United Auto Workers strike against GM may be headed to day 8

National

White Lake resident D.J. Calma of White Lake, second from left and has worked for General Motors in four different plants in 12 years, chants in unison “No contract! No work!” as they circle at one of the Flint Assembly Plant entrance, blocking through traffic during the fourth day of the national UAW strike against GM on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019 in Flint. The United Auto Workers union and its roughly 49,000 members at GM plants in the U.S. have been on strike since Monday, Sept. 16 because contract negotiations with the automaker had broken down. It’s the first national UAW strike since 2007, when GM workers were out for two days. (Jake May/The Flint Journal via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — A strike against General Motors by 49,000 auto workers appears headed to an eighth day.

Bargainers were meeting all day Sunday at GM’s headquarters in downtown Detroit. “They’re still talking,” United Auto Workers union spokesman Brian Rothenberg said.

The workers left their jobs early Monday after their four-year contract with the company expired.

They’re seeking a bigger slice of GM’s profits, products to manufacture at plants GM wants to close, a path to permanent jobs for temporary workers and other items.

GM wants to lower its labor costs so they’re closer to the compensation for workers at U.S. factories owned by foreign automakers. Most UAW production workers make about $30 per hour. GM’s labor cost including benefits is $63 per hour while the foreign companies pay about $50, according to the Center for Automotive Research, an industry think tank.

Democrats have been quick to back United Auto Workers in their strike against General Motors, a union they long have aligned with politically. The Republican response has been muted.

Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren visited the striking workers on Sunday at the GM Detroit-Hamtramck plant.

“GM is demonstrating that it has no loyalty to workers in America …. Their only loyalty is to their bottom line, and if they can save a nickel by moving jobs to Mexico or to Asia or anywhere else on this planet, they will do it,” Warren said.

Meanwhile, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden visited and spoke with striking auto workers in Kansas City, Kansas.

The strike is playing out as a federal corruption investigation against top UAW officials widens. The FBI raided UAW President Gary Jones’ suburban Detroit home last month and prosecutors have charged 11 people in the investigation so far, leading many of the 49,000 workers nationwide to question whether leaders have their backs.

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

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