GM strike

John Kirk, right, a 20-year-employee, pickets with co-workers outside a General Motors plant in Parma, Ohio. Industry analysts say GM is losing more than $80 million a day during the strike.

DETROIT (AP) — Contract talks aimed at ending a 21-day strike by the United Auto Workers against General Motors have taken a turn for the worse, hitting a big snag over product commitments for U.S. factories, a union official wrote in an email to members.

The letter from UAW Vice President Terry Dittes casts doubt on whether there will be a quick settlement in the contract dispute, which sent 49,000 workers to the picket lines on Sept. 16, crippling GM’s factories.

Dittes’ letter says the union presented a proposal to the company Saturday. He said GM responded Sunday by reverting to an offer that had been rejected.

The company’s proposal did nothing to address a host of items, Dittes wrote, specifying job security for members during the term of the four-year contract.

In a statement, GM said it continues to negotiate in good faith. The company said it is committed to talking around the clock to resolve the dispute.

But Dittes wrote that the talks “have taken a turn for the worse.”

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Monday visited workers on the picket lines at a GM plant near the state capital of Lansing. She said she’s concerned about the state’s economy as the strike impact spreads to the automobile supply chain.

She says it’s important for both sides to find common ground as quickly as possible.

GM’s U.S. factories have been shut down since the workers walked out Sept. 16. Parts shortages also have forced the company to close plants in Mexico and Canada.

Industry analysts say GM is losing more than $80 million a day. Workers earn $250 per week in strike pay while they’re on the picket lines, about one-fifth of what they normally make.

Wages and pensions are among the issues that remained unsettled.

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Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

© 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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