concluded," wrote Dittes. "We will continue to negotiate this agreement until its Trading Committee is convinced that we have reached an agreement that adequately addresses the concerns of our members."

In a statement, GM spokesman Dan Flores said the company "will continue to negotiate in good faith, and our goal remains to reach an agreement that builds a stronger future for our employees and our company."

Art Schwartz, a former GM negotiator who now runs a labor consulting firm in Ann Arbor, Michigan, said transferring work to the head table is a good sign. But it's hard to tell how far the two sides are from the main economic issues, he said.

“It depends on the strength of each side. Collective bargaining is the art of compromise, ”he said. "Probably some people on each side are planning the final economy," Schwartz said.

The strike of about 49,000 workers on its tenth day halted production at more than 30 GM plants nationwide.

Both sides are losing money, with one analyst estimating that the strike costs GM $ 100 million in profits a day. Workers, on the other hand, received their latest salary from GM last Friday and are expected to receive $ 250 in weekly strike starting this Friday.

GM was forced to close one Canadian factory and lay off workers from another. Your dealers are also starting to run out of repair parts at their service centers. Companies that make parts for factories are also starting to lay off workers. Canadian supplier Magna International said it has laid off an unspecified number of employees.

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