General Motors Targets Mexico Plant Amid UAW Crisis

Strikers at the Detroit Hamtramck plant

Strikers at the Detroit Hamtramck plant

As the stalemate between General Motors and its employees represented by the United Auto Workers union drags through its third straight week, it's eating into even more of the automakers' balance sheet.

Hundreds of workers in St. Catharines are feeling the pinch as the American strike has caused layoffs here.

General Motors idled a plant in Guanajuato, Mexico, temporarily laying off 6,000 workers, amid a strike by the United Auto Workers union that is pushing into its third week.

But another person briefed on the talks said much of what the union objected to, including proposed concessions, has been removed or is being bargained.

"They get paid for being on strike we don't get paid because they're on strike", said nonunion auto worker, Jammie Marshall.

The overall cost is "likely over $1 billion at this point", the report said, adding that the company has the potential to recover some of the lost profits in the fourth quarter if the strike ends soon.

Vice President Terry Dittes (DIT-ez) tells local union leaders in a letter Tuesday that the proposal made Monday night was lacking on wages, health care, use of temporary workers, job security and other items.

The union responded Tuesday with a counterproposal and is awaiting a reply. "Most importantly, fewer pickup truck sales will impact Q3 and now Q4 profits at GM since pickup trucks account for the bulk of the income".

The strike also comes against the backdrop of GM's decision last November to effectively shutter five plants in North America. So revenue has been counted already for almost all vehicles that are in dealer hands.

GM also kept its offer to build an electric pickup truck at a plant in Detroit that it had planned to close, and to build an electric vehicle battery factory run by a joint venture somewhere in the area of Lordstown, Ohio, where GM also wants to close a factory, the person said.

The automaker cited a parts shortage due to the strike as the reason for the plant closure.

GM's Mexican arm notified workers at the Silao assembly plant that they had been placed on indefinite, mandatory vacation and would receive 55 percent of their pay, according to an internal document obtained by AFP.

Dittes' letter says "Regardless of what is publicized in print or social media. there are still many important issues that remain unresolved" in the negotiations.

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