General Motors of the United States has been hurt with a big blow by more than 49,000 employees organised under the banner of United Auto Workers who went on strike on Monday against the Company. This is the union’s first walkout against the No. 1 U.S. automaker in over a decade.
The dispute is over a new four-year contract which only 2% agreement has been reached. “We’ve got 98% to go,” says Brian Rothenberg, Union Spokesman. The Workers withdrew their labour on Monday and abandoned the factories by forming picket lines. In Wall Street, GM shares closed down 4.2 percent to $37.21 on Monday.
At GM’s transmission plant in Toledo, Ohio, workers who stated they have been with the company for more than 30 years were concerned for younger colleagues who are less-making money under GM’s two-tier wage scale.
“The UAW Vice President Terry Dittes told GM that the company’s latest offer might have made it possible to reach an agreement if it had come earlier”, Associated Press reported.
But the Company said on Sunday that it offered pay rise with $7 billion worth of U.S. factory investments resulting in 5,400 new positions, a minority of which would be filled by existing employees. Accordingly, they state that GM would not give a precise number. The company also said it offered higher profit sharing, “nationally leading” health benefits and an $8,000 payment to each worker upon ratification.
The strike action shut down 33 manufacturing plants in nine states across the U.S., as well as 22 parts-distribution warehouses. It’s been reported that this is the first national strike by the union since a two-day walkout in 2007 that had little impact on GM.