Strike Pay Raised As UAW Battle With GM Goes Into Fifth Week

The union appears to be making some wins, especially in health care.

WWJ News
October 14, 2019 - 8:12 am
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(WWJ) As week five gets underway in the union strike against General Motors, there are signs of progress. But there's also signs that they have more work to do before the two sides have a deal.

WWJ's Auto Beat Reporter Jeff Gilbert says both sides talked all weekend, focusing on the union's counter proposal to GM, but they're not yet negotiating around the clock.

And in a weekend message to workers union president said strikers will get more help with a 10% boost to strike pay. They'll now make $275 a week.

"We appreciate all that you have been doing, " UAW Vice President Terry Dittes told workers in a recorded message.  

A major sticking point appears to have gone the union's way, per Freep.com, after GM proposed raising employee share of health care costs from 3% to 15%. The union fought that, arguing that, for years, "workers have conceded pay raises and other benefits to protect health care costs for workers in physically demanding jobs."

And, per insider reports GM has agreed to leave workers' share of health costs as they are, with the average worker paying 28% of health care costs. 

That's considered a big win for the union, which is suddenly fighting a multi-pronged battle. Workers at Mack Truck in Florida, Maryland and Pennsylvania walked off the job Saturday seeking “fair pay and benefits."

There's also an ongoing strike of 850 maintenance workers at Aramark inside five GM sites in Michigan and Ohio. That strike started 24 hours before autoworkers went out.