Nearly 50,000 U.S. auto workers on Monday embarked on strike, after a key union and General Motors (GM), failed to reach an agreement on wages and increase hiring.
The walkout started one minute before midnight at dozens of plants and distribution warehouses in 9 states. A collective bargaining agreement had expired over the weekend.
The United Auto Workers voted on Sunday to embark on strike on Monday, demanding a share of profits and better benefits, saying the labourers contributed to GM’s recovery after the 2008 crash and deserve better compensation.
Moreover, the cost of healthcare had become contentious between GM leadership and the union. The company wants to prioritise spending on healthcare, while workers were no ready to pay more.
Meanwhile, as the U.S. heads into a presidential election next year, healthcare had become a key issue for voters more generally across the country.
Left-leaning Democrats were pushing for a radical overhaul of the system which would give the government a more integral role.
However, concerns about a potentially slowing economy were likely weighing on both sides of the GM strike, with workers looking for job security and the company considering its own bottom line going ahead.
According to Ted Krumm, the leader of negotiations for the union said the auto workers make some of the greatest products in the world as well as making GM so profitable.
GM said in a statement that it had made an offer to workers that include: better benefits, wages and investments in new plants and other facilities.
The strike is the first by GM workers since 2007, when workers staged a two-day walkout.(NAN)
-Sep 16, 2019 @17:31 GMT |