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GM’s UAW workers to go on nationwide strike for first time in 12 years

The United Auto Workers (UAW) said on Sunday (September 15) that its roughly 48,000 hourly workers at General Motors Co facilities would go on strike as of midnight Sunday after U.S. labor contract talks reached an impasse, the first nationwide strike at GM in 12 years.

“We do not take this lightly,” Terry Dittes, the UAW vice president in charge of the union’s relationship with GM, said at a press conference in downtown Detroit. “This is our last resort.”

GM said in a statement that its offer to the UAW during talks included more than $7 billion in investments, 5,400 jobs – a majority of which would be new jobs – pay increases, improved benefits and a contract ratification bonus of $8,000.

Earlier on Sunday 850 maintenance workers at five GM facilities went on strike.

The union has been fighting to stop GM from closing auto assembly plants in Ohio and Michigan and arguing workers deserve higher pay after years of record profits for GM in North America.

The strike will test both the union and GM Chief Executive Mary Barra at a time when the U.S. auto industry is facing slowing sales and rising costs for launching electric vehicles and curbing emissions.

(Production: Temis Tormo)

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