If its plan for 14,000 layoffs and five plant closures wasn’t enough, General Motors has announced another blow to the company’s full-time workers.
“General Motors Co. wants to hire more temporary workers at U.S. plants and trim its health care costs, said people familiar with the automaker’s thinking. Its union — still steaming over the carmaker’s plans to close four U.S. factories — has little interest in obliging.
That sets up a hot summer of negotiations for the United Auto Workers and GM as the two try to hash out a new four-year labor deal in the coming months. The last contract was bargained over in better times, when auto sales were growing from financial crisis lows to all-time highs and GM was marching toward record profits.
This year will be much different. The U.S. auto market is still healthy but is widely expected to shrink for the second time in three years. GM has put four U.S. plants with 2,800 employees on the chopping block, forcing some workers to decide between transferring to out-of-state factories or leave the company. The UAW isn’t nearly as satisfied as President Donald Trump with GM’s efforts to offload one of the plants in Ohio to a tiny company with a scant track record of profitably manufacturing vehicles.
‘It will be a tough set of talks,’ said Harley Shaiken, a labor relations professor at the University of California at Berkeley. ‘GM is staking out tough ground going after health care and wanting more temporary workers. And all of this is in the context of closed plants.'”
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