Negotiations between GM and UAW officially begin in Detroit - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Negotiations between GM and UAW officially begin in Detroit

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AP Photo/Paul Sancya AP Photo/Paul Sancya
AP Photo/Paul Sancya AP Photo/Paul Sancya
AP Photo/Paul Sancya) AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
DETROIT, MI. -

As negotiations begin between General Motors and the United Auto Workers, both sides paint a much different picture heading into talks.

GM's CEO said the company is committed to investing and growing jobs.
The UAW president points out that GM has the fastest shrinking footprint in the U.S.

According to the local union president, about 1,000 autoworkers remain unemployed here in our Valley. So what could these talks mean for them or the future of the Lordstown plant?

"This is a fight we're all willing to do, and we're going to fight it to the end," said Local 1112 Member Raneal Edwards. She was among 140 local UAW members and supporters who traveled to Detroit for the start of negotiations.

The group stood outside GM's headquarters holding signs.

"We're here to support the international union bargaining for us and hoping to get a product back in Lordstown," said Local 1112 member John DeBernardo.

Local shop chairman, Dan Morgan shared a few words and offered hugs and handshakes to those bargaining committee members as they made their way in for the official start to negotiations. 

"I feel like they have our back. We have their back. We're here to show that," said Morgan.

One autoworker among the group was not from Lordstown, but Toledo.

"These are my brothers and sisters. I'm here to support all the plants that have been affected, that are on the chopping block for closing," said Willie Hall.

Inside, GM’s CEO, Mary Barra, offered a friendly tone. She did not comment on the idling of five US plants, including Lordstown, but touched on changing technology and what she said is a commitment to U.S. jobs. 

GM said, since 2010, their company has accounted for 26% of all U.S. manufacturing investment.

"Be assured that as we continue to make advancements with new jobs and skillsets, we will still require and absolutely need a skilled and engaged workforce," said Barra.

The speech of UAW President, Gary Jones packed a bit more punch.

"This year's negotiations we will halt that race to the bottom, we will protect this workforce," said Jones, as he briefly paused for applause. "We will fight to keep these GM plants open and allocate more products here on American soil; it can be done."

The two sides have until midnight on September 14th to reach an agreement.

According to their national contract, the future of unallocated plants, like Lordstown, must be agreed upon.
 

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