The United Auto Workers union has begun its first strike against General Motors (GM) in over a decade, demanding fair wages, affordable and quality healthcare, jobs, benefits and job security. While the American multinational company has responded by offering $7 billion of investment in eight plants along with over 5,400 additional jobs and better wages, the Union is not satisfied. It wants the Company to focus on other factors too, such as health care, employment of temporary workers and the time duration for entry-level workers to get to top-scale pay.
The union has demanded that entry-level employees be given pay hikes. These workers presently begin with a remuneration of less than $20 per hour. As per the Union, they should be able to earn about $30 an hour in three years or so, instead of waiting for eight years, which is the current practice. Also, these temporary workers do the same amount of work as the permanent ones, and therefore, it is unfair for them to earn far less.
The union was also unhappy with the fact that the Company actually waited until its contract with the UAW was almost about to expire, to make its offer. Had it reacted a little earlier, the Union may have tried to steer clear of a strike and agreed to certain terms, tentatively.
The walkout is said to be causing a daily loss of approx. $50 million in earnings before interest and taxes. The Company’s shares have also fallen drastically.
However, the Company seems to have enough inventory and supplies for the time being.