UAW, GM contract expires, talks continue Sunday as possible strike is delayed
As the 2015 contract between General Motors and the United Autoworkers Union expired midnight Saturday, the UAW delayed any sort of strike decision until Sunday talks take place.
Just hours before the deadline, UAW Vice President Terry Dittes released a letter to members announcing they will not extend the Collective Bargaining Agreement but will work without a contract until a course of action is decided by the UAW International Executive Board and the UAW-GM National Council.
That letter can be viewed below.
In the letter, Dittes does cite progress being made since their last update on September 5.
The International Executive Board is set to meet overnight and the National Council convenes at 10 a.m. on Sunday.
The agenda will be decided prior to the council meeting and shared only with those in attendance.
Dittes also said in the letter no decisions or actions will be made until those talks, as word of a possible strike grew speculation this past week.
Another letter sent by Dittes Saturday detailed that in the event no tentative agreement is reached, the Union will instruct all UAW hourly and salaried workers to report to work Sunday for their regular shifts while working under the same terms and conditions once the contracts expire.
According to a release on the UAW's website, members had this to say:
“While we are fighting for better wages, affordable quality health care, and job security, GM refuses to put hard-working Americans ahead of their record profits of $35 billion in North America over the last three years. We are united in our efforts to get an agreement our members and their families deserve.”
General Motors also released a statement on its website Saturday, which read:
"We continue to work hard on solutions to some very difficult challenges. We are prepared to negotiate around the clock because there are thousands of GM families and their communities – and many thousands more at our dealerships and suppliers – counting on us for their livelihood. Our goal remains on building a strong future for our employees and our business."
21 News reached out to local UAW 1112 President Tim O'Hara, who is in charge of the last 17 UAW members at the now-shuttered Lordstown plant and another 140 workers who are on sick or disability leave.
Those workers have not been requested to transfer to another plant.
He said if the Lordstown plant would reopen, the 450 workers who did not move and separated from GM would have recall rights for five years.
O'Hara said he will decide their next step as he joins the council in meeting Sunday morning.
This is a developing story. Stay connected with 21 News on air and online as we learn more about these negotiations.